Coming To Grief


Last October we took our boat and my floating office Water Is Life out of the water for four weeks annual maintenance and some repairs. The photo above was taken yesterday. Six months later and she is still on the hard. This is the story of what happened.


There is another story of what happened to need to take her out of the water at this time specifically, and what happened when we were taking her out of the water, but these are stories for another time.

The list of works was fairly short, clean the hull, replace the key that had dislodged out of the propellor shaft, renew the drinking water tank, and do a bit of painting and this and that. Oh, and yes, a bit of work to the mast step, damaged whilst lifting her from the water and lowering her mast, but as I said, these are stories for another time.



The list of jobs was covered quickly, and because it was summer, and because we live by the ocean, we decided to put in a mooring nearby, and do some sailing in our bay, Frederick Henry Bay.

Getting approval for a mooring position in Tigerhead Bay below our house was easy enough, even given that the coordinates we gave to the inspector put him in the carpark of the local supermarket. He said he knew a good spot, a little shallow, but good. Water Is Life is a shallow draught boat.

It was also easy enough to find the local mooring guy, and get him onboard to put the train wheels and big chains I had purchased from here and there into the water in the right spot so we could put Water Is Life back in the sea, and tie up.

And this is about where we began to come to grief, unawares to us at this early stage.

Do you think we could find our mooring guy again? No, we couldn’t. I rang his phone. I called into his home. I left him some messages. I spoke with his dad. He had gone, disappeared into summer. Maybe he was working, or fishing somewhere. Maybe drinking beer, with his friends. Whatever, he was nowhere to be found.

Perhaps we could find someone else to put the things in the sea? Perhaps we could find another mooring spot, a better mooring spot. Plan B.

In the meantime we would get everything ready, and raise her mast, ready for the oceans, and a summer of sailing.

Dropping the mast had been simple enough, though a little damaging to the boat, and our sense of how competent we were. Raising is somehow the reverse, this time without the damage.

It took five more months to raise her mast. To work out how to do it, and to do it. It took three more months to find a new mooring, in a much better spot yes, but did the new fella come and service our new well sited and fabulous mooring. No, he did not. Not until it was too late, and the money had been spent on other summer things. Things we did instead of sailing.


Not that much grief, only some complications, and some missed summer days sailing in Frederick Henry Bay, and maybe further out even, into Storm Bay.

But that was not to be the finish of it.

As we inched closer to the possibility of having Water Is Life back in the salt, there was to be another mishap, more dangerous, and more expensive by far, that those chastisements encountered so far.

We had towed our big caravan up the east coast to Douglas River for the Australia Day weekend. We spent five fine days there with family, surfing and wandering and swimming, sitting with each other on camp chairs, warmed by the sun. Our diesel Jeep towed it there, and our diesel Jeep towed it back.

It was to be the last thing our diesel Jeep ever towed.

We discovered weeks later that the genuine Jeep tow hitch had torn from the light steel subframe, cracked over time by three hundred thousand kilometres of travelling, now finished, and useless, the trip to The Douglas being it’s last as a tow vehicle.

Our diesel Jeep is how we launch our boat.

It’s a funny feeling,  grief,  all of a sudden it can just be there, bigger than what we thought.

Next weekend my good friend Michael, who worked out how to raise the mast again, and my good friend Pete, who owns a Toyota Landcruiser, are joining us at the Tigerhead boat ramp to raise Water Is Life’s mast, and put her back where she does her best. And we will sail to Hobart, for a winter of sailing on the Derwent River.


To talk about counselling/therapy options, and to make an appointment, please call me.

Nick Hall – 0459413198 – 9am to 5pm – Monday to Wednesday.

(You could send me a text message at other times)

Hobart, Tasmania.

Counsellor Hobart Tasmania. Counselling Hobart Tasmania. Psychotherapist Hobart Tasmania. Psychotherapy Hobart Tasmania. Therapist Hobart Tasmania. Counselling outdoors. Bush Adventure Therapy. Somatic Psychotherapy. Psychology. Nature Contact. Life skills. Coaching. Walk and Talk. Psychodynamic. Mindfulness. NDIS.

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