July 18: 22%
July 25: 21%
July 31: 19-1/2%
The numbers scrawled on our hull in black marker tell a story. The fact that they are declining, that’s good. The fact that they are declining very slowly, that’s not so good. These numbers represent the moisture meter readings that the marina is taking every week to determine when we have dried out enough for the paint to adhere properly. Since we’ve been living aboard, the boat has been in the water year-round for ten years, so it’s hardly surprising that it’s wet. But here’s the thing: In the manufacturer’s happy world, the hull would dry to 10% or less before we applied the new paint. At this current rate of decline, that would be … let me think now … November. How does November sound? Have we got anything to do between now and November?
We’ve settled in for the long haul, here on dry land. Our air conditioner and refrigerator both need seawater to work properly; we’ve invested in an apartment-window-type air conditioner unit and a dorm style fridge. Both are smaller and less powerful than what we’re used to, but they’re helping to make life on the hard a little less like camping out.
What do we do? Read, write, socialize, take day trips, work on boat projects (when it’s not too hot; in fact there are some projects best done on dry land.) In short, other than the obvious exception of sailing, we do pretty much whatever we’d do if we were in the water. Which is as it should be, because in fact we are at home, same friends, same community, just our home has been temporarily relocated slightly. And the other thing we do? Wait. I’m pretty certain we will work to find a solution that doesn’t involve sitting on this hill until November – when it would be too cold to paint anyway. I’m not so good at waiting. I’d rather watch paint dry.