Wednesday, 23 July 2008

July on Monty B

I've left it far too long between posts to fill in all the details which is a real shame but there is good reason for it. I am experiencing the alien state of being very busy. Not something I'm particularly used to I have to say but now that the shock has worn off, I am having a brilliant time.

Our lives have been a combination of working hard for peanuts (looking after a beautiful 54 Hanse yacht and making her shine, for a nice boss who is just starting out in the charter business) and having the time of our lives taking people out for “A Day out on Monty B” (for generous donations). It is the best job in the world – we are completely in our element and though I do say it myself, we make a great team and are providing people with a top day out. We have also been doing sunset cruises: swimming at sundown in the middle of the bay with the engine off, G&Ts on deck whilst the sun sets behind the mountains. Everyone, including us, having a fantastic time. It is just so good. And we've made some new friends in the process.

But then you get the occasional bad luck day – like the other day – where, en route to pick up some Russians to take sailing, the bolts holding the windlass to the deck sheared off and if it hadn't been for Tim throwing himself onto the windlass, the whole lot would have gone overboard together with our anchor and chain (a very expensive fuck up). Then our guests didn't turn up and whilst waiting for them on the quayside, we were hit by a huge wash which sent the fenders and us flying and resulted in a scratched topside. Bugger. Some speedy releasing of lines and rapid departure prevented further damage but it was quite a shock and reminded us how dangerous quaysides can be and how our happiness is such a fragile thing which could gone in an instant if Monty B were seriously damaged.

As well as our boat cleaning and the tiny beginnings of our Monty B business, I am also working as “Boat Bitch” for a friend of ours who has a flashy Four Winns motor boat thing. My job is primarily to stop the boat hitting anything when we are moving and mooring up, tying good knots and looking like a hero when I drag up the (very light) anchor by hand / oh, and smiling lots. I get a free restaurant lunch, have a laugh and there's usually some booze chucked in. It's a 12 hour day though and I'm totally knackered by the end of it – ah, poor Squiresey! Tim would've got the job had he been more generously endowed in the chest region, apparently. I will ignore that for the sake of needing the cash at the moment. I also have to endure the humilation of tearing around in a motor boat, which goes too fast and plays loud R&B. I hide behind my shades but being blonde and buxom (rather than dark and skinny), I am a bit too easy to spot around here.

The best bit of news we've had in a long time involved one of those chance encounters that we so often seem to have. A beautiful 60 foot yacht called Aralus has shared our anchorage in Prcanj for the last month. The skipper and hostess were sitting out a few weeks before heading to Croatia to meet the owner. It was great to have some boaty mates as we are normally all alone at anchor here. Imy was a bright, tall and exceptionally generous spirited English woman and Pete, a true Aussie salty sea dog who had the reassuring air of someone you would trust with your life. To cut a long story short, Pete has breathed new life into Monty B by assessing our hull/rig situation and he reckons that our problems are nothing as bad as we had first thought.

He loved our boat and well impressed by our incredibly strong and well built rig. His analysis, after removing paneling to expose the hull, was that it may need a bit of fiberglass/metal strut reinforcement but other than that, it is absolutely sound. The rig HAD been over-tightened in Greece (our rig is, in fact, so strong that something had to give – in this case, the hull) and superficial damage had been done but there was no evidence of any structural damage to the hull. We will be doing the reinforcement work over the winter but for now, we are safe to sail in anything other than very strong winds.

And it is wonderful. It is so fantastic getting the sails back up and learning to sail once more.