Tuesday, 1 May 2012

On the first day of May

There are dismal days, like yesterday, when all that's asked of you is a smallish dollop of stamina and a side serve of faith, and you struggle to come up with much of either. Too many people are telling you non. Too few people recognise your face. Rain cancels Enki's anti-fouling date, and then the man who's got her prop, not to mention an unassembled set of davits, in his workshop phones to say he's just home from hospital.  He and his wife drove into a ditch on their way back from a wedding on Sunday morning. He's not asking for sympathy, simply letting Alex know he's out of action for the minute.

But then comes today and everything again seems possible. The sky is blue. There's a warm wind blowing in from Africa.  From our balcony I see a sail half-hoisted - a beautiful sight on the first day of spring. Even more remarkable than the weather's about-face is the presence of not one but several men working on our boat. On May Day.

Matthew moves his bruised torso cautiously (he blames the airbags) but there he is, up on the ladder at the stern, discussing the placement of the davits with Silvain, the charming but laggardly stainless-steel man.

And there's Paul inside the boat, solving the endless wiring problems put to him by his offsider with the stiff back (oh, did I mention the back before?). Under the boat there's yet another man, in overalls, pushing a roller. Bliss. He finishes the job by 4 pm, and Enki has a new blue coat of anti-foul paint.

While I wasn't looking today, Alex hung a lamp of exceptional elegance above the saloon table (a brave decision - just don't look beneath it). We've found a place above the switchboard for the framed print of Tawharanui,  one of my most favourite New Zealand beaches.

 Souvenirs of home, both of them, though the picture has always belonged on boats. We first hung it on Andiamo, the older model HR42 which Alex sold in 2009; then in the saloon of the lovely Kukka; and now here it is aboard Enki, much the biggest and most complex of our three boats but still recognisably related to her predecessors. May we sail with Enki, and the print, into New Zealand waters in the not too distant future, I say to myself. 

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