And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard and it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
So, a lot of my readers, friends, and followers have expressed their sympathy that we are now living on the hard in Trinidad. No worries. we’re making it work – even in the rain last week. Unlike EW, I have not mastered the art of climbing the ladder with an umbrella. Fortunately, we aren’t getting a lot of rain now.
Back in Grenada, EW looked across the table in the salon one morning and said, in all seriousness, “You know we won’t be able to use the sinks and heads when we’re hauled out. You going to be able to handle that?” I wish I had replied with humor instead of indignation. After all, we’ve owned the boat for ten years, have hauled out roughly every eighteen months and – except for the Year From Hell, when we lived in three different rentals – we have always lived on the hard and I’ve always “handled it” pretty damn well, thank you. Sheesh. I found the question insulting and responded accordingly. Wish I’d batted my baby blues, put a finger to my lips and said, with a Marilyn Monroe whisper, “Ohhh. I’ll handle it just fine, big boy.” Or maybe not.
She works hard for the money.
So, here’s how one handles it. It’s sort of like camping with Mom and Daddy back in Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake – only with better bathrooms down the road. We do have water on board, and we can wash our hands in the galley sink because I’ve placed a bowl under the faucet. The stove, fridge and freezer all work and I wash dishes in a large cooking pot, dump galley water into a bucket in the cockpit and EW or I take it down the ladder to dump the galley water behind a bush. We did the same thing at the campground, heating water on the stove just as I do here. (We can heat water on our boat and will do so again once we need warm water for showers. I find I use less water washing dishes if I heat it on the stove than if I run the hot water faucet.)
And of course we have to walk to the showers and heads. I counted. It’s 350 of my paces. I have long legs and long, elegant feet. (My dearly loved Uncle Clayton used to call me his “big-footed niece, but let’s not go there.) Let’s say that my stride equals a yard. That means it’s not quite a football field to the heads and showers – unless we forget the key.
We’ve put it on a floating key ring – not that we’re in any danger of dropping it in the water, but it does help to keep track of it. We opted for only one key, it’s supposed to live in the pocked of our bathroom tote, full of towels, tooth brushes, and facial cleanser. One is not supposed to go off for the day, leaving one’s partner without the key. We’ve been good at that, but have both arrived at the heads to find the key is still aboard the boat – up the ladder. More exercise, yea! No money.
I'm a hard, hard workin’ man. We aren’t alone in our pain. In fact, this is the most social haul out we’ve had since the year we purchased and launched La Luna, which is the only time we were hauled out with all the summah sailahs. We made new friends, shared chores and ideas, and went out to eat together at Beale Street Barbeque in Bath. Here, we have friends from Grenada on three boats nearby, and on other boats in the neighboring yards, and have met new friends at some of the social events and shopping trips. All of these hauled out folks could sing I'm a hard, hard workin’ man or woman. So far, EW has cleaned the propeller, replaced the Plexiglas I broke in the hatch over our bed, removed a steering thingy to have new holes drilled for the autopilot, and is currently reinstalling that and servicing the steering system. I’ve kept house – which certainly takes more time here – and have started the sewing projects, completing some of the smaller projects. We’re having the yard raise the waterline and paint the hull, freeing us up for these other tasks. My list is short: sew covers for the side cushions in both staterooms, make an awning/rain catcher for the boat, keep house. write daily.
It’s a Hard Day’s Night. And I’ve been working like a dog. It’s a Hard Day’s Night. I should be sleeping like a log. You’d think with all of this work and play that we’d sleep soundly. Not so much at first. We most assuredly do not want the boat to rock here on land, but we do find it hard to sleep on the hard. We are also parked in the “dirty sanding section”, right next to the road. And it’s hot. On Monday I finally reached Richard of GoKool, who stopped by the boat that morning and fitted us with an air conditioner, which we’ve rented for the month. He has been doing this for 14 years, and certainly knows how to install these on any boat without causing damage or letting the rain in. We even have a remote for the controls. I love Richard. We’ve gotten used to the lack of wave motion, and sleep with car noise muffled by closed hatches and gently humming air conditioner.
Really, this living on the hard isn’t horrible. The heads are nice – private, and cleaned often. Instead of a men’s and women’s room with multiple toilets and showers, they have a row of small powder rooms with toilets, sinks and mirrors, followed by a number of individual, white tiled showers. The same key opens all the doors. Yes, EW and I have showered together, if only to allow another cruiser a chance to use one of the showers. It’s the right thing to do. We are nice like that. Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.
On Thursday, we joined a group who had arranged a shopping trip for fabric. We were able to find exactly what we needed in the first store – and for an excellent price. Now, I have no excuses to start the awning or to re-do the mess I made of the headliner in the forward cabin – five years ago. EW is a bit disgusted that I hadn’t tackled that project sooner. I somehow kept forgetting to purchase the necessary six yards of material. Since he was with me on Thursday, there were no more excuses. It’s a hard knock life. I’ll have to remove the books, take down the trim, remove the headliner and put up new stuff. Oh joy. Someday in the future, our guests won’t have to see this from their bunks. Sewing the awning has a higher priority and EW has first dibs on working in the forward cabin chain locker, so I have a bit of a reprieve.
Breaking up is hard to do, and I love him, so I’m not going to give EW more grief about his rather thoughtless question back in Grenada. (Plus he’s spent three days fixing the hatch I broke and he hasn’t really complained about the forward cabin headliner.) While I wouldn’t want to live on the hard for more than a few weeks, I can handle it just fine, thank you. Don’t feel sorry for me – but you can let EW know he’s one lucky fella if you want. I’m one lucky woman, too.
*With apologies and thanks to (in order ): Bob Dylan, Donna Summer, Brooks and Dunn, John Lennon, Mac Davis, Strauss and Charnin (That one’s for you Chrissy and Kathy), and Neil Sedaka.
A local restaurant offers this tasty sounding appetizer: “Wanton Shrimp”. And we think the local stainless steel guy works on bow pulpits, but we’re not sure.