Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life on The Hard.

Day 1.

When you live on the water 24/7/365 adjusting to being 'on the hard' is quite a thing. There is no gentle slapping sounds of wavelets in the early morning, or the motion of bobbing in a wake when another boat goes by, or the sound of sea critters going about their business that is heard through the hull. There are 'human' noises all around, cars, hooters, banging, scraping, grinding, voices, factory noises in the distance. Occasionally you get lucky and you hear a bird. The 'loo' is always over at the other end of the yard, so that, can be quite a trek :-) and takes some forethought.
The best things about being 'on the hard'....
Puddytat will look so much nicer when we're done slaving over her;
you get to have a HOT shower EVERY night;
meeting up with other sailing couples and spend and occasional evening swapping stories;
you have the knowledge that soon you'll be back on the water.

This time we're hauling out at Norsands in Whangarei, well known for their careful and meticulous handling of Cats. So the day before we're booked to haul, we anchor near the Boatyards entrance. It's a beautiful night, mirror smooth water, and not as cold as it has been, probably because there is no wind. The sunset is gorgeous.

The next morning we wake up to a silver day, and no wind.. YAY!

The phone rings and we're asked if we could come in earlier than originally planned. Fortunately we we're ready so we start the engines and lift the anchor. Oh yes, yesterday David took the Port rudder out because he has to replace the bearings, so now Puddytat handles quite differently.
David takes her in as I acquaint myself with all the lines that the men on shore will be taking.

Soon we're tied up and the trolley starts to come down the slipway, controlled by a grader.
Tony lines the trailer up with Puddytat, this takes about an hour, and eventually he's satisfied and the hydraulics lift the pads and Puddytat is lifted slightly.

We're taken off Puddytat and watch the rest of the procedure from shore. A nerve racking time... for all of us.

Without any problems Puddytat is pulled out of the water and positioned over a special area that has built in drainage, She will be pressure washed and all that gunk stuck to her bottom is drained into a tank, so as to keep New Zealand's coastal seas clean.

David and I laboriously scrub Puddytat's bottom to get all the bits that the pressure wash couldn't get off. Some barnacles and oysters are especially stubborn and just don't want to let go. Finally at 15:30 (3.30 pm) we're done and we tell Tony that we're ready to be moved.

They bring the grader, hook up the trailer and push Puddytat into the place where we're going to spend the next 8 days... opposite Cat Wagon! Yay, they're friends of ours.

The sunset is gorgeous and we collapse with and exhausted sigh.. we've been going at this all day since 09:30 am and now it's 18;00 (6 pm)... WHEW.


  1. The first day out of the water is the hardest! Who am I kidding when you start to clean the bottom is. Then it goes up from there!