When your boat isn’t in the water, it’s referred to as “on the hard”. This is true in more ways than one. For starters, she isn’t sailing. Most of the fun parts of living on a sailboat are gone when the boat sits motionless six feet above her waterline. Every daily task begins by either climbing up or down a ladder…carrying supplies….and a dog. We were hoping to be in the water and docked in a new marina by now but fate has other plans for us and soon I will be heading back to MN to pick up the boy from college and Shane will be on to FL to spend time with his dad and step-mom. Our plan is to have the boat ready to drop into the water by the end of May when we return.
Jefferson Beach Marina is located in St Clair Shores, MI on “the nautical mile” North of Detroit. There are more pleasure boats in this one mile stretch than any other body of freshwater in the U.S. It is staggering how many boats reside in this region! It takes weeks, scratch that, months, for the marinas to get all of the boats in the water in the spring. They start as soon as there is open water. You get on the schedule but there is no telling if they can stick to that as these boats are “Tetris-ed” in like puzzle pieces in the fall. To get one boat out, they may have to move up to 10 others just to reach it so it’s rather fascinating to see who will be plucked out the next day! And for the sailboats, there’s one lift and one guy who operates it, Pete. So needless to say, the marina is abuzz right now with people cleaning, buffing, waxing and painting to be ready when Pete is ready for their boat!
During the week, we try to prioritize the list and tackle a few jobs each day. They can range anywhere from replacing plumbing hoses to doing laundry and everything in-between. The once mundane chores that were background noise in our lives require actual time and effort on a whole new level.
Whenever we need a break, we take a walk around the marina so that everyone can say “Hi” to Loki. She’s great at walking up and introducing herself and she’s sure everyone is there just to give her a few scratches behind the ears. She’s generally content to hang out in her bed when we’re on the boat as she’s learned that essentially everywhere else is likely “in the way” right now. She’s almost 16 now, so really, most of her day is spent either resting or trying to figure out how she can help me.
I know, you’ve been thinking to yourself, “So what does rush hour at the marina look like?” It looks like this. A boat being towed through the single open lane at the marina at about 1 mph with a line up of cars following patiently behind. No one in or out until he clears the entrance. I think the guys that run this little operation (for the power boats) are on the same schedule as me because whenever I have to run out to grab a part from the marine or hardware store, they are moving another boat.
“Hon, can you grab me the whatchamajigger please” Yea, this is how the top photo happens. Every time we sneeze, it turns into this! To get the thing you need, you have to move several bins of “we still might need this” to get to the mid layer of “let’s just put this here until we can find a place for it” until you reach… “not what you thought was there” and you start all over in a different part of a boat. It’s a daily adventure! This is a great reason to get rid of as much as you can. Less stuff, less frustration (well, that’s the theory anyway).
And a few more pictures of our lovely new home…
Shane’s sister Heidi has a passion for knitting. She chose this cool design, funky teak buttons and the perfect yarn so that it resembled a fisherman’s sweater. LOVE!!! The paintings were “donated” by my very talented mother who was given no choice as the first time I spied them, I knew exactly where they would go!