Behind the battered marina wall – rapidly repaired following the thrashing of storms – the boatyard is bulging with tacky bottoms awaiting their annual wipe by owners who
dream of rippling bluish seas and sultry skies. Propped up on plinths doting owners pamper their water borne pride – preparing for a new season of sea going fun.
Swanky yachts stand proud anticipating expensive fitting out, dwarfing older wooden boats, whose flaky paint and grainy gunnels await attention from no less caring owners.
A mash up of machinery, cables, tools, grease and grinding – suffused with smells – not of sea salt but solvents. The boatyard makes a gritty contrast to the concrete playground of landlubbing visitors’ to the marina – who flood generic eateries to cradle pints of lager, clutch cappuccinos and fantasise about a lazy life at sea. Here the hard graft of boating is underway, as owners (or their flunkies) undertake the grubby business of the annual scrape, wipe and anti-foul.
However cheeky chatter with contractors has earnt us relief from clamouring crowds – as Orkney is invited to take cover in the boat shed to leave them room. In a temporary shelter from erratic weather, the boat is cosseted and cleaned – allowing extra time for elbow greasing a hull that is polished to perfection – ready to slip quietly into the Channel, and catch us fishies for tea.