Monday, November 7, 2011

Coming Home from the Boat Yard

The Aberdeen Channel and the Ap Lei Chau Bridge are the backdrop on a beautiful Saturday afternoon as "Watermark" makes her way to her moorings in the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Boat Yard

The Aberdeen Southern Typhoon Shelter is surrounded by dozens of boat yards, building, maintaining and servicing boats of all sizes and descriptions.  Many of these work shops are classified by Hong Kong authorities as "temporary light industrial sites", but have been a fixture on the shores of the Typhoon Shelter for twenty years or more.

With the development of luxury high rise condominium towers with prime waterfront views in demand, the future of these boat yards, machine shops, and marine workshops is in question.  They are seen by the authorities as environmentally incompatable with the residential development taking place, but provide vital services for the sampans, junks, trawlers, and yachts that make their home moorings in the Typhoon Shelter.  They also are the employers of what may be one of the last generations of true master craftsmen building and renovating wooden vessels in Hong Kong.

For now, "Watermark" has her teak woodwork cleaned and varnished, her deck sanded and oiled, and fresh paint, ready for another year afloat in her home in the Typhoon Shelter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Typhoon Shelter Dawn

This week our junk, "Watermark" is in dry dock for the routine maintance that a wooden boat requires.  Joanna and I are staying onboard, which is in itself a very unusual experience of living on the boat while it is out of the water, with workmen scraping, sanding, caulking, sawing, varnishing, and generally bringing "Watermark" to condition to carry her through another year.

The temporary change in location to one of the boat yards on the Aberdeen shore gives a spectacular early morning view from "Watermark's" deck of boat traffic in the busy channel between Hong Kong Island and the adjacent island of Ap Lei Chau.