Heart, Head and Hands
27 April 2009 | Mamaki
Chris Larn/Rainy and Damp
If, like me, you are committed to helping to preserve this planet for our descendents, you know that it is necessary to work towards that goal, not just talk about it. So - I volunteered to help with Oceanswatch for a number of reasons - The oceans are under pressure from over exploitation, climate change and other effects of human activity, I have the sea in my blood, am a keen sailor whenever I have the chance (not often enough in the past!), I am involved in the Transition towns movement back home in the UK (transitiondorking.org.uk) and am also a keen diver. I am also lucky enough to have the time and resources to come to New Zealand and to contribute whatever skills I have to this important project in the Pacific . This blog is about the re-fit of the Oceanswatch lead boat, Magic Roundabout, in preparation for the trip to Vanuatu, The Solomons and Papua New Guinea. The Yacht needs a lot of work to be ready. Since arriving ten days ago I have been working on stripping old worn varnish from the cabin sole (the floor boards) and today (joy of joys) started to re-varnish them and the attached photo shows that work in progress. Unfortunately, no sooner than was the varnish off the wood, than it started to absorb the atmospheric damp from all the heavy rain we have been having. This has necessitated having two de-humidifiers running in the living room where all the boats have been to dry them sufficiently for varnishing.. I took this task over from Juliana, our professional sail-maker and yachtswoman freeing her to work on the new curtains. I find it intensely satisfying watching the colour of the wood emerge behind the glossy layers of varnish and I was pleased to take this on for that reason - thanks J. This afternoon, (Monday 27th April) we went into Whangarei where the boat is moored, to pick up supplies for the re-fit and to work on the boat.
This afternoon, (Monday 27th April) we went into Whangarei where the boat is moored, to pick up supplies for the re-fit and to work on the boat.
The list of jobs is long and the time to complete them is short. Apart from the state of the floor of the yacht, the hatch surrounds also needed to be re-varnished which has involved hours of painstaking sanding to remove the tired and blistered varnish, the boat needed some serious attention to electrical systems, a new sound system (we do like to entertain other yachties and locals as we go, to publicise the work of the charity and meet new potential members), the lighting needs attention, the engine has reached the end of it's useful life, and the anti-fouling needs to be renewed. Other tasks include making new cheerfully coloured curtains, replacing the badly worn rudder bearing, a repair to the spinnaker pole and other miscellaneous renovations and improvements.
I wrestled with the spinnaker pole as Chris Bone re-fitted the repaired inverter to the electrical panel. Unfortunately, the screws holding the female socket to the spinnaker pole, which is damaged and needs to be replaced, were seized fast and would not budge. Even under the most ferocious pressure exerted by myself and an anonymous, passerby helper, and eased with liberal applications of WD40, we couldn't move the screws. That will now have to go to the rigger's for a fix, as the bond between the stainless steel of the screws and the aluminium of the fittings appears to be permanent. However, progress is being made and the mountain of tasks to complete the re-fit is gradually diminishing. I will keep you informed of progress as we get ready for the departure date. As the title of this blog suggests, we do this work for reasons of the heart, we use our knowledge and skills of the head and this past ten days has been all about the hands. Looks like plenty more of that to come - eh? As they say in New Zealand....