slings and ladders


June 7, 2013 by Last Star blog

Castelain summer work camp, 2013

Well, obviously ‘lliving the dream’ means different things to different people, but, this part ain’t no dream.  We wrestled the boat into the sling and they hauled her big ass out of the water…Last Star, not me. The process goes something like this:  boat slips into gigantic mechanical sling, sling rolls through boat yard, finds nice spot with power with water, the crew comes by and ‘blocks’ her, the sling rolls away and voila – boat on the hard.  Well, the Cape Marina crew were busy, as it was Memorial day weekend, so we ended up staying in the sling for 3 days before someone came to block her. On the second day as were trying to get our bearings, a new crew comes by and say to me from their golf cart,” Didn’t the other crew block you?’  MOTO: no, this sling contraption is really a girdle. Blocking is basically putting the boat up on stilts.    The biggest problem with being in the sling, is the cats were eyeballing the machine and the proximity to see if they could make the leap, making me very nervous.  There are many hazards in a boat yard for a cat: derelict boats, hazardous materials, and DOGS!  There are other issues with being on the hard. The stilts are about six feet tall and the boat deck is another six feet, so once we were blocked we walk around at the 12’ height…no chances for jumping for the kitties.  How do we get on the boat?  Up an aluminum extension ladder.  Yes, it is a work-out,  I bet I go up and down that ladder about 20x a day…or more depending on how much shit I forget ‘upstairs’ or ‘downstairs’.  Of course, we tried to make it easier on ourselves to haul stuff by placing the ladder at a good angle, but then Cooper (a.k.a. Houdini) decided 12’ ladders were easily managed, even with his jacked up hips.  I came back from the bathroom and saw him eating grass under a boat! (when they block you they place a huge blue tarp under your boat, since we are in the boat graveyard, the tarps are all rotted away under the boats around us.)  We placed the ladder at an impossibly steep angle…still found him eating grass.  Mini just watched from upstairs. She likes to let him try things first before she risks her neck on his ridiculous ideas!  Okay, so now I have a beach towel over the top 1/8 of the ladder so he can’t make the first two steps.  Well, neither can we.  So, on top of the multiple trips up and down the ladder with our arms filled with tools, we have to do a little acrobatic stunt to get over the towel and not fall down and break our necks.  Thank goodness I have a LOT of insurance on Hank!  Hank ‘loves’ Cooper.  Hank is the other hazard for my cats.

So, we are settled into our ‘scenic’ spot at the farthest end of the yard behind an industrial strip center, a car garage, a u-store- it facility and we are surrounded by boats in foreclosure. This spot should come with a golf cart as the showers/bathroom/tiki bar is 350 YARDS from the boat, yes I counted them.  There is a porta-potty about half way from the boat to the nice air conditioned bathrooms and the first two days the smell from it kept me from venturing in, however, after hours in the sun working my ass off my own odor was a serious competitor, I was down with the porta potty.

Retro Cooper, Okay--this is Cooper when he was a kitten.  Before OCD and the stress of a sibling.

Retro Cooper, Okay–this is Cooper when he was a kitten. Before OCD and the stress of a sibling.



2 thoughts on “slings and ladders

  1. Grunt says:

    I only have one thing to say:
    You should have scuttled the cats in the open sea when you had the chance. No one would ever know and it would be our little secret.

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