Dad’s away, Captain Neon save’s the day. Good thing we don’t actually have to go anywhere as I can’t reach the controls.
Peter mentioned in his Tech Talk 5 that we had other things going on during our last boat lift out; it was indeed a bit more stressful that usual.
I have noticed that life seems to throw things at you in sets (rather like waves) – ours was a four-week period across the months of April and May. It started with Peter and his brother Greg racing down to Bairnsdale in Victoria (hoping not to get caught in another COVID shutdown) to be with their Father, Alex, as he died. Then the whole sorting out practicalities for Jill (their Mum). This all happened at the same time as we were finalizing the purchase of a unit in Noosa so while he was away, I was negotiating the purchase of what we hoped would be our new land-base and making sure the boat tradies were all ready for the upcoming lift for works we had planned to be done at the Boatworks. I also lined up John Mac our friend, to skipper the boat to the lift if Peter didn’t get back in time*Suz Note below.
When Peter did get back, he thought he would fit in his annual medical checkup. He mentioned to the Doctor, in passing, that he was feeling a little ache in his chest when riding up really steep hills on his bike. The Doctor booked him in for the standard stress test at a local clinic, where they noticed a little something, but weren’t too sure (they also mentioned that he was very fit – please don’t feed the ego). So, he was booked for an MRI the day before we put the boat up on the hard for her week of furious work. We received an ‘oh shit’ phone call from the specialist after the MRI, to say come in for an immediate appointment and by the way please stop doing anything stressful! Peter was booked in for an angiogram, where the surgeon found a 95% blockage of his left coronary artery!! Medical technology is amazing – while talking to Peter during the angiogram (it’s all done through a little hole in his wrist while he was awake), the surgeon installed a stent (a little coil that holds the artery walls open).
The boat was lifted back into the water the day after Peter left hospital. I did get John to skipper the boat for the return, as Peter was not legally allowed to drive yet. And we finally bought our land-base on the Sunshine Coast the following week.
Interestingly, we assumed that the blockage was due to Peter’s previous lifestyle (too much time in corporate airport lounges), but it seems not – it’s unlucky genes (Mother-in-Law did have incredibly high cholesterol in Laos, and she only ate bean sprouts and rice, and Father-In-Law had 3 stents). We have now told all the family to get checked out and all friends not ignore any, even little, unusual aches. Oddly enough, it is because Peter is now very fit that he ended up having the heart procedure. He would not otherwise have noticed the wee ache and would have just dropped dead on me, suddenly and with no other warning (95%!!!).
And John cannot believe that we had all the planned boat works done on time and were back in the water on schedule. No point in buying any more lottery tickets as I think we have used up all our luck.
* Suz note – I know I should by now be moving the boat when berthing (as Peter points out, I do most of the driving in tight, reefy areas and channels, so I have the skills) but I haven’t yet been able to conquer the stage fright that comes on in marinas full of shiny boats and people.
Boat Works (and not all of it is on Opal Lady)
Peter helping John Mac with his anchor rollers. It is nice when we can pay back some of the help he has given us. This is apparently Peter not doing much pre his angiogram.
The same job, but Peter and John are on the far right. The photo is to show the huge white pavilion that has been erected to cover the superyacht ‘Lady Christine’ while it gets a $2million paint job. (Did we mention there are some very nice boats here).
Boat Works – The Lady’s Perspective
Well, talk about body shaming; she won’t fit into her allotted shed.
Trying to make the best showing in a most unflattering plastic skirt; not really her style. The guys work under the skirt, with a huge vacuum cleaner, so there is no dust from the sand blasting going over other boats. [Technical detail; Affordable Antifoul only use garnet sand sourced from WA as it contains very little rock contamination that causes the dust problem].
Oh dear, now she is nude! Ten years of black (and a variety of other colours) antifoul paint has been sand blasted off. She gets re-dressed in 3 new layers of epoxy (to keep water out) and a new and higher reaching double layer of antifoul paint (in a Chanel approved basic black).
As every dresser knows it’s the foundation that sets you up for a good look, although the epoxy is a hideous brown and there is a disconcertingly large amount of green bogging (the antifoul guys said her hull was remarkably smooth compared to most of the boats they see – I bet they say that to all the girls).
On to more mundane jobs;
We ran the chain out for a repaint of the length-markers while we waited for tradespeople (I could have told him most normal people don’t start work before 7am).
You just can’t keep a Beilby down. Pugwash straight from the hospital, sticking his nose into some poor tradesman’s business (Watsons doing the shaft check) – Mr. MicroManager. From his years of managing mines, he has developed a lovely ‘I’m working with you’ style of being in someone’s face.
And John Mac is no better. He turned up early for the lift back into the water and thought he’d pass the time by touching up the new antifoul.
I just stayed out of the way and played in the anchor locker.
And what do they do with the ever-loyal ship’s first-mate …. Off to the much-despised cat hotel with him. I’m sure I have mentioned that I don’t like other cats, or strange people, or new experiences in general, or hot weather, or cold weather…
But I find I quite like the new door mat – it contrasts rather nicely with this ever so handsome orange feline.