Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Life on the hard

When a boat is "on the hard" it is on land, out of the water. Rhapsody lives on the hard when we are not sailing on her, and she is on the hard now, both in anticipation of Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Tropical Depression Danny and of our departure back home to cooler climes.

While we are waiting, we are living on Rhapsody, in an altered capacity.
Life on the hard is very different from life on the sea. The first difference that we notice is our lack of "land legs". We walk into a store and notice a gentle swaying feeling, or sit still at a table and notice the subtle sense that  we are not totally still. It is even more noticeable aboard Rhapsody.  We become so accustomed to the movement of the boat, bracing ourselves and allowing for a shift in balance that when it is not there it is a surprise. Sitting on the boat, or moving around the deck it becomes almost disconcerting that it is not moving. I especially miss the gentle rocking at night when I am falling asleep.

Living on the hard, particularly in a boatyard, has its own lack of charms. One of the first that pops to mind is the dirt. Rhapsody's decks are 8 feet above the dusty ground of the boatyard, but to go anywhere we can't help but kick up the dust to get there. Adding insult to injury, to get off the boat we have to climb down the swim ladder, the ladder that had led to the joys of the seas, the swims and snorkles  right off our porch, and now it is just dirt. We can't even dive in to clean off, just a slow climb down to more dirt.

Out on the ocean there is a wonderful lack of irritating bugs. Flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums.  Not so on the hard. There is not enough breeze to keep them at bay. The heat is more oppressive, and a general feeling of stickiness that can't be relieved by a quick jump off the back of the boat.

I am sitting on Rhapsody, writing this, listening to the roosters crowing all around. The wind blowing through the masts in all the boats in the yard almost takes on a musical quality. Imagine taking a tube and swinging it around your head and listening for the music it produces. Now multiple this by a hundred masts.  A soft sound, punctuated by the lines on the boats hitting the masts and the wind generators humming.

I can get a glimpse, almost a tease, of the turquoise seas just outside of the boatyard. Wishing I was out sailing. I would almost say that life on the hard is, well, hard, but I am still on a boat, in the Caribbean,  so how hard can it really be?

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