One of the advantages of being an old man is that you can pay young men to do things you no longer want to do. Sometimes. As I have observed here before, Hilton Head Island is an exception. It is the most inconvenient place to get work done in which I have ever kept a boat.
Above is a photo of GANNET just after I painted her. That was ten years and a circumnavigation ago. I used a one part paint, Pettit Easypoxy, because it is easier to apply than two part paints and I have found one part paints easier to touch up than two part. I think the little boat looks good in the photo. She certainly passes my viewed at a boat lengths distance test. However, not surprisingly, she no longer does.
I have sought quotes from two boatyards to paint her topsides. One, a yard with a good reputation, responded the next day with a quote of $6528. I am not saying that is unreasonable, but I am not sure it includes taxes and I know it does not include more than $200 in taxi fares I would need between the boat yard and our condo. That yard will not permit me to sleep on board while in the yard and, of course, it will not allow me to do my own work. I have been told by a long time resident sailor that no yard in South Carolina will let owners do their own work. A deplorable trend that I find increasing world wide.
The other yard never replied to my quote request.
I could afford the first yard’s price, but I am reluctant to. Very reluctant to. Pay three-quarters of what I paid for GANNET just to paint her? That does not seem reasonable. But then paying more than that to transit Panama was not reasonable either. The difference is that in Panama I had no choice.
I have asked the dock master of Skull Creek Marina if I can paint GANNET in her slip. He said yes.
I painted THE HAWKE OF TUONELA’s topsides while she was in the water and we were living on board in Boston. Skull Creek is less exposed to wakes than Boston. Painting GANNET would be easier. I’d really like to pay young men to do it, but I expect I am going to do it myself.
I am also going to go up the mast myself and fix the spreader tips. The tape put on in San Diego is working its way loose. I have a friend with big shoulders who plans to visit Hilton Head this fall. I will buy a bosun chair, which I have not had on GANNET, though I have had on all previous boats except CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE, and have him haul me up. It seems there is no rest for some of the old.
I pause thinking back over the ten years since the above photo was taken a few miles north of here in Illinois. A few days later GANNET was towed to San Diego from where she made her circumnavigation.
And I think back forty years because two of you have recently written that you are reading the open boat books which caused me to realize that I was jailed in Saudi Arabia forty years ago last month. 1982 was a dramatic and traumatic year in my life. My grandmother, my only real relative, died. I was falsely jailed as a spy in Saudi Arabia and CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE kept there. And Suzanne and I separated and were divorced.
Also of time, last month Carol and I met twenty-eight years ago and next month we will have been married twenty-eight years.
None of those events seem that long ago. Sometimes life seems too long. Sometimes too short. Time is an uneven medium.