Notes from the Shipyard

HeidiThe alarm goes off at 6am. It’s still dark and I can hear the rain on Hemisphere Dancer’s aluminum coach house.

Stephen and I don our raingear and quietly slip outside without waking Brian. As we walk the footpath along the Fraser River, Vancouver is already humming with the sounds of traffic. We spot a Great Blue Heron wading in the shallows and can hear widgeons sqeaking like rubber bath tub toys. We are pretty tired but we rarely miss these morning walks: it’s the most peaceful part of a day usually filled with the sounds of welders and grinders as we work on Achiever’s refit.

The three of us share a brief breakfast before we start another busy day. Let the grinding begin! Stephen and I have been following Roland and his son Marc, as they weld the new coach house on Achiever we grind the welds smooth. As the monotonous noise buzzes through my earplugs I daydream of wolves and rivers full of salmon. Soon I’m interupted to run a few errands. I’m secretly pleased to give my arms a break from the numbing powertool.

My hands aren’t strong enough for all the work involved, but I happily prepare meals and pickup supplies so no one else has to slow down. There’s always plently to do and before you know it, my eyelids are drooping before
I finish my evening cup of tea. As I fall asleep exhausted I think about using the muscles I’m developing in the shipyard to pull in a sail or paddle up a river next summer when Achiever is back on the coast!

Heidi Krajewskyk

Achiever Captain and Crew
From a Vancouver shipyard
February 2005

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