Saturday, 28 April 2012

The due date

It came to me this morning. This feels like the last week of pregnancy when a) everything seems to go into slow motion and b) you start to wonder why you haven't been scared before. There's no going back. The birth/launch of Enki is scheduled for next Thursday, May 3, at 10 am, and if there are whitecaps on the Rhone,  as there are today, we'll deal with those too.

The supermarket was selling potted lily-of-the-valley plants today. I missed the clue. Tuesday is May 1 which makes this a four-day weekend (the public holiday came as news to me over the loudspeaker as I cruised the aisles - the supermarket will be closed on Tuesday). That means the batteries won't be here until Wednesday. The French call it "making the bridge" - taking Monday off. Everyone will do it, or try to.

There's a southeasterly wind howling through the yard now, so we've lost the polar chill.  Families have begun arriving in station wagons with northern European number plates, luggage pressed up hard against all rear windows. Flashy Italian and German sports cars are appearing in the car park too, with a different kind of driver.

There are some very big and expensive boats here. I washed down Enki's mast this afternoon with a superyacht from Cowes looming over me. She's been in the shed for 18 months, Marcus tells me, while her three owners squabble over the cost of fixing her up. The quotes have come in at between $800,000 and a million dollars. Or was that euros? Either way, she's a rich man's obsession.

All boats are obsessions, really, even when they're as small as this little blue thing, tucked in between "serious" cruising yachts.  She's something like 22 feet long. Her owner lives aboard her year round, in the yard (there was a light snowfall this year in Port Napoleon). Brian's a little guy, useful for crawling into tight spaces, who works for the shipwrights in the green shed next to the boat. He loves boats, but he doesn't seem too fussed about whether or not they're in the water.

There are quite a few people like that at Port Napoleon. That's why getting the boat launched needs to be our obsession.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like ya'll are in it chin-deep. fear not, moonlit anchorages await!