20 Jan 2020

Woke up early in the morning with misty rain and no wind, we tried to sail down the river but only moved 200m and was always pushed aside by the current. Can only anchor and wait. The shipyard appointment was at 10:30. Try to find a tow boat, the shipyard does not provide this service; call the coast guard, asking for $360; call a guy who could come and give us a tow on his way, asking for $400, I heard J bargain with him for $100 on the phone, I thought why not get a board and write down the price and ask for help, just do it! Looking around the cabin, I found a decorative picture of debating monks in Tibet, about A2 in size. The blank back was an ideal canvas. I wrote ‘$100 for a TOW’ with black acrylic paint and a large brush. As I wrote, I thought that the Buddha might bring us good luck.

A catamaran named Peggy-Anne sailed towards us from behind, and J stood on the side of our boat shyly, raised his sign, and shook it. An elder man and his wife, and a dog came out of the boat. The man asked where to go, J said Boat Works. The man nodded, turned the bow without hesitating and took the rope we threw to his stern, towing us smoothly to the destination, half an hour earlier than the appointment time. It was later we learned that one of the two engines on his boat was failed, and it was not easy to tow a boat with just one engine on the side. I put the $100 note and a thank-you note written by J in a ziplock bag, and put it in a Pringles container, then place it in a plastic bag with an orange, tied it with rope and let J throw it over, the old lady waved her hand saying no need for money, she said that she hope someone will help them if they have trouble in the future. J threw the bag over anyway. (Afterword, a few days later, the man drove to the shipyard to return the money to us, and we knew his name is Noam. I have to do a painting for them.)

Entering the Boat works is like entering the assembly line. It is methodical. The staff are very friendly and make people feel at ease. The boat was first hoisted by two large straps, and we saw the bottom of the boat, various aquatic organisms formed a big sponge-like thing on the keel. No wonder we sailed at turtle speed. The workers used high-pressure water guns to wash the bottom of the ship, and then the mottled paint was exposed. Like abstract paintings, it was actually very artistic.

The boat was taken to the reserved position, m fixed on stands, and the hard work was officially started. We spent whole afternoon scraping and sanding the peeling old paint. At the end of the day, J was like a black boy, his lips were extra red and his eyes were bright. At last, I could take a hot shower and had dinner with Robbie who came and visited at night.


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