Some of the most long lasting sailing friendships are the friends made in boatyards rather than in a little anchorage or a port somewhere. So often in the cruising life you only pass through each place and that’s not enough time to build true friendships. It always takes more time than anticipated for the new parts for your vessel to arrive so in the boatyard you get the chance to actually get to know your fellow sailors.
Now back in the boatyard almost exactly 6 years since my late partner Chris and I spent a few weeks in this very yard building a new dinghy together. It drags back so many memories, actually of good times we spent together and lifelong friends we made right here. There is just a big taint of sadness that he’s no longer here to share the next adventures with us.
Building that dinghy turned out to be the last big project we did together and repairing it was the first big project Steve and I tackled together when we first met.
Poor ‘Mieow’ suffered a bit of damage when she got wedged under someone’s jetty while I attended a ‘singlehanders’ party one night. Big tip! If you are going to a party where everyone will be arriving by dinghy be fashionably late so your dinghy is on the outside, not wedged in a compromising position by all the other boats. Another big tip! When they say its marine ply in this part of the world, don’t believe them, it never is.
The upshot of the altercation with the jetty – she needed a whole new floor.
The bonus is she got a lovely new paint job making her look much more at home with the local boats.
So just being back here in the height of summer is dragging up a lot of stuff for me. Grief changes you. The person that was here with Chris went with him. The life I had back then, all the plans we had, all had to change the moment he got sick. I guess in actual fact you find yourself grieving for your own life, the one that you planned, that has been taken from you as much as the loss of the person you love. You then have to reinvent yourself in a new world without the soulmate that made you feel complete and try not to let the brutality that life throws at you sometimes make you bitter and hard.
“When life gives you lemons”
I know I know, make lemonade, but you need water and sugar to make lemonade. Chris always used to say “I want to complain to the management” when things didn’t turn out quite the way we anticipated and by management he usually meant me, though sometimes it was just out there for whoever is in charge of bad luck.
It’s taken me 5 years to get all my ducks back in a row. We left England all those years ago, on a mission to see as much of the world as we could. Then life gave me lemons and the dream was on hold for a while. But it’s still there it was my dream and it’s still strong. Life is not a rehearsal and time and tide will not wait for you. Few people end up regretting the things they did. At the final hour they regret the things they didn’t do. So here’s to lemonade, cheers!
Well now I’ve got sugar, well a ‘sweet thang’ back in my life, Steve, and a whole lot of water coming up! But I’m not sure about lemonade – I think mines a Caipirinha.
Brazil here we come!