On the hard

It’s been pouring for several days, maybe a week, but it feels like a lot longer.

I can hear the slap of raindrops on the hatches. There is a leak on the deck somewhere on the starboard side, near the stern, so a steady little tickle of water comes out of the hole I cut in the headliner. I keep a steady rotation of towels underneath, replacing and drying them as they get waterlogged. It’s an endless battle – one that will end once I replace the porthole (which I think is the leak source), but for that I need it to stop raining.

I also need to check the keel bolts, but to do that I need the bilge to be dry. It’s continuously filling up right now, even though I’m on the hard, The water sloshes down from the stern mostly – finding its way around the improperly sealed hatch above the engine, and relentlessly coming down into the main bilge.

The air is damp, and moist. I’m working hard to keep things dry inside but it seems a lot harder than usual – maybe because without the helping hand of the breezes off of the sea, it’s harder to cycle the damp air out. My diesel heater is running almost full time, and is my main ally to keep warm and dry. The water collects on the tarmac, and soaks my shoes as I walk to my car. It collects in little pools and streams and changes places, all the better to trick me into stepping into them.

Today, I removed the name off of the stern and the license number off the side.. With the name change I decided to register the boat rather than license it, meaning that the name now becomes the unique identifier, instead of a number.

So the boat sits, faceless, nameless.

I splash on Wednesday, all going well. I cannot wait.

It’s called ‘The Hard’ for a reason.




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