Monday, June 30, 2008

Can’t fit it all in.

The following photographs completely fail to capture the scale of what’s happened to Wendy Ann. I need a wider lens/camera that is not also a telephone. When I went for a look yesterday I walked into the tent and just stood there slack-jawed for a long moment, then Tim Zim stuck his head in and we both stood there gawping a bit longer.

The first coats of paint are ON the hull! As you can see she’s a sort of fetching two-tone scheme at the moment, I wish I’d seen her on Friday when she apparently turned blue all over after the first coat… Anyway, the shiny black stuff you can see covering our boat below the (generous) waterline now is the much coveted high build epoxy, interzone 954. God only knows where Steve managed to get it from but I’m very happy to see it applied to our pride and joy where it counts.

She’s been flash blasted, so a layer of coarse black grit covers absolutely everything except the hull, and the floor of the tent looked like a volcanic beach before I started laboriously sweeping up into piles yesterday. Today B and I intend to scream round work at 100 miles per hour, then run away to Southampton for the evening and get all of it barrowed out into a skip. Ooh. Romantic.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Day Off.

You heard right, we're currently indulging in the unthinkable. With the painters from SBS on site in Southampton, all there is for us to do is rest, and wait. Thank fuck for english country pubs.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sheer Bloody Mindedness.

I Feel a bit better now. I’m pretty sure I think I might’ve actually finished ALL the welding.
This weekend went mad, got very little rest and inexplicably managed to get all of everything I wanted done. Needless to say I have again re-written Seb’s second law of Boat, the old Success = Energy x Time (squared) equation. I have a severely sunburned left arm from a few minutes welding without my leather sleeves on and I spent the last few hours battling with my large grinder and swearing a lot; so am covered in scrapes, burns and bruises but appear to have nailed it, and have just surfaced after a long, long bath. So while I dry out here are some pictures of the finished topsides, which suddenly look not too bad after all .

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sick Of It All.

Content Warning: some readers may find the following text objectionable, unnecessarily downbeat- or just plain pathetic.

Enough already, I should be excited, see, I should be over the flippin’ moon; Finally, only a few weeks behind schedule (of course), the exterior of our boat is booked to be blasted and painted starting next Tuesday. It’s undoubtedly a milestone. Trouble is that far from the excitement and anticipation that I always imagined would surround this moment, my mind, body and soul have revolted and chosen to do the opposite, and I’ve suddenly developed a weird but powerful aversion to my own boat.

This state of emotional wreckage probably has much to do with the shape of the last few weeks. I’ve mostly been welding, with my usual varying degrees of aptitude. All those “little jobs” (which I remember saying I could handle) seem to have taken me forever. It should be bloody obvious by now that this is practically the definition of ‘little jobs’ but still I don’t seem to learn. I’ve been driving down to Southampton during the week, at the weekends, whenever I can find a chance, to attack these, and I’ve become more and more tired, aching, lonely, dirty and demoralised. Now I am staggering on toward some sort of imagined finish line- I’m on deck based stuff, and each task seems to take me longer and yield less and less joy as the days go by. And all the time my head tries to play tricks on me, whispering along the lines of “why bother? It’ll never be finished” and “who do you think are you trying to fool, you’re a rubbish welder anyway” and “gooooo to the puuuuub nooow”.

Anyway, guess what I’ve got planned this weekend?? You got it, more of the above, including yet another lonely stinking Saturday night, because it’s practically the last chance for getting these stupid bastard little jobs done before I go into meltdown, and because try as I might I don’t seem to be able to actually say ‘to hell with it’ and forget about the stupid poxy boat that completely ruined my life with any lasting conviction.

I think I probably qualify as completely burnt out.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Scrapping Wendy Ann II- The Sequel.

Featuring Becky Hewlett…

The weekend before last we were at it again, disposing of all our scrap. Fortunately this was the last time we absolutely knew we needed a skip to throw bits of our fine vessel into. Over the course of the bank holiday my dear (and, frankly, well ‘ard) Becky collected and removed Four Ton Three Hundred And Twenty kilo of mangled steel that was strewn around the now largely complete Wendy Ann 2. She did all this while I chased Larry madly around the aft deck, frantically trying to get the last structural bits of steelwork done before Becky accidentally chucked them, and us, in the skip too. EMR provided the aforementioned skip, and frankly you’d find it hard to believe what they currently pay on a ton of scrap steel. Are you sitting down? Only £170. Holy fuck, that’s over double what they paid less than a year ago. Jim, the EMR rep- summed the reason up succinctly (again) with the word ‘China’. Apparently the tiger economies demand for our rubbish old metal is even more insatiable than ever. By way of response I told him he’s probably in the right business then, which elicited a wry smile. I on the other hand have decided that I like the Chinese very very much, even more than I like their dim sum, and when B wasn’t looking I quietly assessed the scrap value of our new, old boat. Luckily the results of my calculation did not warrant my warming up the cutting gear. On Wednesday the cashier at EMR rewarded B’s efforts by presenting me with a rather large wad of used notes, a transaction which (unusually for a boat owner) gave me a nice financial surprise. Considering the range of dubious looking characters queuing up close behind me at the cashiers desk when this wodge of money was slightly too publicly shoved into my greasy mittens, you can probably understand why the bit of my brain that deals with paranoia was doing strange somersaults as I hurriedly scuttled out of the scrapyard. Do a little bit of maths if you just have to know how lit up my paranoia lobe really was.