The Haul Out, Panic Attacks and Bottom Paint

This will all be on Episode 5 on our YouTube series, but because I can’t be filming 24/7, I wanted to write about the experience as well. At least my perspective and experience with the haul out.

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There is really no way you can prepare yourself to see your boat, your entire HOME being lifted out of the water with a big giant machine… especially when its being done by someone who appears to REALLY not know what on earth they’re doing (and who, after 45 minutes fully admits that this isn’t his regular job and he doesn’t have experience with it because the ‘other guy’ is home with his wife and new baby). Then to see that home being propped up by what look like very precariously stacked posts/on chunks of wood… knowing that a storm front is supposed to be coming in. Its just… indescribably odd and nerve wracking.

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Once it was set up and there was a set up stairs ready to climb, I realized that I was feeling a bit nervous about it. Not terrified or anything, but I definitely had this pit of nervous energy in my stomach and it took me a while before I finally got the nerve to climb up. As soon as I was up, I was feeling really nervous about falling off. Or the boat falling over. I sat there for a while and just couldn’t get the nervous feeling to go away, so I climbed back down. There was no reason for me to be up there at that point, anyway. I jokingly told Patrick that I was sleeping on the ground the entire time we were on the hard.

I wasn’t the only one, either. Paris had Jazz go set up the tent for the night!

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Then there was the running of the errands (all of which cost money, so there was also stress of the seemingly never ending money pit)

  • Taxi to get a rental car
  • Rental car
  • Supplies for bottom paint (did I mention that bottom paint, basic, boring colors costs $150 a Gallon? And we needed at minimum 3 gallons? Ouch!)

Plus Epoxies, fiberglass repairs, sanding pads for the sanders, paint supplies, rollers, brushes, etc. It all added up so freaking fast.

That night I climbed up onto the boat. I calmly made it up the rickety stairs that they put up. I got to the swim ladder and momentarily froze.

I KNOW it will hold me. I mean, I THINK I know it will hold me. I stopped and asked Patrick if he was really really really positive that the swim ladder would hold my weight even out of the water.

“Yes” he said from inside our cabin, probably shaking his head that I was being silly.

“Are you SURE?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

SO I stepped on the swim ladder and as fast as I could I got up onto the swim platform. Then came the heaving of my big ass up onto the back deck. Its a bit of a struggle (I swear every damn step/stair/get up on it on this boat is either made for a very short person, or a very tall person.) I’m always afraid that I’m going to lose my balance and topple backwards when I climb up onto the deck. This is bad enough when I think of making an ass of myself and falling in the water. Its a very different feeling when THIS is what I’d be falling onto:

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That is a metal ‘stairway’ with those metal grated steps under the swim platform (which would also hurt to fall on).

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I started to feel this internal shaky thing. I brushed it off. I felt tears stinging my eyes and felt like I was just being stupid. I heaved and landed on the deck. I sat there a moment, breathing and just trying to feel… calm again. Then I stood up, grabbed my backpack and started across the deck.

Every step I took had me feeling more and more shaky. The tears were closer to the surface and my hear felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. The whole time I was feeling pretty pissed off that I was being so ridiculous about this, but by the time I reached the pilot house I was sobbing and having a hard time catching my breath.

Unfortunately, Abyni was standing right there and saw me, which made her freak out and then she and Patrick both came out to reassure me. I was clinging onto the post of the pilot house and I just could not calm myself down for a bit. Again, in my brain there was one part going “Calm the hell down, you’re fine! Sheesh!” and the other part screaming “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! You’re going to break the boat! Everything is going to be ruined!” or whatever incoherent things I must have been thinking.

Anyway… long story short, Patrick got me down. We went to a hotel. I then freaked out over the cost of a hotel. 🙁 STRESS.

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The whole time in the hotel I just kept thinking, “Why is there SO MUCH SPACE? What is the point???” It was a little weird.

Then we did the math:

  • Hotel $110. a night vs. Boat Yard $50 extra to stay on the boat
  • Hotel= Hot Showers vs. Boat Yard = cold, trickling showers
  • Hotel= WiFi vs. Boat Yard = WiFi is down due to lightning strike
  • Hotel= Pet friendly vs. Boat Yard (after telling us on the phone they accepted pets) “We usually don’t like to have pets here” after we got there.
  • Hotel = Oven, microwave, cable, laundry facilities… Boat Yard = … boat + electricity

Keep in mind that eating out for ONE meal with the 6 of us, even at a fast food place is $50+ and hitting a sit down place, even an inexpensive one like Denny’s is no less than $80.00 once you add a tip. We figured that with an oven, we could have good food from the grocery store and spend less on food as well as all get CLEAN after working on the boat all day. We found GREAT sales and had food we hadn’t seen in two months (frozen pizzas taste pretty freaking divine when you’ve been without an oven for a while… not to mention BROWNIES and biscuits and gravy 😉

It still cost us money, but it was nice to get clean and have a bit of an escape from the boat being on the hard (that stressed everyone out… I can’t believe how much we missed the water after only being on the boat for two months!) and it was nice to have clean clothes and hot showers.

So, I never did sleep back on the boat. On the two nights that the hotel was not available, I slept in the back of the rental car. I just didn’t even want to risk the panic attack again. If we’d been planning to stay longer, I’d have sucked it up and tried again, but with all of the other stresses… I just wasn’t in the mood to push my stress levels any higher.

We are SO ready to be back on the water. Hopefully by the time you read this, we’ll be back on the water, doing our provisioning and preparing to head to the Bahamas! (Or we’ll already have been in the Bahamas for months because you didn’t see this post until April. Or years, because… damn, I could do this all day.

Thanks for reading. Please don’t laugh at me too much.

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STILL SO glad that we did the haul out. The crew all worked together and we got stuff done quick and efficiently. We all work really well together. We also discovered a BIG patch that needed to be taken care of ASAP where the barnacles were dug into bare wood on the main hull. YIKES! Its all patched up now with new bottom paint and the keep is fixed as well. If you’re interested in that process, the video should be up early next month! 🙂 Plus, she looks SO much better with new bottom paint!

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The good part, I suppose, is that everyone was just anxious to get back on the water. I was a little nervous that TV and hotel amenities would make the kids wish we could just stay on land, but they were chomping at the bit the whole time to just get back on the water. I think that’s saying a lot, since we really haven’t had that many great days ON the water yet!

P.S. The most RIDICULOUS part of all of this is that I was just fine being UNDER the boat. I worked under it all week… I had an occasionally flash of anxiety, but in general I was just fine. WTF?

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