dry dock

dry dock

Finding our boat in need of some attention from an engineer, we booked into a Dry Dock.

We took the opportunity to freshen up the paintwork. Over the last year, on the advice of the previous owner, I had dabbed grey undercoat on every new scratch to prevent too much rust forming, resulting in a very pock marked boat that looked, to my eyes, a mess!

Roping in friends to help, day one and two went like clockwork although on day one I did get stranded on the boat as the water emptied from the dock and I realised my legs were not long enough to reach the ground. Balancing some nearby logs one on top of the other, my other half managed to make a step that allowed me off the boat, albeit rather precariously! At 6ft 3” he didn’t have a problem! I was also grateful for my mobility and agility in being able to hop on and off the boat reasonably easily. Little did I know what was around the corner.

Rising from a sitting position on the ground, I thoughtlessly stood up and twisted my leg, pulling a thigh muscle that led to me being incapacitated, for how long I had no idea. The boat half painted, 28 locks ahead of us on exiting the dry dock and a house move imminent, I retired to bed feeling myself to be in a dry dock mentally, notwithstanding a four hour stint in A&E to assess the damage and obtain some much needed crutches.

Overnight I struggled with both immobility and pain when twice needing to go to the bathroom, but surprisingly slept well on my front, as my leg seemed more comfortable when fully extended. I knew a couple of family members were praying for me and all I can say is their prayers were heard because at 8am I got out of bed, no need of crutches and the ability to walk around unhindered and no pain relief required.

Coping with the unexpected is something we all at times have to navigate. How we respond determines how we cope and how we eventually feel about life and ourselves.

dry dock Mary Haines

depressed man

Our boat is usually floating along in the water, giving us joy and refuge. Yet when it goes into dry dock, the tiller removed, it is little more than a large tin can unable to fulfil its function. A boat needs water just as we do to live and thrive. When we are physically dehydrated our bodies start to give us problems, such as headaches, fuzziness, an inability to concentrate.

When we are spiritually dry we may lose a zest for life and a purpose of being. There may be an emptiness inside that cannot be filled by retail therapy, alcohol or other addictive substances. Tapping into our spiritual nature can release a side of us that is unseen and unfathomable but when activated leads to untold joy and purpose.

So if today you feel like you are in a dry dock, try and remedy the situation by tapping into your spiritual side, perhaps by doing something creative, or going for a long walk or by asking God to reveal himself to you in some small way, to show that he is there, he does care and he wants to fill you with the water of life.

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About Mary Haines

Mary and her husband Richard now live full time on their 43ft narrowboat Naomhog. Their plan is to travel the waterways March-November and they want to be a 'Listening boat'. "We want to encourage people to tell us their stories because we feel we have time to listen. In this fast paced world listening is not necessarily much valued and is in short supply!"