One Step at a Time

I love internet shopping! Lunch time on Thursday I remembered I really did need that extra large adjustable spanner if I was going to undo the huge nuts holding the mast step in place, so I ordered it…. Saturday morning it arrived! By Saturday lunch the reluctant mast step was removed along with a very badly corroded steel floor. £17 well spent! The massive lump of oak reminded me of a piece of timber we once dug out of the foundations of the house, a  relic of the old mill that used to stand here. It had lain under the ground so long it had turned to a dark ebony like material that was so brittle and crystalline  it fractured across the grain and blunted tools very quickly.

Showing signs of nail sickness ?
The mast step showing signs of nail sickness or turned to bog oak ?

Removal came with a lot of sweat and swearing and at one point I considered just leaving it. Once removed though I was glad I persevered, given the rot that was revealed in the frame and the level of corrosion of the steel. The base of the mast is such a high stress area I’ll be much happier with a new step, and repaired frames.

This frame has a large spongy area of rot where the floor bolts through.
This frame has a large spongy area of rot where the floor bolts through.

The picture doesn’t really do justice to the extent of the rot, but when one of the bronze bolts just fell out and my probing screwdriver sank an inch into the soft pulp, I realised something was amiss.

The heads are looking a little public but I think clearing out all the furniture and bulkheads, though time consuming, will be worth it just to get a really good look at all the frames and sort out any sistering or repairs that need doing…

Public Toilet!
Public Toilet!

I am wondering whether to keep the Baby Blake at all or whether a modern cassette type toilet might be better, less holes through the hull, less mechanics to go wrong.

The weekend wasn’t all about Flamingo (Tracy may beg to differ) There was apple pruning, whittling, and archery too!

Luke testing one of the longbows.... turns out its not as easy as Legolas makes it look
Luke testing one of the longbows…. turns out its not as easy as Legolas makes it look

Apparently, come the apocalypse, we will be hunting for our food. After half an hour of practice Luke commented that perhaps broccoli might be easier to catch…

Tracy getting to grips with the winter pruning, and Tilly Whittling marshmallow toasting sticks
Tracy getting to grips with the winter pruning, and Tilly Whittling marshmallow toasting sticks

And finally. The Old Man has hung up his ditty bag…. or at least passed it down to me. Its a treasure trove of well used, much loved sailing paraphernalia, whipping thread, fids, shackles and needles and more, all in a canvas bag he has had since sailing Dulcimer, a 1973 Bowman 46.

Dulcimer's Ditty Bag and a well used heaving line
Dulcimer’s Ditty Bag and a well used heaving line

The heaving line with Monkey’s Fist is the same vintage and similarly well used over the years.

thats_all_folks_

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