Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Night Before Christmas.

Neither of us could sleep last night, today we were officially on leave. From everything. Bloody hell. The plan was to go to Beaulieu boat jumble then drop into Wendy to see how the painter's first coat went. I was so excited I had one of my famous attacks of insomnia so read a paperback into the wee small hours whilst listening to B and the cat's breathing (um, snoring really) before finally knocking myself out at a really ungodly hour. Yes, we went to the boat jumble and it was fun, saw very little that would fit a gert big harbour tug- but had a good time all the same, then Hooray! met up with Robin for a quick pint and prawn sandwich. Then all three of us went to inspect the progress inside the boat. Shit, she's a brand new ship. B shed a small tear and I very nearly did the same. Pictured above (only visible if you're wearing x-ray specs) is an astounding sight. It's so good I can't get it out of my head so therefore find myself hurriedly bashing this out. wait until after next weekend for decent pics of the finished job, but trust me, it looks reallyreally brilliant.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Girl Friday.

I have been the editor and sounding board for this blog for ages and after much prompting from various sources I have been cajoled into putting in my penny’s worth.
I, as you may have guessed am the aforementioned ‘B’. It was all my idea (although I wish at times it wasn’t!) I have always wanted an unusual home but, as usual had many schemes in my head and never thought that it would take so long to build our home and move on to the next phase of ‘Plan B’; the grand master plan. I will fill you all in at a later date on my feelings about rebuilding Wendy Ann 2 so far and hope to give a wider viewpoint on what it is like to undertake a project such as we have. The line between love and hate is a fine one (as they say) and believe me I have crossed it many times in various directions mainly with the boat but…! However it always comes back to the same feeling; complete and utter devotion and passion for the cause you have committed to, whether that may seem unachievable or irrational to others, it is the world to you so you must see it through to the end.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

That’s my girl.

Recently there have been loads of developments at Wendy Ann, by dint of extremely hard work over the last month from all of us. And yes, tomorrow morning the first coat of proper epoxy paint will finally be applied to the interior of both the forepeak and forward accommodation/galley by Steve Woolcroft and the boys from SBS. I am far, far too knackered to expand upon this right now; we’re still recovering from twentynine hours work last weekend, finishing at ten to midnight on Sunday. But I’ll fill y’all in soon I promise, for now though our day jobs are suitably relentless too but hey-ho. And tomorrow night we’ve got to jump in the car, drive down there and inspect the painters progress after we finish work. Because it’s about two grands worth of job, that paint, so we’ll be checking up before they get too far in, sleep or no.
In the meantime here’s a couple of cool pics that I took of my absolute superstar missus in action with Robin whilst welding in the replacement vent tubes forward of the bridge last Saturday evening.
I’ve always thought that my efforts at writing merely convey one side of a much bigger story, our vessel is a reasonably large project and there’s a distinct team of us undertaking this frankly potty rebuilding task. I started writing this blog because I have a yen for words, and at the start of it had been persuaded (by mister Lady Jane) that beginning to journal my experience might be a good idea for all sorts of reasons- many of which are deeply personal. I always really try not to put things on paper (or screen, or whatever) with disregard for Becky’s side of it all and the fact is that almost all of what I’m doing to Wendy Ann could not even be attempted without B, she’s an amazing woman whom I feel privileged to love, and she works so hard to smooth the way for the work to take place; and gets stuck in with such tenacity that I feel I should run to keep up most of the time. On the other hand I do a lot of that nasty industrial power tooling so it’s a good balance I guess. And then there’s the enormously valued input of Robin to take into consideration too, it might be as much his labour of love as it is ours. I suppose he gets paid and we don’t, but money isn’t everything.
So now the possibility has dawned on me that I might expand The Voyage of Wendy Ann 2 to allow B (and maybe others) to declare their own sides of this long and demanding utterly life changing experience. Yes, I’m looking into ways of turning the blog into a group effort; I reckon it might fill in some of the gaps to describe a more complete picture. So give us a chance eh, and soon you might be able to read B’s own story alongside mine.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Easter.

Bloody Ow.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

One Small Step.

…or to be more precise, nine small steps (plus spares). Here are some pictures of our newly blasted and primed spiral stair components, brilliantly done by A1 Powder Coatings just over the river Itchen. They did an immaculate job at a very reasonable price and we are over the moon at the results, the level of crisp detail that’s been brought up is just incredible and the paint job is perfectly even. Isn’t it great when someone does a good job?
So now she’s a ready to go- we’ve got the new solid steel pole around which to assemble the stair, and after reaming the treads out things should hopefully go together a dream. However this magic day must wait until the forward compartment is painted, because it’ll get in the way of men with airless sprays if it’s already fitted. Fortuitous then, because that day’s not far away.
We’ve had the paint estimators come see us last Sunday morning, they should be getting back to us within a couple of days with no doubt a frankly scary figure. Becky’s got some holiday which she’s decided to actually accept this time and I’ve taken more time away from the building site to match- so next week, we’ll both be at the boat for the entire week including the weekends either side! Hurrah and here comes a huge push to get through the still alarmingly long snagging list in the forward third of the boat, before solvent ragging all the steel down and sealing the compartments to exclude ingress of even the merest speck of dust. The painting will be expensive, but it’d better be done right. Watch this space.

Say Hello to my Little Friend.

It seems, momentarily at least- that I’ve finally learnt my lesson. Behold, here is a tool which is versatile, costs less than twenty quid, and dammit you can actually hold it usefully overhead for six hours straight no nonsense bashy bashy. It’s just proved itself a fierce treat on that crappy old paint in the bosun’s store. It’s not quite as thorough as the needleguns that we’re so fond of hiring, but it definitely packs a hell of a punch- so much so that with a new chisel fitted it leaves quite serious marks in the steel of Wendy herself. Things are a little less severe, but just as much fun, when the chisel’s worn in a bit. It’s really, really great for giving heavy localised scale the good news too.
The best thing from a users perspective has to be the nice, domestically light hose that feeds it, none of that 1”inside bore yellow hell hose dragging you down (needleguns again) for this puppy, oh no. The only bummers are the noise, yep it’s deafening, I said DEAFENING. And the discovery that overenthusiastic use leads to retaining spring snappage, although I foresaw this and cunningly bought six replacements, haha.
Yes, this device has so impressed me that I’m gonna buy another one. Paul’s compressor has twin outlets and I’m not afraid to use them. Let me at it.