The shouting and the tumult have died in the marina. The captains and charter kings have departed and it has been quiet, apart from the clamour of Sunday morning church bells ringing across the water from Old Trogir. That was until the rain started. Now it’s coming down harder than a tall cow pissing on a flat rock, as they say in the Outback. But down below in the cabin there can be no more pleasing sound than the patter of rain on the deck.
And it is warm out – summer has all but arrived in Croatia and the flowers are in bloom.
I don’t know about other sailors, but I have spent a good deal of my sea time sitting in the cockpit daydreaming, looking at those myriad small repair jobs waiting patiently around me and ignoring them – frayed rope ends, the spray dodger tear, the stiff engine Morse control lever…you know the sort of thing. I am either too lazy, too tired or too seasick to do the obvious. This morning however, I was overcome with a surge of energy and did more odd jobs in 3 hours than I’ve managed in months, if not years. And it all worked. I had the right tools, the replacement parts fitted, no threads were stripped, nothing fell over the side and I uncovered no ancillary problems. So I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.
It often surprises me how long it takes for simple solutions to appear for seemingly intransigent problems. Take our cockpit table. It swings up from the steering pedestal and for support it used to have an oblique strut, which slotted into the bottom of the table and the pedestal base. Ages ago that strut broke.
For 5 years Dave and I sat in the cockpit in a number of oceans (well, not full-time) trying to make a new strut out of broomstick. But given the oblique ends, the chamfers and the end fittings, we just couldn’t get the length right. The table always sat at a slope and it drove us crazy.
I have always said that rope is the best single tool you can have on a boat. But to my eternal shame it took 6 years before I realised that a light line from the end of the table tied up to the bimini support directly above solved the problem perfectly. An alarming metaphor, I think.
These are the sorts of things I keep wanting to tell Dave about, and I can’t. No-one else would be interested.