|Boat painting in progress last Monday|
Moving on every few days or weeks we meet many people but rarely get to know anyone very well. The downside of being at anchor is that you don’t get to talk to neighbouring boats as easily as in a marina unless you make an effort and dinghy over to them to introduce yourself or take time to go and greet crews that you met on the dock in another harbour a few weeks or months ago. Ashore you might get brief snippets of conversation with shop or bar staff. However whenever anyone turns up somewhere new the locals will always be reserved; after all why invest in building a closer relationship when the visitor will be gone in a few days or weeks?
|Pondering about mast fittings|
|Inside Crystal Claire before the paintwork was completed|
Like many of the islanders Andy owns a multi-faceted business, in his case a bar cum internet café cum laundry and probably a few other things we’ve yet to discover! His passion though is for sailing and he has been overseeing the build of a double-ender (so called ‘cos bow and stern are identical) for Chris, a Geordie with a second home on the island who seems to be on a mission to put something back into the community that has welcomed him and his family. Andy rapidly had Kevin contributing experience, tools and practical effort to the rigging of the boat in return for a place on the crew in the Easter Regatta.
|The Vicar watching over the mast lift |
with owner Chris and his wife Claire
Getting these 20 odd foot long boats with their overhanging lowered masts and sprits onto a boat trailer required lots of muscle power involving most of the local men and several willing cruisers. Brenton who has painted Crystal Claire immaculately directed operations, anxious about his gleaming white and blue finish. Then boat and trailer had to be man-handled past the various palm trees leaning at awkward angles across the yard, round the corner of the buildings to the narrow driveway, then up the rails that form both a cattle grid type crossing over the deep gutter and a ramp out of the yard, ready to cross the main road. The latter is not that wide but can be busy with minibuses and taxis coming and going between ferry quay, the airport over the hill and the informal parking along the beach side.
|Andy and Kevin securing the forstay|
|Across the yard Slip Away is having some final touches|
|Some of the audience/boat lifters wait on the boat trolley|
|Leaning palm trees don't help!|
|Through the gate over the gutter and across the road to the beach|
|The Vicar (left) minus his cassock recording the moment |
Crystal Claire left his churchyard
|Afloat - ready to raise the mast|
|Dylan and Slip Away make the beach|
|Young Akeem sitting protectively on Crystal Claire|
watching Slip Away being launched