|Marty Macaw. An art quilt by Jean Baardsen.|
To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.
Since I had finished the bottom work, and the carpenter was done with the mast, the next job I was "assigned" was sanding and painting our 45-foot stick. The mast was on sawhorses, in a distant corner of the boatyard. I'd work over there by myself. The first step was sanding the mast, and then I was ready to paint. I opened the can of white paint, stirred it up, and poured some in a bucket. I started at the foot of the mast. I found the paint was going on fairly thickly, so I would brush it really well to avoid getting drips. I had painted about half the mast when I decided to quit for the day. Looking over my work, I discovered the paint had slowly sagged, and there were drips everywhere. Since the paint had already started to set, there wasn't anything I could do about it.
When I told Ed, he said I should have known to thin the paint. Actually, I hadn't known that, since I hadn't had to thin the antifouling paint. The next day I thinned the paint and covered the second half of the mast. I did a really good job on the part that was going to be too high to see anyway. With the mast again upright in the boat, the drips ran sideways, from front to back. I planned to tell people a really strong wind had come through, right after I had finished painting….
|Marty Macaw - Detail|
After that job, I tried to keep a low profile, but Ed suggested that since we needed to paint the topsides, I could start that project while we were still hauled out. He wanted me to sand, patch and paint for six inches above the waterline, as well as the area under the stern, so that we could finish the job when we were back in the water. Since that area of the boat was above the level where I could reach, I had a fellow from the next boat help me set up scaffolding; I would wobble my way around with sand paper, epoxy and paint.
Ed's father, Bernt Baardsen, had been holding airline tickets to fly down to Tortola on the off chance we might need him to crew with us up to the States. By then I was sure we weren't going to be making the trip, but Ed was holding off his decision in hopes of a miraculous recovery. When that didn't happen, Bernt came down anyway to give us a hand with some of the boat work. He arrived the day we were being launched, getting to the yard as the boat was being lowered into the water, and jumped aboard. While he was with us, he and I sanded and painted the starboard side of the topsides, working from the dinghy. He also did some carpentry work for Ed. We even got in a little sailing, and spent a few days at the Bitter End on Virgin Gorda.
|This shot is to give you an idea of Marty's size. He greeted people|
at my solo exhibit of forty art quilts, held at Myrtle Beach in 2004.
Since Ed's parents were so worried about him, we had thought his Dad's coming down would help ease their minds. If anything, seeing Ed made things even worse. By the time Bernt arrived, the pains had moved through Ed's leg and were in the muscles in the hip area. Ed could still limp around, but couldn't sit up through a meal. And, of course, no amount of persuasion would convince Ed to seek further medical attention.
Bernt went home after ten days, probably more upset than when he’d come down. Ed had me write in my next letter that he felt his parents should have had more faith in his judgment. (Heaven only knows why!) And since I was including that little gem, I decided it wasn't the appropriate time to mention that the day after Bernt left, the muscle pains moved from Ed's hip area to his lower back; he couldn't take the pressure of any amount of standing or sitting. He was flat on his back - and would be for the next three weeks.