Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Littlehampton Rest Home for Lost Tugs.


We made it. The Pilot and Harbourmaster boarded us while we lay at anchor about a mile off the harbour entrance (where the above pic was taken), and Storebror delivered Wendy Ann 2 to Littlehampton at spring high water on Wednesday 11th March. Becky, Mark and Pete were all at the berth to take ropes and pull us in. There were no problems, but you’ll have to wait for all the action pictures.

Clearly, I’m a little overdue in reporting this fact, various friends and family members are already aware of this rather old news. This is largely because I chose to remain on board and keep an eye on our treasure while she settled into her new home- when the tide goes out, Wendy sits down on the mud and is left high and dry- so amongst other things ropes needed adjusting. And everything has changed- so much that I dithered over whether to title this blog entry ‘The End’.
Certainly I’ve recently gone through a bit of a personal apocalypse, from a couple of weeks before the launch where I felt I could accomplish anything; to now, when a sense of powerlessness prevails. All the recent internet chat about engines, which although I know is well intentioned, only serves to add to my current frustration- here’s why.
The first ten days at our new home were a literal return to the dark ages; unforeseen problems with obtaining shore power meant that when the sun went down, that was it. Candlepower was all I had. No toilet on board meant long walks to find the local public loos, followed a few days later by constipation, resignation and the use of a bucket. Becky thinks I’m obsessed with poo, maybe I am (a bit)- but there’s something satisfying and poetic about having a dump on your own boat, and anyway I have a suspicion that the bucket bit at least is an experience common to many liveaboarders at some point in their life on their vessel.
After a week of coming home to darkness after work, Jan kindly lent me the small emergency petrol generator that Storebror keeps on board, and I lugged it on board Wendy Ann before starting it up, plugging in a bunch of lights and a stereo, and rejoicing. This took some time. The next day I enjoyed discovering which power tools it’ll run.
So the only engines we'll be getting for now will be for a generator, however, even that will be a huge investment for us.
The financial times that Becky and I are currently enduring are seriously not pretty, the launch and all the final mad dash that led up to it was Expensive to say the least. I ran out of gas earlier in the week, and was too scared of bouncing loan payments to buy any more for a couple of days. Therefore I didn’t eat (in the dark), I just went to bed. We need our wallets to recover a little before embarking on the next step, so for now I’m commanded by employers and partner to rest, relax and enjoy the scenery. Something I’m almost managing.

20 Comments:

Blogger Tim Zim said...

HI Seb

She's looking good in her new home:)

Things will work out fine with even a small generator for now (no welding or compressors though).

Oh, and get those batteries sorted so lights/telly in the evening are not a problem.

6:53 pm  
Anonymous snowbiker said...

Hang in there man! You might not have the luxuries that we landlubbers take for granted, but you have the sea air and a stunningly beautiful boat that you get to wake up on. I'm sure you can scrounge a camping stove and stock up on some cheap eats. Take care of yourself and I'm sure it'll all work out. Good luck to both of ya', you're an inspiration.
-erik

2:33 am  
Blogger steve said...

We've had a few of those moments ourselves, particularly 'money running out' ones, plus for the first month of us owning the boat we couldn't use the toilet. It's tough, but just remember that, like erik says, you have this amazing boat that is finally out of the tent and out in the world, and hopefully you can use the enforced break to take life a little easier for a bit.

She looks so good!

3:48 pm  
Blogger steve said...

p.s. looking at the photos linked to from your mum's blog the spot you're now in look idyllic, really nice. As the weather continues to improve you'll be really ble to enjoy the life you've been working so hard towards

3:52 pm  
Blogger bowiechick said...

Oh boy do I know how you feel!

Alas living on a generator last winter almost killed us off. But we made it and now have the shore power and things are happier now.

IT looks so beautiful! Keep going! Rah, rah, rah!

4:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have often wondered where Becky got all this 'boat' thing from, now I know. I have been researching our family history, and have found that a number of our ancestors were bargemen, wharfingers, bargemasters, unversity watermen, and fishermen. In fact one of them has even been described as " the W.G. Grace of punting ", and was photographed by Henry Taunt.

Well done to both of you. As I said, Wendy Ann 2 "Rocks"

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/582081

Pa.

10:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoist the mainsail! (U don't have 1) Have been searchin tinterweb 4 u now&then & now I found u! I'v been catching up on ur barnacles & bilgewater blog. U know all about steepest learning curve! FIX UP! U must get in touch me old pardner in grime. We still miss u here in sunny Dankchester & wud luv to catch up? u old foto-fool we miss u meester: mischief maker fotograf taker f*** u all later underage heartbreaker -it's al baker!

12:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If u want dudemeister (coz i'm having trouble with 21st century) my email is Alasdair.Baker@trafford.ac.uk & my mobile is the same as it always was. So much to say so little space to say it. Or time. Space & time. Aren't they both just human abstractions of an imperceptible totality? Yeah, I think so too.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just a space cowboy I'm just a twentieth century boy (using 19th century technology) yeah! It's no good I can't log on. Made my own profile & everything. Just to try an' talk to you. Well, not talk exactly but after 6 years its the best I can hope for. Send us an email u elusive bugger. Live long -Drink shrimp milk!

1:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you have to get a pilot and the harbourmaster because you were in tow from a commercial vessel? Or is it compulsory for that port?

chris / sydney, AU

9:02 am  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

Hi Chris,

A bit of both really. In tow from a commercial vessel into a tricky narrow harbour entrance. The commercial vessel in question is 0.4M shorter than the length at which it becomes compulsory for the port of L/hampton, so in a way it was courtesy, and the wish for things to not go wrong, that led to me accepting pilotage. That and the fact that two tugs, steaming side by side through the harbour entrance was a somewhat dominating sight, I'm told. Anyhow- despite various locals telling me after the fact that I could've got away without pilotage (every buggers an expert eh?) I'm glad I did, they were an extremely helpful prescence indeed.

S.

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