I don’t mind telling you that yesterday was something of a low-point in our nautical saga so far. That glass of chilled rosé to Bob Marley’s dulcet rhythms was ebbing into a dim and uncertain horizon. However, after a good night’s sleep I have regained my composure sufficiently to update you on the latest.
I tend to prefer to hear bad news first so the good news following takes some of the sting out.
So the bad news is: the boat is still in Holland. In fact, it is still here:
Apparently it tried to leave as planned, but within the first few miles of hard-driving through the Dutch inland waterways to try to identify any ‘kinks’ before it hit the Channel, the gearbox controls seized up and the steering went wibbly, so they had to turn back to get it all fixed. They also decided to sort the rusty-to-the-point-of-nonsense bollards out while they were at it. (These are all things that were identified in the survey as issues that should be looked at, so not a total shocker.)
At no point did it occur that we might need to know any of this, hence our (o.k.: my) spectacular frustration yesterday when we learned it wasn’t anywhere near Dunkirk, let alone Kent, in fact it seemed to be going BACKWARDS.
We don’t know how quickly the boatyard will be able to do the work, or consequently when it’ll be ready to leave said boatyard, traverse Holland and the Channel, and pitch up at the Medway for a week before finally stopping at Barking Creek.
We’ve now got to work out what to do with the cat for the foreseeable before he starts tearing M’s house down, and we’ll be paying mooring fees from the 1st May regardless.
The good news is: the boat is found. Everyone is safe. It may not look like it from where we’ve been standing, but things are going forwards and R is doing his best to get it all done as quickly as possible (albeit at the whim of the boatyard, who have other things to do than pander to my dramatics).
We have established (I HOPE) the need for clearer lines of communication in general, and specifically should any more problems arise.
The boatyard the work is being done at is possibly the best in Holland, they’re going to be physically removing and re-welding our shitty bollards and sorting all those mechanics out (jobs we wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of doing ourselves), and all this work is happening on our broker’s tab as part of the arrangement, which is actually completely amazing.
We have found and secured ourselves a great London mooring which is now ready and waiting for us whenever we’re ready to arrive, and it’s extremely reassuring having spoken to them at length this morning to learn how common all this faffing about is. I suppose it goes without saying, but we don’t know many people who’ve bought boats like this before so concrete reassurance that all these nautical niggles are perfectly normal is hard to come by.
We are stupid-lucky to have lovely, welcoming friends and family with room for us to stay – with cat – for as long as we need.
The cat is fine – a bit of cabin-fever perhaps, but safe and well, and not cowering in abject misery in the far corner under the bed.
Also: we’re heading into the sunshine, so everything is looking a little bit sparklier than it did before.
I have a new mantra: The plan is there is no plan.
And (thanks Gio): Eyes on the prize.