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Getting up close and personal with a 96 year old. (now 97!)
Week 62
Jonathan Greenwood
05/05/2013, Tunisia

This past week has been an even bigger week than the last and the levels of stress and fatigue are increasing with each day that passes and that draws us ever closer to our inevitable departure towards the south of France in a couple of weeks. Time is short and we are expected on the start line at the end of the month in Antibes. I am guilty of neglecting friends and family these past few months and for that I am very sorry, but we have the bit between our teeth and it is hard to do everything and be everywhere all at once and I really think that what we are doing is worthwhile and important, so I would ask you all to forgive my long absence and rest assured that I will return soon.
We stepped the mast on Tuesday and it was a successful operation. I am happy to report that there were no major hiccups and that it was well planned. JC, our rigger, came out from France for the occasion and did sterling work for the three and a half days that he was on site. Meanwhile we have been laying all the deck hardware, plumbing, wiring, painting, varnishing, drilling etc etc. We have a lot left to do , but we will be ready to deliver to France in a couple of weeks. I haven't taken many photos of the progress this week but I will post some more tomorrow. The photos of the stepping of the mast are now online.

Best regards to all and thank you for all the congrat's, comments and general moral support.


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06/05/2013 | dad
Great work' Cant wait to see her in action.Then the therapy will kick in with the first breeze.All the best to all. Dad
06/05/2013 | Jonathan Greenwood
Thanks Dad, looking forward to getting some therapy!
09/05/2013 | Catherine Greenwood-Doublali
It is a great achievement. Hang in there and all the very best to you all. Take care. xoxox
13/05/2013 | Craig McGowan
It is very reassuring to see it floating Jono!
Don't forget to let me know when you move across to Cannes will you.
Week 61
Jonathan Greenwood
28/04/2013, Tunisia

Big week, big fatigue. I'll leave you to enjoy the photos and if I find some inspiration during the week I will write a bit of blurb.


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03/05/2013 | Craig McGowan
WOW! I am working on the basis now that no news is good news!?
She does look wonderful. Congratulations to all of you!
Breaking news
Jonathan Greenwood
23/04/2013, Tunisia

Chinook re-joined her natural element this evening (too dark for a floating photo) and is now bobbing around nicely in the brackish water of the lagoon. She behaved admirably and gracefully, which is more than I can say for some! We are now preparing our first meal aboard and readying our sleeping quarters for a night that promises to be quite different from what we have been accustomed to.
I will post all photos and videos as soon as possible.

Best regards to all our readers,

Jono, Sandra and Guillaume.

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23/04/2013 | Jim Reineck
Prettiest picture I have seen a long time! Well done.
24/04/2013 | Paul Ó Riain
Congratulations to you all, what a great milestone . Enjoy the night aboard.
24/04/2013 | Tim G
What a special day - congrats to you all. I hope you had some special tipple to break gently against her fine hull!
24/04/2013 | Jeff Condell
Congrats! Fantastic achievement and a big moment. Enjoy...
26/04/2013 | Simon G
Congratulations to you all. She looks fantastic. Well done
27/04/2013 | Jonathan Greenwood
Many thanks for all your messages, they mean a lot.
27/04/2013 | Nick Christie
Well done to all - she looks fantastic!
29/04/2013 | Ken Green
Great occasion to see the laydy back in the water. Well done to all involved.
29/04/2013 | Catherine
Bravo!!! You are amazing!!! xox
29/04/2013 | Deborah von Metzradt
Very enjoyable following this project. Amazing job -well done team Chinook.
Oops, no photos!

Sorry folks, I forgot to post the link to the photos.! Here it is.


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Week 60
Jonathan Greenwood
21/04/2013, Tunisia

After 60 weeks of intensive labour, to use but one adjective to save time because we don't have any left and I really want to go to bed, we have arrived at the crucial moment of this moment in time............and that is the launching of "Chinook". It is tomorrow and that is soon! But we are ready in a very optimistic sort of way as one can only be having spent over a year here where we are! There is one picture in the photo album that says it all. I wonder if anyone can pick it out? I will relate that story at a later date as it tells the story of what we have been through this past year and a bit. Tomorrow is D Day. The day when we find out if what we did was good or bad. The day when I go completely grey and shorten the length of my fingers, the nails being long gone and the day when I have to offer presents to all the yardies because something good happened to me, a local custom probably loosely connected to that other annoying custom of theirs involving money. So enough said.
I will leave you to look at the photos and be astonished by what we have achieved this past week and perhaps you might even be impressed a little by the being as she is reborn from the dust filled cocoon that has nurtured her these long months.


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21/04/2013 | George
No pictures for week 60?
21/04/2013 | Jim Rieneck
Congratulations! She looks beautiful. I wish I was there to see her floating.
22/04/2013 | Jonathan Greenwood
Oops, forgot to post the link! Sorry.
22/04/2013 | William
Jono and Sandra , congratulations she looks superb. I hope that the launching goes well today, presumably no champagne allowed !
22/04/2013 | dad
Good luck with the launch. Dont forget to look for leaks!Will be on our knees till we hear from you love mum and dad
22/04/2013 | dad
Dont know how we forgot Sandra who we would like now to consider herself unforgotten next time she comes out of a varnish trance and has everyone in stiches Dad
22/04/2013 | Tim G
Bon Courage - Chinook looks absolutely stunning - well done all. Hope you are getting over the worst of it.
Week 59
Jonathan Greenwood
14/04/2013, Tunisia

Chinook is really starting to come together. Have a look at the photos and you will see what I mean.
The topsides have been faired, after a fashion (and apparently the in fashion at the moment is "lumpy"), and painted and it is strange to see the hull in white after looking at bare wood for so long. The waterline will go on next week and the final fairing to the under body before the antifouling paint. The new P bracket is in place and I just have to get the shaft shortened before being able to fit the prop and do the final engine alignment. We are also now ready to fit the rudder stock and the steering pedestal. So far it has been challenging to say the least but we are finding that our measurements concur with the original drawings which is nice. I am also very happy that we have got the sheer just right and the many hours of scrabbling in the boat in flip flops in the burning heat of the Tunisian summer finally paid off.
The mast had its final coat of varnish on Friday and is looking pretty nice and chocks and fittings are being rapidly placed not only on the mast but the other spars too. Guillaume has really got the bit between his teeth and has 80% of the plumbing finished and piles into the jobs like a man possessed. He has built a jig to drill the hole for the rudder stock that would put NASA to shame. I told him when he has finished with it we should send it up to Mars so the Mars Rover can drill some wonderfully funky holes in those red rocks of theirs!
The interior is taking shape too, but much detail remains to be finalised and these guys are not much good at finishing work. We will have a lot to do after the boat arrives in France.
It is all happening way too fast and we are all high on lack of pork (and all derivative products), alcohol, sleep, Provençale tiled roofs, days off, music while we work, a pub to go to and have a pint, friendly faces, bells ringing every half hour, et al and have been subjected to way too much Harissa, Mint tea, and fecking chicken to be of much use. Sometimes I wonder at the human body and how it is able to adapt to change and its unerring desire to return to what it started with!
I've probably left out a whole heap of interesting things that we have done this past week but I hope the photos will fill the gaps and if they don't I promise to give the official restoration photographer good bollocking on your behalf!


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15/04/2013 | Rob G
Looks like she may even float Jono.......the finishing line of this stage is in sight.....fascinating to have watched and read the progress!! Well done to all involved.
15/04/2013 | Jonathan Greenwood
Thanks Rob, but we are not quite there yet. A small delivery of 500 miles in an untested boat await us in a months time.
Week 58
Jono and Andrew
07/04/2013, Tunisia

Last weeks photos are now online. Enjoy! I am too tired to write this evening but Andrew just sent me some blurb to keep you all amused.
All the best,

So 4 weeks have passed and it was back to the zoo. Sonja the elephant was still there (why Sonja? If you fancy a chuckle have a read of "The 100 year old man who climbed out a window and disappeared") and she was waiting for me. Thankfully she's patient! Other animals that were seen while over there include the lesser spotted red squirrel, about a dozen monkeys and we even saw a camel or two on the way back to the airport! But the ol' girl is coming together.

It was another week of non-stop painting, polishing, fairing and repairing (sometimes having to repair things which wouldn't normally otherwise need repairing, but it adds character!). The aim of this game is to reuse as much of the material that came off Chinook in the new boat so nothing was thrown away and time has been spent cleaning up old brass bolts, bars and other bits and pieces to see which can be reused - the main hatch now has 2 sparkling rails made from old hinges whilst the helm has been lovingly restored with salvaged bolts.

Things have been advancing on other fronts - the jumper strut has been shaped and painted/varnished, the rigging has been re-checked on the mast, the new bow sprit has been sanded to the correct length, cabin soles have been shaped and put down, the shower tray has been formed and painted, the galley has some beautifully veneered work surfaces and the fridge and freezer were installed!

Just in case you were ever wondering, it takes 3 people to sikaflex the glass into decklights! Two to pass comment on how/should/could be done without spreading the black stuff everywhere (not that kind of black stuff unfortunately) and one to actually do the work! It took a day to set up all the frames and then a couple of hours of gunking, but we got there! They'd better be watertight or there'll be three of us to blame!

Aside from that, Jono and Guillaume did give the old girl a good shaft through the course of the week - P-bracket has been measured up, all that remains is for it to be welded and then the shaft can be trimmed.

Oh and there was a teaser of what the rudder will look like when its in its final place. And the fairing of the hull continues.

So, the main questions at the end of this week are will she be ready for launching in a couple of weeks and was the haircut Jono got the last time I was there really that bad???


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09/04/2013 | Craig McGowan
Just looking at the photo here. really this is just not on you know. Where are the machine guards, where are the eye protectors, protective gloves and clothing. No Fire extinguishers!...... You would get away with that here boys -'elf & safety, 'elf & safety!!
09/04/2013 | Jonathan Greenwood
When you don't have electricity, you don't need all that stuff. I'm rubbing the bolt on a stationary wheel and Guillaume is using his considerable physical strength to force the drill bit through the metal! I'll tell you all about it one day over a cold beer.
Week 57
Jonathan Greenwood
02/04/2013, Tunisia

Time........, Man hours, minutes lost, extreme seconds, days wasted, regretted years and yet we all have trouble using it well and would like to be able to re live small or bigger parts of our lives. Hindsight is 20/20 vision, or so they say, and yet I have no major regrets over this project if only that we had given ourselves a little more time! I suppose that passion can overcome the hardest of tasks, and keep one motivated to the end and this is one of those times. We are late, the pressure is on, people drag their behinds when they should be grafting and yet would we have it any other way? Or has it ever been any different? Such seems to be the way of the world; less than perfect. This is a human adventure in every respect and all drawn together by a near hundred year old boat that was happily rotting away undisturbed and a long dead designer who is probably writhing in his grave wondering why the hell we idiots didn't restore it in carbon fibre! There is a Murphy's Law poster in the down stairs bathroom of my parent's house that has probably been there for the last 25 years and the quote that springs to mind from it is: "the light at the end of the tunnel is actually the headlamp of the oncoming train". In my 30 years of involvement in yachting, I have yet to be part of a major refit that was on time, no matter how hard we tried to be.
We are inexorably forging ahead towards the launch and the boat is now almost fully waterproof. All through hulls are in and plumbing has commenced. The electrical conduit is also placed and we will endeavour to run some cables soon. The engine is in place and I am working on the fitting of the custom P bracket. Meanwhile the butterfly hatches, companionway, original Samson post have been fitted and the keel joint has been caulked. The lead has also been cleaned off and primed with epoxy, ready for fairing. Work continues on the interior but is slow to finish. The bilges have been painted out and Sandra has made great inroads with the leather. The rigging arrived and has been checked against the mast which has now received 9 coats of varnish and another 6 coats will finish it. The toe rail is well advanced, speed stripe routered, and hull fairing is continuing. We were joined last week by our crew man, Guillaume, and he has really taken the bull by the horns. Also, "Elephant Man" Andrew showed up on Sunday for a week and has spent Monday lovingly caressing the elephant!

More next week,


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02/04/2013 | Adam Drew
Hey Jono!
Wow, wow, wow! She is really coming along! Great blog & photos. You are nearly there! ;-)
02/04/2013 | Tim G
Jono - congrats to all there - the anticipation as you enter the back strait is palpable. It looks like you are well ahead of time. Do you think, in your spare time, you could rustle up a few "Chinooks in Bottles" for your most loyal supporters?
03/04/2013 | Jean-René
Reading and watching your adventure week after week... Extraordinaire... Formidable !!! Nearly unbelievable. I cannot wait to see your baby sailing and her proud parents making the presentation. I wish you both a happy launch in water and a not less happy first sailing and crossing towards France!!! See you in Antibes.
04/04/2013 | Jonathan Greenwood
Thanks for your wows, congrats etc but they are a bit premature, a bit like our baby. Long overdue at this moment! And by the way, spare time is as rare as bacon over here! As to Chinooks in bottles, Tim, could you do me a favour and try to imagine the earths atmosphere as a glass bottle and then you will find Chinook in it. Cheers.
week 55 56
Jonathan Greenwood
26/03/2013, Tunisia

I was talking recently to my parents back in Ireland and they were telling me that they had been doing some pretty big jig saw puzzles to pass away the time during the long Irish winter. Well, here we are approaching 15 months after the start date and this 100,000 piece puzzle is taking a wee bit longer to put together than we expected! The pieces are coming together but the time taken to match two pieces is taking too long and we are under increasing pressure to achieve. That said, we have made good progress towards the launch date. Work continues inside at a pace and outside there is now paint on the hull, the deck is being sanded, the companionway hatch has been made, the galley work tops have been veneered, strops have been leathered, cockpit coamings have been varnished, hinges have been ordered, delivered, and have to be changed because they are chromed, through hulls have been fitted, engine exhaust system has been terminated. And so it goes on, and on and on.
My apologies but time is limited, so this will have to be a short one.

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Week 54
Jonathan Greenwood
11/03/2013, France

We arrived back home yesterday for a week's break, and I couldn't find the energy to write last night, so apologies for that.
Last week Sandra finished leathering the last block but still has much left to do on the rigging when the mast goes in and we near departure. She has also made great progress with the varnishing and painting but as ever there is a lot left to do. I spent the week wrestling with the ballast keel, tightening up the keel bolts little by little, squeezing the joint until it would squeeze no more. When I get back next week I will give them another tweak just to be sure.
I am also enjoying building the throat halyard blocks using the guts of two old "Merriman" doubles whose timber parts had reached the end of their usefulness. I have never made a block before and it really is an interesting exercise for a DIY enthusiast like me. I love finding solutions to problems and it gives me great pleasure to find ways to re-use as many of the old parts of Chinook as I can. It is important that she retains as much of the gear that has been with her for decades as is humanly possible. It is too easy to buy new just because this or that part is a bit worn or damaged. I'm sorry but Chinook is not a 21st century disposable item where all must be new just because it is faded or scratched.
The decking is all but complete and some caulking in the central section will happen this week to allow us to place the hatch surrounds ASAP. The jib boom is now finished and the mast is being worked on in earnest. Work on the interior is also advancing slowly but I think we shall probably leave with it unfinished in order to now concentrate all our efforts on the exterior and the sailing of the boat. There will be plenty of time to work on interior detail over the season.
I will leave you to look at the few photos for last week and bid you a fruitful week.


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Chinook NY48
Who: Graham Walker, Jono Greenwood, Sandra Ugolini, Andrew Bates, Manu Fontaine
Port: London
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