Sunday, 27 May 2007

Whisky and soda

While in the main circumstances have conspired to keep me away from this blog and out of the workshop, I have completed a few tasks. There’s a rough cut version of a kick-up rudder and pintles (or gudgeons) fixed to the stern. The rudder shape, which has been likened to an aubergine, is simply the result of what I felt was the best compromise between a not too deep or narrow blade and a kick-up. Any shallower and wider and the rudder wouldn’t have lifted high enough to clear the sand coming in to the beach. It remains to be seen how effective this design will be and I’m prepared to knock another one together if it proves unequal to the task of turning the boat.

The muddy rain and pollen stains on the decking showed no sign of budging under the combined efforts of my small troupe of sanders and I was toying with the unsavoury idea of buying another sheet of plywood and re-cutting the decks, when someone suggested I tried bleach. I didn’t have any in the house and, being Sunday evening, it was unfeasible to buy some, but I found some caustic soda crystals under the sink and used those diluted in hot water. The results were instant and impressive and the dark cloud that had been raining on my bad haircut, lifted.

Onawind Blue had another trip to the beach on a beautiful day with a stiff force 4 blowing out of the east. Not the sort of conditions I’ll be sailing in but great for some photos. I took her off the bench and put her on the sand where she sat revelling in the elements.

I’m now on point 10 of my list and installing buoyancy and fitting the decks comes next. But that list ought to be revised, unforeseen little jobs keep cropping up, it’s rather like climbing a hill—I can clearly see the top not too far away and arrive breathily only to find another summit rising some distance off.

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