Thursday, August 24, 2006

Last Weekend, The End of Filth?

It’s nearly upon us, or is it? I’ve got 1 bilge compartment to do and a zoom up the keel bit and I will Finally beat the engine room bilges. Not so infamous now are they? In fact inside overall the big rust and paint obliteration haul is finally coming together, and next weekend is going to be great. I’ve recruited a small army of golems in order to attack those last corners and hopefully see the light at the end of the funnel. I’ve got high hopes that we’ll do it over three days with a combination of needles and the old grinderettes, and it’ll also be a big buzz to have visitors again- anyway I’m dead pleased with my solo progress today, yes I am. Six weekends of scrovelling around in tiny spaces where you truly just cannot shift position/get the gun in the right place/ignore the searing pain in your lower back.
Also I am just about sick of going to the pub wearing what looks like really heavy gothic eyeliner but which is in fact just recalcitrant bitumen dust that washing won’t shift. OK, it was fun for a couple of weeks to make with the old Jack Sparrow “where’s the rum?” but try telling people there was so much bitumen in those bilges, easily an inch thick in places and they think you’re an obsessive lunatic (again) and their own eyes start to glaze over.
Yes I sincerely wish for an end to this filth. Take two bottles into the shower? Not likely, I take a jam jar full of industrial hand cleaner, a flannel, half a bar of soap (each time) and the scrubbing brush- and I’m in there for ages. I must have the most marvellously exfoliated skin in the south of England I’m tellin’ ya. And by God where did these muscles come from? Cor- I look great, I’ve never owned biceps in my entire skinny life, so now I feel like these are not my arms, they can’t be. Who grafted these bruisers on while I was sleeping? I’m beginning to look the part, except for the eyeliner. Bloody Goths.
Also Robin has been busy in my absence, bravely getting down with welding around 4624 rivet heads below the water line. Good innit? We didn’t really fancy going to all the expense and effort of blasting, replating and what’ll probably cost a fortune paint job, only to throw ms Ann back in the water and discover leaking rivets. So Robin chivalrously declared his willingness to begin welding up every single one, and the seams along platelines too. He’s had to experiment a bit to figure out the best (fastest) approach, and after much deliberation the best is: nice thin 2.5mm rods on the stick welder. Forget the mig, it just hated all the shit that’s stuck in the microscopic gap between plates. This blows out the new weld as it’s being laid. The boat has been far from the water for over a year, it’s nearly nine months since blasting the outside, and the vessel is now kept in an extremely dry environment yet water still hides in tiny crevices of Wendy Ann 2. Incredibly the job doesn’t seem to be taking forever. I’m sure Robin is turning little weldy circles in his sleep after any given day with us at the moment but it’s only taken three full days of his time to largely complete the first of six areas into which we’ve divided the whole task.
So I find myself praying to any deities that might feel like listening that it could soon be time for paint. New clothes for an old boat. Oh please oh please oh please.
Speaking of which somebody’s left a half dozen cans of intershield and intergard epoxy outside the wendy house, they’ve clearly already had one owner but there’s plenty of life in them tins yet. I have a deep suspicion that they’re a donation intended for us and I really want that to be the case but I don’t want to put anyone’s nose out by just whisking them into the tent, and I’m supposed to go to work before anyone’ll be around to ask. So what do I do- elect to hang work and stay here until Monday morning so I can ask nicely, or pinch the paint and go back to stinky work? Bet now…

God I’m whacked. I feel all jangly and pummelled and covered in one big bruise, but yep- still on board the boat! A milestone came and went with the long awaited moment where I declared the bilges finished, and I’ve since managed to find time and love for some of those details that I’m always on about… and then I went berserk and had an ‘experimental’ go at some starboard bulwark action which was a dream. And Lo and Behold a phone call from miss B to tell me that opportunely our employer has somehow granted us both the day off work tomorrow (this as time in lieu of cover that we provided last weekend!!) so now I get to ask permission before running off with that lovely paint. I wonder what my stars said about today? Today Cancerians will be all knackered and wobbly, but for some reason they’ll enjoy it and get what their heart desires. Cancerians should avoid late nights, alcohol and 500watt halogen bulbs. Beware of eyeliner and bosun’s stores.

Monday lunchtime.
Just found out I must down tools, return to do an evening shift at the pub. Drat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Seb,
This is your second cousin Gill, Auntie Joyce's daughter. Met Helena a couple of weeks ago at Mum's funeral and she gave us your web address. We took 4 years to build a 37' catamaran from scratch. We started in 1998 and she finally went into the water in May 2002. We then sailed her to the Balearics and started a charter business there. 4 years on she is due for another survey and we have her up for sale as we did not make the money we had hoped, chartering her!! Just wanted to say, hang in there and what a shame there is not a full photo of Wendy Ann on the site! If you fancy looking at our website it is My email address is but I cannot receive hard copy, jus in case you were thinking of sending a photo of your project! Thanks for taking the time to read this. Best of Luck for the future,
Gill and Graham Hunt

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