Scraping the Bottom at Brighton Marina

2014-03-22 14.48.42The beginning of Spring is when boats of Brighton Marina leave their moorings to be hauled from the water by the Thunderbird contraption.

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

Thunderbird contraption

Thunderbird contraption

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.

???????????????????????????????This season, our adolescent  Orkney is boxed in by big bold shiny yachts of James Bond 2014-03-22 14.45.15villain proportions, and their equally shiny shouty owners cruising up in Jeeps, Jags and Boden(!) wellies.

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.

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