The other day, Eric informed me that we needed to get our bottom cleaned. I responded with, “I clean my bottom every day.” My ever-patient husband smiled and said, “Sea Gem’s bottom needs cleaning.” Of course, I knew what he meant the first time he said it, but I simply couldn’t pass on an opportunity to make a butt joke.
Initially, Eric was thinking the two of us would clean the underside of our boat. This, of course, was not going to happen. Not only are there about a million other things I’d rather do than scrub the bottom of a 54-foot sailboat, considering the fact that I am afraid of the underside of boats, swimming around underneath one isn’t something I can do (at least not from a mental-health perspective). Just the thought of seeing our keel from underwater sends shivers down my spine. When I expressed this fear to my father (he, too, was under the impression Eric and I would be cleaning our own bottom), he lovingly suggested I stop telling people that I’m afraid of the underside of boats because it makes me sound unstable. He said I should say I find the underside of boats to be “eerie.” It’s all just semantics, but regardless of my precise feelings about the underside of boats, as long as I don’t look at them, I’m fine.
There were also some rational reasons for not cleaning the bottom of Sea Gem ourselves. For starters, there are tons of jellyfish in our marina right now, and we don’t have the appropriate gear to protect ourselves from a jelly attack. Also, since we aren't certified divers, without the use of scuba tanks, we'd need to come up for air every 15 seconds--not exactly efficient.
Thankfully, there are professionals who scrub bottoms for a living. We made arrangements for such divers to come out and clean Sea Gem’s underbelly and measure her zincs (yet another reason we needed to enlist the help of professionals--I know what zinc is, but I have no idea what it looks like, let alone how to measure it).
One of the cleaning services we contacted offered proof of their work in the form of before-and-after photos. Since this company cost a bit more than others we contacted, we opted to forgo the photo evidence and use someone more economical. However, I soon found myself wondering how--without photos--we would know if the divers came? I mean, I certainly wasn’t going to inspect their work!
Well, I found out how you know if there are divers swimming around under your boat--you hear them! I had completely forgotten the divers were coming, so I was quite surprised when I heard thumping sounds coming from below the boat. Moishe, too, freaked out upon hearing the divers. I could feel their every movement and was completely aware there were people swimming underneath me. If I had only one word to describe the experience, it would have to be “eerie.”
So, our bottom is clean, our zincs are measured, and I have successfully avoided having to see the bottom of our boat...at least for now.