10 January 2014

The Balance Beam Of Terror

We took our boat in to the Floating Dock at Westhaven Marina in Auckland to be hauled out and get the bottom cleaned off a few weeks ago. The Floating Dock is a bit different from the usual travelift contraptions that pull your boat out of the water in slings and then drive it to another part of the boatyard. Instead, you pull into a submerged dock, your boat is positioned in place by some beams and then the entire dock is lifted out of the water using some sort of hydraulic system.

It is actually pretty cool to watch. That is until you realize that you have to cross the balance beam of terror to get from your boat to the steps that take you down to the dock. It reminds me of when we did the balance beam in school, except there they had big mats to cushion your fall. I fell a lot. The mats were important to me. At the Floating Dock, if you fall it is approx. 10' down onto the dock. No mats, no padding, nothing. Scott scampers across the beam without a worry in the world. But then, he has broken lots of his bones before so what is one more? I've only ever broken one of my toes and I have no desire to find out what it would be like to break some of the bigger ones.

You can get a ladder to climb down from your boat, but apparently that is just for sissies. And not wanting to be called a sissy, across the balance beam of terror I went. I did choose to cross when the boat and dock were still submerged in the water with some sort of vague rationale that the water would cushion my fall. The guys that run the Floating Dock are super nice and seem amused by my reticence to cross the beam. I suspect I may be a story they tell at the pub, "We had such a sissy scaredy-cat American lady at the dock today. You should have seen her face when she had to cross the beam."

You do have to love New Zealand though. This sort of thing would never happen in the States with all the American love of litigation and the lawsuit happy bunnies that live there. Health and safety here is a wee bit different.

Trust me, it is scarier then it looks.

These are the beams that press up against your boat to hold it upright.

View from up top - the big weird thing sticking up in the Auckland skyline is the Sky Tower. Very popular with tourists. When BeyoncĂ© was here she did a bungee jump off of it. I'm betting she wouldn't be afraid of the "balance beam of terror".

Another view of the beam from up top.

1 comment:

  1. LOL - next time haul out at Gulf Harbour, it's easy and there are no beams. Personally, I would have been the sissy American waiting for the ladder.


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