20 November 2016

At the Shipyard in France

We really have NO idea what we're doing.


We're kind of living on the boat. IN the shipyard. Up a TALL ladder.
While they're working on the boat. And until they open the canals again after the New Year. 
It's very weird, (and a very long drop to the ground-) but - I'm getting used to it.

The view is great.

In spite of the sailing lessons, and the boats we've chartered:
We really don't know much about boats.
 And nothing about buying and registering a live aboard boat in France.
It's not something you learn from books. Or blogs. You really have to spend LOTS of time - hours and hours, days and weeks and months - and slowly, it all becomes normal. -I guess.



We brought the boat down from the Canal du Midi to the shipyard by the Mediterranean, just before the locks close for the winter. No other boats moving.

The famous "Round Lock". Boats go through here. This is the last one before the Mediterranean.
We're learning about the systems: 
The 12-volt low voltage systems, bilge pumps, generators, corrosion, and macerators. We find that half the systems are located under the floorboards, others under the beds, some by removing the steps, and everything - basically - is a mystery. There are switches and cables and tubes and wires and ropes and tanks and engines and breakers and buckets and LOTS of old rags.
And remind me how that inverter works?

Stan and the surveyor from Marseilles, under the boat.
Spent a day with the surveyor, who tests the hull and the systems and who was excellent - as a former shipyard owner in Marseilles himself, he gave us a load of advice and information (which I wrote down) as he explained things patiently to us.

We really weren't clear even on simple things like 12 volt vs. shore power. There are propane tanks and a generator and a huge engine and various sets of batteries and switches. So many "Aha" moments - so THAT'S what this hole is for, so that's how that crank works, and that system and those pumps-! And the toilets and showers - remind me - where do they drain?

It was a GREAT lesson.  Totally worthwhile!
And: He thinks the boat is in good shape. Solid.

So: In this whole process, there are definite moments of: WHAT are we THINKING?
The guy in blue, Henri, brought up the boat single-handedly. Drove that thing right across the road, too.

And there are other moments, where, sitting on the aft deck in the shipyard, up some 18-20 feet in the air, drinking a glass of wine and watching the seagulls chase each other - I'm glad we took the leap. 
It doesn't look like it, but Stan is WAY above the water here! I can't believe they let us wander around unsupervised up here.

As the sun goes down over the Herault River and the Mediterranean - it seems like - even though we don't always feel comfortable with the whole process, it's working out. And: even if we left tomorrow, and never went a step further - it's already been a Magnificent Adventure! 


No comments:

Post a Comment