Saturday, October 07, 2006

The smell of antifouling paint

This Saturday, I took an early morning walk around Kirribilli on the north shore. My erratic steps lead me to this yard at the very posh Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. As I approached this sailboat, the strong smell of antifouling paint brought back incredibly powerful memories.
A good number of years ago, my husband and I sailed half-way around the world from France to Tahiti in a 30-foot sailboat we had built: two years of sailing and discoveries followed by six years in French Polynesia.
Today, seeing a yacht hauled out immediately conjures images of many other yards we saw around the world... usually much scruffier than this one, we never had the budget for expensive yacht clubs! Hauling your boat out means days of hard physical work scrubbing, sanding and painting, mostly working on surfaces above your head until your arms and neck ache. But finally the last coat of paint has dried and the boat, all pretty and clean, is ready to take to the water again, new adventures awaiting. I dedicate this photo to all those around the world who know what I'm talking about and who can, just like me, smell the antifouling paint just by looking at the picture.


alice said...

Tu n'imagines pas à quel point ce billet me parle...Mais dis-moi, tu as déjà vécu plusieurs vies?!

Sally said...

Fantastic...and thanks for relating your personal connection! Very evocative.

Anonymous said...

nice shot and nice comments~~`

Felicia said...

Wow you are quite the adventurer! My mom sailed to and lived on a boat in the US Virgin Islands for over 10 years so she could really appreciate your story. Thanks for sharing!

Rauf said...

I do not know what that smell is Nathalie, but very impressed with your adventure. What a great experience you had.

Nostalgic said...

Those interested in ocean adventure should read Joshua Slocum's book. He was in his fifties when he cicumnavigated the world solo towards the end of the 19th Century.