The gravel road rumbles beneath my tires as my headlights illuminate the deserted boatyard. I shift into park, pull one last long swig from my coffee cup and walk into the empty metal shed. Rain begins to dance atop the large roof; the light pinging is a soothing soundtrack.
The task du jour is varnishing my 35-foot wooden mast, which is stretched out before me. We un-stepped the mast this year to apply six layers of varnish armor to it, ensuring that—after three seasons since it was built—it remains impervious to the elements. It would also give me, and some poor unsuspecting accomplice (read: Karen), the year off from trying to varnish it from a swinging bosuns chair.
I lightly scuff the spruce with 220-grit paper and wipe off the dust with a tack cloth. I then break out a closed-cell roller and a brush to apply Epifanes varnish to two sides of the mast at a time. After work I’d return, flip the mast and varnish the remaining two sides.
As far as boat projects go, this isn’t what you would call a difficult task, in fact it’s rather mindless. That said I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying the uninterrupted solitude that this chore provides. My personal and professional schedule as of late has resembled that of a Nascar pit crew, Go-Go-Go.
Allowing my mind to wander and reflect while preparing for the boating season is a welcome win-win.
5 thoughts on “Finding Solitude in an Empty Metal Shed”
Such beautiful writing—about stinky old varnish!!!
Kim Kavin (908) 975-3031 (East Coast USA) http://www.kimkavin.com
Brilliant! A delight to read. You should be a writer. Oh, wait, there’s no money in writing….
I always feel as if I’m right there with you as you tackle so many different tasks — that takes a very special talent!
Glad I was made aware of your blog. We’re fellow “green” sailors although you get the copyright on that term! Very curious to follow your adventures. Mine are about to get really cranked up in a week.
Thanks, Craig. I’m looking forward to following your adventures too! And good luck!