After what seems like days of interminable faffing; umming, arring, making decisions, hesitating, changing my mind, dithering, cajoling myself to the brink, thinking better of it, having another idea, not writing it down, forgetting it and eventually going back to my original plans, I’ve finished the jobs in places that will be inaccessible with the decks on. And, having assured myself that all considerations have been considered I have, at last, affixed the decks to the hull.
I gathered weights for holding the deck flat while the glue cured and surrounded Onawind Blue with an assortment of gas bottles, large stones and logs. Then, as the day started to cool, I mixed up seven squirts of epoxy. To me this is a worryingly large quantity, and I’d just started to spread it on at an energetic pace when two friends turned up. Luckily they understood the situation and stood back to watch. Now, I don’t know if it’s just me but I find it very difficult to work when I’m being watched, the pressure’s on, I get nervy, I don’t think straight. I laboured on in a flustered fashion, used up the epoxy and mixed up seven more. And then Chief Vitalstatistix arrived.
I haven’t seen him for a while, and I presented him with a wan smile as his rotund form hove into view. Seeing what I was doing, Vitalstatistix began a protracted discourse on epoxy—he told me that it was a two part, petroleum based resin, and that once the two components were thoroughly mixed one only had a limited amount of time to work with the said resin. He was about to tell me how to apply it when I interrupted, ‘Hey Vital,’ I said, ‘How say we apply some of this resin to your mouth, see how long it takes you to shut up?’
This was all text book Sod’s law and the job ended up taking much longer than expected. Eventually darkness fell and so I got the lamp out and began tidying up. While I scraped away at the excess resin it occurred to me that I was sitting in my boat, I was inside the space defined by Onawind Blue, my own hand-built boat.
The stars were coming out, Venus shone brightly in the west, chasing the sun beyond the horizon. I looked up at the Pole Star then followed the handle of the Plough back to where Arcturus was rising orange above the rooftops, then let my eyes wander on to find Sirius shimmering in the east. I could hear the sea in the distance and smell the warm textures of the cooling land. Admittedly there was an electric lamp in the boat and I was surrounded by gas bottles, large stones and logs but for a moment I almost believed that I was out there, camping in some quite cove. And then a yellow moon rose, like a fat, happy cheese.
Call me a dreamer, a hopeless romantic, but it was almost more sensory stimulation than I could bear. I downed tools and lay back in the boat.