In order to deal with some of the really fundamental issues of our situation on the berth, Becky and I have developed what we are constantly referring to in a silly voice as the Three Plong Plan. Simply put, this involves sorting out three things, Access, Real electrical power on board, and a decent Water supply. Luckily, a recent stroke of financial good fortune has enabled us to make serious plans for actually getting it done, as opposed to dream-world plans that I make over and over again all the time. This weekend, while I wait for the cheque to clear I took a load of reclaimed (for free, ta Ben) pressure treated timber and some other bits and bobs down to Littlehampton and constructed this. Behold, I have built Thing 1. Finally, we’ve some decent access to the boat, which is something that you wouldn’t think could make so much difference, but it does. The reason for the slightly oversized staging (partially occupied in the photos by a pallet) is that I reasoned if I was going to build it, it might as well be big enough to stack materials on when they arrive at the boat, or indeed it might as well be large enough to take a couple of chairs, a bottle of wine and a barbeque too.
The staging is theoretically prevented from floating away by seven long steel stakes made from 50mm angle, laboriously hammered into the ground around the whole thing, but the spring tides are back later this week so I’ll weld some sort of retaining lugs on top of those soon as I can.
Obviously there’s an inherent security implication in providing real access to the vessel, so much so that I dithered for a while about whether to actually make the ramp bit (not doing so would kind of defeat the object), or if I could construct some sort of mad drawbridge or gated affair. Then, lubricated with wine on Saturday night I was struck by one of those genius moments, either that or I was pissed. I remembered reading Guy Grieve’s book ‘Call of the Wild’ about a Scot who goes to Alaska to build his own cabin in the wilderness, sounds familiar. Well, when he left it he covered the door and windows with plywood with nails sticking, sharp end out all over it and called this hoarding ‘Bear Boards’. Now, I don’t think that there are bears in Littlehampton, but I could be wrong- anyway I’ve nicked the idea just as an idiot deterrent. Trust me, those screw tips sticking up are SHARP; I lightly maimed myself twice just moving the thing around after I’d made it. So when I finally left, I cunningly fixed my bear board down to the top end of Thing 1’s ramp and figured that’d prevent opportunism by all but the most masochistic at least. So my vessel appears armed to the teeth and now I just worry that I’ll return to find an unfortunate toddler impaled on it or something, if I’m a responsible person I’ll do the right thing and put up some sort of warning sign, trouble is bears can’t read.
The sharp-eyed will notice that I have also taken down the silly frame construction at the blunt end of Wendy Ann. Not only was it a depressingly hideous carbuncle, but also it didn’t get used for its intended purpose. Because of the lovely summer weather it was never covered over so it provided no function other than to give gulls something to shit on, and I’ve decided to set up a small workshop away from the vessel anyway. So down it came, and what a bloody relief, Wendy Ann 2 looks like a tug again. Not only that but I’ve reclaimed my uninterrupted view of the river so I can watch stuff like this go by.
You wouldn’t believe she’d fit, maybe they’re lost.
And finally this week, I’ve realised I still haven’t shown off the finished roof, which by now has had plenty of time for the birds to shit on too, but since I was up there bolting down the mast tabernacle and the roof’s looking good I thought I’d get a photograph or two. Here it is.
And a picture of the opened engine room skylight for good measure.
Watch this space for more Plongs of the Plan Coming Soon! New Generators! Spring Tides! Neighbours! Bears! Welding! Up All Night Working! Heavily Perforated Toddlers! It’s all go around here, and about time too.