Wake up needing a wee. Get up to use the heads, only to remind myself that we’re on the hard and that we can’t use the heads. Go back to bed.
Wake up really needing a wee. Get up to use the bucket on the deck. Our Swiss neighbour is already up doing his daily stretching exercises in his cockpit, which puts paid to my toilet plans. Take bucket down below to use. Can’t find anywhere in the boat that feels natural to use the bucket. Go into the heads whose hatch looks out onto Exercising Swiss Man’s cockpit. Abort toilet plans and go back to bed.
Spring out of bed, zoom through the boat, slide down the ladder on to terra ferma and race across the boat yard to the loos before I wet my pants.
Return to the boat to find Liz is half way through the third coat of anti-foul. Our boat is positioned in such a way that one half is in the shade until 1000 and Liz has set the precedent by starting work before it gets hot. I pick up whatever tool is closest to hand and make it look like I too am adhering to this work timetable.
Am ordered by Liz to make tea and coffee. We have a rule on our boat: only when at sea am I the skipper; at all other times Liz is the boss. This is why I like making long passages.
It is now hot and my timing is such that I spend the rest of the morning on the wrong side of the boat, in the blistering heat, epoxying/sika-flexing/glueing/polishing or using some other noxious substance that ends up more in my hair and hands than on the boat.
Break for lunch. Friends come over to marvel at Liz’s paint job and ask what I’ve been doing all morning. I scratch my head.
I pick up a paint brush to help Liz with the anti-fouling and she knocks the brush clean out my hand. It bounces across the boat yard, making the Turkish workers on other boats laugh out loud. It is clear that this is her job and her job alone. She glories in the admiration of more passing friends whilst I blush at my ever decreasing masculinity.
Decide that, because the sun has passed its zenith, it is now an appropriate time to complete the SSB radio installation in the lazarette, the large storage locker at the back of the boat. I nip down below to grab my tool box and spot the thermometer. It is 40 degrees, and that’s in the shade, inside the boat. The lazarette is even hotter.
Spend the next hour emptying the lazarette which contains the heaviest objects on the boat: spare anchor, spare anchor chain, spare dinghy, inflatable canoe, another spare anchor… Each object, once dumped on the deck, is followed by a cup of tea and a break in the shade. I whack some music on, which seems to motivate everyone around us. Turkish workers dance on their tressels and Liz asks me to turn it up full blast.
Finally climb in the lazarette. It’s like an oven. Didn’t secure the hatch cover properly and it drops down on my head, locking me in. I spend the next hour banging on the lazarette door. No one can hear me.
Liz opens the lazarette door, demanding to know what the hell I’m playing at. I am passing out with exhaustion. “What’s all this mess on the deck?” she demands, so I attempt to pacify her by buying an iced lolly from the marina shop.
Return from the shop to find Liz has finished for the day and is now down the pool, relaxing. This is when my day starts and I get to work doing the jobs I hadn’t managed to do thus far.
A mate pops by, suggesting a cool beer at the bar. What can I say? I’ve been up since five: my work here is done.
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