Monday, August 24, 2009

So, we are parked at Lookout Point off the coast of North Carolina.  Our good fortune has continued as the weather is spectacular.  Fair skies and calm seas has been our story thus far.

This particular anchorage is the deepest water we have ever 'dropped the hook'.  The distance from the keel down to the sea bed was 26 feet and the water was so clear, you could see all the way to the bottom. 

This whole boating experience has been somewhat like a marriage.  We have gone through the courtship phase where we took Maya out a few times before making any commitments.  We met her parents, the previous owners.  We got to know her 'family' by looking at other Defevers and talking to their owners.  We made a proposal and got accepted.  The 'wedding' ceremony itself was a bit of a blur.  It, like our own wedding, was over in a blink of an eye and before we knew it, we were a couple.

While we were 'dating' Maya, we were just awestruck with her beauty.  From stem to stern and from top to bottom, she was a ten.  We weren't interested in seeing any other boats after we met Maya.  She was 'the one'.  Oh, there were a few brokers who tried to get us to go out on their boats, but in our hearts we knew no other could compare.

Now we are on to the honeymoon phase.  Honeymoons are an interesting phenomena.  For the most part, they can be a lot of fun.  Some people think of a honeymoon as a chance to take an exotic vacation with their newly acquired partner.  Others make their honeymoons a period of rest and relaxation after the whirlwind of excitement of the preceding months has finally come to an end.  If you haven't done that 'living together' thing prior to your nuptials, honeymoons can be a time of discovery too.

Up until now, all we saw in Maya was her beauty.  Our rose colored glasses were fixed solidly upon our heads.  Don't get me wrong, Maya is still a ten, however our honeymoon cruises exposed some flaws that we hadn't noticed before.  Lets just say there were some idiosyncrasies.  For instance, Maya looks great when she is all made up. That is, when she is clean and spotless.  After she sits in a marina for a few weeks though, she needs a lot of work to look good again.  Maya is also expensive.  I am not saying she is 'high maintenance' but there are some costs associated with having a boat that we did not anticipate.  Finally, in a few years, we are going to have to take Maya out of the water and send her to a plastic surgeon.  There are some cracks in her paint and of course she will need a bottom job.  The engines will need to be overhauled and most likely we will update her interior. 

But, we are on our honeymoon and those thoughts are miles away.  For now, we are happy as clams, enjoying getting to know each other.  We are in love.

So back to our deep water anchorage.  

Maya had been having a few problems below the water line.  Some were our fault.  Running over the top of crab traps and getting lines tangled around her running gear don't make for a smooth running boat.  Other issues were caused by little things living in the ocean.  Barnacles.

Maya has a special paint on her hull and keel that make it difficult for things to live and grow on her.  This paint is designed to wear away slowly and anything that wants to stick to it will tend to be cast off rather easily.  Barnacles love to make their homes on the bottoms of boats and Maya is no exception.  Many boat owners hire divers to swim under their boats and scrape off whatever is growing there.  It doesn't take too long but if you don't clean it regularly, the accumulation of those critters will adversely affect your performance, and could damage your craft.

This particular anchorage gave me the perfect opportunity to dive under Maya and check out the barnacle situation.  The water was clear and warm and I had nothing better to do at that particular moment.  So, I grabbed a scraper from our toolbox and jumped over the side.  All in all, Maya was in pretty good shape.  That special paint was doing a great job keeping those critters off the bottom.  What I did find was that the paint didn't work so well in keeping them off the propellers and rudders.  There were tons of them pasted all over the place.  Luckily it was easy to scrape them off but it did take a long time.

One thing about barnacles though.  They are very sharp.  They will cut you like a knife.  I found this out when I came up for a short break.  My hands were covered in blood, which unfortunately, was my own.  My hands were also covered in the blue ablative paint we have on the bottom.  I found that it also comes off when you rub against it.  Upon further inspection, my clothes, hair and skin were all covered with the paint.  I was a mess.  I looked a little like those guys from the Blue Man group, except I have more hair (for once).  

Well, Kim hauled me out of the water and fixed up my wounds.  We were able to get most of the paint off and after awhile, I was feeling good as new again.  

The honeymoon we are on is far from over, however in the short time we have been together, we have garnered a newfound respect for Maya and the sea upon which she travels.  We have found that if we take care of each other, things will be just fine.