There are two really bad moments when you live on a boat… Getting lifted out, and being dropped back in, with the latter verb hopefully metaphorical in nature!
Saturday the tenth of May was Free’s official start to summer and my nerves were frayed as the huge crane arrived to execute this aerial manoeuvre.
There are so many things possible to go wrong, that one can become a little fatalistic and blasé about the whole affair. Surely a man who makes his living lifting boats in and out of the water isn’t going to drop mine onto the concrete and destroy my only home? I must confess to forcing myself to watch the whole drama with the same nerve as fronting out any North Sea blow.
Eventually, thank Njörd, Free was lowered safely into the water and then the second obstacle had to be encountered… Will she float? Do I hear a few chuckles? Well, okay I am being a little dramatic perhaps, but the various hull fittings have dried during the long period out of the water so water could leak in initially.
However, my trusty companion remained happy and dry inside, for the wet stuff stayed mercifully on the other side of her hull. Obstacle number two tackled.
The final part of the jigsaw was starting Polly, my faithful old Perkins diesel engine, after so long asleep in her anti-freeze womb. No problem there either.
So the big day came and went, and once again I have to thank Micke and the lovely people of Borka Brygga for all their help throughout the winter. I have grown very fond of the area and its folk and wonder what they think about this strange, tall woman clumping around the place in her famous sea boots!
For the next few weeks I will slowly prepare Free for her sea trials, as well as fit a new radar cable. There is a lot to do, but plenty of time to do it in as the weather is still very cold up north. One step at a time as they say, but for now there is everything I need… friends, warm hospitality, a home, fresh air, forests and a beautiful big sky with that sublime light to lull me asleep.
What more can a Viking girl need?