‘Normal’ blogging resumes.
Now, where did we leave everything ?.
Blog time : It’s the first day of May 2020 and we have just spent the day at the boatyard getting a whole heap of jobs done as quickly as possible so that WABI”’ can go back in the water and clear some space so that the boss can start to move boats around.
A few days ago i had a surprise email from Chris the boss saying that he’d used a high spring tide to float his big lugger, Spirit, off the slip and that he’d already moved my boat around and onto the slip ….and did i want to come down and get her ready to launch ?. That common expression that mixes : pope/catholic, bears/shit/wood, etc etc came to mind so we arranged a slot and headed on down there. The way that Chris works it is that he only allows one person or couple to be working in the yard at any one time so we had the place to ourselves for nearly all the day until one of the few other keen local boat owners came down to get some kit off of his boat.
Where and how we left WABI”’ before we had to leave the yard in March was with her masts down, most of her gear stripped out and taken home but much nicer smelling for a wet-vac inside and regular airing sessions when either of us have bee able to go down to the yard. Just before we had to pack up and leave her i’d spent a day trying to fit the new mainsail and measure up for the new sprit-boom and then finished that day by taking the masts down so that Chris could pull her out of one end and back in at the other….the masts have to come down so that she can pass under the overhead cables. I was that close to having her in the water and then everything got shut down so all we could do is take our personal gear and loose stuff off, pack up and go home.
In one fast day’s work we got both of the masts back on and up including making a new gasket/sealing system for where the mainmast bolt goes through the forward bulkhead into the bow compartment…that’s been annoying slightly leaky all of last year and meant that i couldn’t use the forward ‘dry’ storage. What else ?, i rebuilt the centerboard lifting tackle, got the bowsprit back on which carries all of the mooring gear, finished the rudder and tiller and it’s uphaul/downhaul lines, cleaned out some of the storage compartments and then today took some of the domestic kit back aboard along with the old sails, the new mainsail and the new but not finished sprit for the new sail.
I would have loved to be there today because i could have got on with setting up all of the running rigging for the new mainsail and the new sprit-boom but there’s somebody else working in the yard today (Saturday) and i guess that weekends are still at a premium even with the current situation. The new sprit boom, the new sail and the new reefing and sail handling systems will be a full blog post that was half written just before the lockdown so hopefully that will be the next post. Anyway, that’s not a problem though as i can go down there whenever there’s nobody else about and we only live 10 minutes away . We’ve talked about having WABI”’ launched and just going back on a mooring ; i could still go to the yard and paddle out to her and do some more work…..even spend a night aboard and maybe slip down the river a half mile or so and just anchor out.
While iv’e had (mostly had) enough to do at home iv’e really used this down time to concentrate on my diet and fitness ; that’s 4 months now and a huge change in my health and fitness. Iv’e spent a lot of time just sitting out in the front garden watching the world of ‘village life’ gradually slow down to a near standstill : the early enthusiasm for people ‘exercising’ outdoors has gradually declined such that it’s mainly just dog walkers again walking up or down the road. During this whole event so far iv’e watched the spring bulbs explode into life and now they’re mostly done and gone again for the year.
My writing and blogging have really ground to a halt too : the next main thread’s of posts were to have been the practical spring jobs/refit including the second stage of sprits with the new sail, the engine cover, new electrics and such like. The other thread that hasn’t happened is a whole group of posts about a friend’s preparation to build his own boat….fully understandably he hasn’t gone ahead with that until he sees how things pan out in that country’s train wreck of a financial state. For a while i pretty much stopped writing and blogging almost completely , in fact i thought about putting the whole blog to bed and getting on with other things.
I enjoyed writing the design series posts up until the end of the ‘F’s ; the Frances 26 and the Folkboat, both boats that iv’e owned and sailed myself. My last post in that series was the ‘G’ for Maurice Griffiths one, but i found that i was having to focus on MG’s writing rather than his yacht designs and within that i found that i was focusing on place ie his east coast which i didn’t greatly enjoy during my one trip from there myself. For that post i re-read the Griffiths books that i have and i noticed that i had a completely different impression of them : that they just another collection of sailing ‘tropes’ written for the new yachting middle classes of the inter war period. It seems obvious now that the east coast only became what it did because most of the yachtsmen of Griffith’s time were the new professional middle classes from London and the east coast became their cruising ground only out of convenience : mainly the convenience of the then branch line railways all over that coast. Whatever….it wasn’t a good post, it needs a re-write and frankly my dears i couldn’t really be bothered !
Like i say….maybe it’s time to put the blog to bed and go do something else !
Iv’e deliberately kept away from any mention of the pandemic in my own blogging, just kept my head down, been out in the woods every day for a walk and ‘ruck’ session and then most days done a heavy training session at home and then spent as much time as possible out in the sun. I’m past the end of my initial experiment with low carbohydrate dieting, it’s been a great success so far. During April i was a lot more relaxed about the whole thing except that i really cranked up the exercise : from today, the first Monday of May i’m going back to ‘full retard, car crash keto’ for another month and see if i can get down another few kilo’s and higher up on the fitness.
Back on the river soon i hope.