Monday, July 20, 2009

It happened (pt.2)

Lucy Maru on the railway, waiting to get hauled

From inside the railway building, I could see Richard, the owner and as far as I could tell, sole marina employee, up to his neck in slowly moving brown water. He was struggling with a small piece of wood that he was wedging into the underwater cradle, attempting to balance Lucy Maru on the center of her keel. This involved a lot of cursing, a lot of pulling on ropes, a lot of hunting for previously mentioned small pieces of wood, and more cursing. This process went on for quite a while as Richard made sure that we were well centered, and therefore well supported. In the intervals that he was out of the water, we caught bits of stories about previous haul outs, including one where the boat was not balanced and the keel buckled under the weight of the hull once the boat was pulled out. This was a horrible possibility that I never considered, and my glow of satisfaction at having made it this far, was slowly being replaced by a helpless kind of stupor.

You can barely see Richard's head sticking out of the water as he works

To soothe our nerves, we left Richard to his work, and took a walk around the marina. This was a beautiful day, and the pine forests around our inlet shooshed pleasantly overhead. We walked the docks mindful of the loose or missing dock planks, listening to the water, the trees, and the sound of wooden boats, rotting in their slips. The steady tinkling of water from various bilges added flavor to this marina's symphony, whose only fitting title would be something like Wooden Boat Blues. There was no mistaking that these floating structures were indeed living things, and this would be the last resting place for many of them.

This was one of many dying boats

When we got back to the railway shed, Richard was still cursing, but Lucy Maru was out of the water, and we got our first glimpse of the bottom. It was pretty well covered with barnacles, but to our extreme delight, most planks, caulk, and fasteners looked very good. I began to relax just a bit, as it looked like this haulout might not be a total catastrophie.

First sighting of the bottom

While Travis, Joe, and myself where inspecting the bottom, Richard was hooking up hoses to the pressure washer, and suddenly with a great hiss, water and barnacles began to fly in every direction. I managed to avoid getting hit by these slimy, furry creatures as they hurled past me, but this was short lived, as soon, a scraper was put into my hand and the unpleasant job of scraping the hull began.

Joe going above and beyond the call of friendship

Travis scraping the keel

I have never been in such close conact with barnacles before and I wanted to inspect them a bit closer. Their green fuzzy outside, made me think of moss, although their smell was anything but earthy. I decided to go for the biggest barnacle, and picking it off, I immediately got a rotten fish squirt to the face. YUCK! Seerriously gross! I looked at the green slime in my hand and realized it was crawling with little, light brown bugs. Now this, was a great test of my self control. I wanted to scream, I wanted to puke, I wanted to cry, I wanted to run! Instead, I looked at the furry hull, realizing for the first time, that the benign-looking "moss" was hiding something much more sinister beneath its fuzzy surface. I
saw Travis and Joe, already covered with green sludge, scraping the thick layer of bugs, shells and slime. So... I picked up the scraper, shut off my mind, and began to scrape the hull, praying that no bugs fall into my mouth. Looks like haul out has officially begun.

Barnacles on the stern, shafts and rudders


jomamma said...

Ewwww, I've been watching the Travel Channel a lot this summer, in some places of the world they eat those barnacles! Sure hoped you saved some for dinner. I can smell that from here. Ewwwwwwww.

Travis and Maggie said...

Big ewwwww. Really big.