Saturday, January 13, 2018

Life On The Hard 2017 - Yard Life

Peter and Reinhardt confer 

Dec 2017

We are less than 25 yards away from the water and yet, a world away.  Life on the hard is so totally different.  People in the yard don’t even socialize much with people in the water.  I am not sure why other than being on the hard usually means BIG tasks, chores, projects.  Everyone is focused.  There is socializing but a different type. 

Like other cruising social situations, on the hard, we meet easily and quickly become acquainted and even fast friends.  It is a situational thing.  They are hammering away, scraping, sanding, covered in sweat and so are we.  Misery loves company perhaps. 
Richard and Estelle

But there is also support.  “Do you have a palm sander?”  “Can I borrow your caulking gun?”  “Are you still using the scaffolding?”  “Let me help you carry the scaffolding to your boat.”  Traditional pink and blue roles usually fade away.  Everyone sands, everyone waxes, everyone varnishes….well not me.  I am not detailed enough so Tom does our brightwork but in general, everyone works.  The young French Canadian couple next to us, she was running the electric saw and sander as she was re-building their interior while he sanded and painted the bottom.   Pink and blue be damned.
sv Traquillo getting ready to go in

Now I say everyone, however, some people hire out different chores while on the on the hard.  Labor prices in Trinidad are good so many people hire out the bottom sanding and painting.  Same hire the  compounding and waxing.  Some projects require expertise like painting the boat or welding.  Others hire help but work along side.  We did this with Steve.  He helped us sand, compound and wax the sides since we had the oil spill stains to deal with.  However, later in the week I insisted we put a different coat of finishing wax on so Tom and I did that by ourselves.  All the other work, we did.  At this point we prefer to do the work ourselves so we know what is what.

The Brazilians going in

There is another type of support on the hard.  Moral support.  As I stated, we quickly get to know our fellow yard cats.  We encourage one another disipite language barriers.  “Wow, looking good.”  “You are really making progress.”  “Well at least you got all the blisters sanded, the rest is a piece of cake.”  Sometimes a stroll around the yard helps clear your head, ease your muscles and gives you renewed hope.  Nicknames develop.  Our German friend Peter had been on the hard much longer than us.  He knew everyone in the yard.  He gave us the lowdown on everyone.  He called the young Canadians Fire Flies because they worked into the night using headlamps that gave them the appearance of Fire Flies.  Cute!  His German friend was getting a lot of work done before launching.  The other German had massive blisters and decided to peel and then have it re-gel coated.  Luka the Italian got his boat painted. The Dutch guy was doing a mini re-fit.  The New Zealand boat is for sale and thus painted as well but they will sail it until it sells.  The Brazilian boat was welding up a storm for weeks while a crew member sewed new cushion covers by the pool.  They would be launching soon.  And so on and so forth.  
The Brazilians headed for SPLASH

When someone was launched we all celebrated with them, congratulating them.  When the travel lift fires up, it is loud.  Everyone looks to see who is going in.  “You’re going in?  Terrific.  Cheers to you.”  We all do the same routine.  The travel lift picks you up and slowly makes its way to the water.  The captain and crew walk along behind taking pictures and video of the exciting day.  We all give them a thumbs up and Okay signs as they pass.  Once in the water, the crew will come get their final bits and pieces from where the boat was on the hard and then they are gone.  I don’t mean sailed off gone, although sometimes they do.  I mean, they don’t come back to the yard or rarely.  Instead they keep to the docks and walkways.  It’s just how it is.   

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