Friday, 17 May 2013

High and dry

Drying out with the fishermen
Still in Audierne. Great place to wait for the weather though. We've got a lot of boat jobs done, big and small. At last we found a French harbour where it's still permitted to dry boats out on the slipways and work on them there, rather than having to lift out in a boat yard and pay handsomely for the use of their 'special' facilities.

The spot used by the fishing boats looked by far the best bet so we slipped in behind them on a very conveniently timed tide (HW 0830). The state of the hull wasn't too awful, considering the nearly 8 months spent immobile in the water at Mortagne, but it did need to be done. We waded in, with wetsuits and wellies, while the water was still knee-high, it being easier to scrub with the rinse water right there and needing the time. All was clean and painted by the time the water came lapping back up. The fishermen cut it a bit fine, as may be seen in the photo. They did curse when a passing powerboat threw its wake up under them while they were still painting. The beaching legs sported by nearly every boat here are immensely practical. Maybe Fettler will be getting a pair sometime.

It's always a long day, slipping the boat and working on her over a tide and one is well tired out by the end of it, but there's also something of a post-exam elation about it when everything is finished up successfully. The evening and the next day were most enjoyable.

The small fry have a problem
Really nice walks around here. On a stroll up the river yesterday, we passed a boat yard with many an old wreck adorning the shore either side. It's quite something to have a close look at the remains of these vessels which were once somebody's pride and joy, as well as their livelihood.

A skeleton in the cemetery of boats
Even in decay are they magnificent
Decks need swabbing

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