Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Well, building the tent was fun! I have to say it was very satisfying making a room within a room which was relatively dust free enabling me to varnish without layers of dust forming on my meticulously prepared surface. I think the results kinda speak for themselves.

I must thank Rae, my uncomplaining and incredibly supportive partner, she is always there to help with erecting finishing tents, turning boats over, varnishing, painting, planking and roving etc....

Yep, you guessed it, now the varnishing is completed Rae kindly helped me turn the boat over this afternoon, thank you hun.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The sailing adventure that never was

The plan was a good one, to leave at 05.00 Friday morning, sail to Brightlingsea, rest-up and then race in the Colne smack and sailing barge match on Saturday. I joined the rest of the crew on board The Essex Smack Gracie on Thursday evening.

When I pulled up in the car park at the Shipwright Arms at Hollowshore I was surprised to see large black clouds in the sky which were moving pretty fast. This I found surprising as there was a big area of high pressure over the UK. Surely High pressure equals good weather and light winds? So, out the car I get. I meet Ron in the boatyard, he takes me over to where Gracie is rafted-up alongside the Alberta, a very fine and fast Essex Smack. I stow my gear on board Gracie and we head for the pub for a pint of shipwrecked. The skipper, Tony and the other crew member Arthur join us and we have a pleasant evening talking boats.

The alarm on my phone wakes us all at 04.30 Friday morning. Tony the skipper says "sorry lads its too windy we are not going." It is the right decision, Friday mornings shipping forecast confirmed we were right not to go. The wind does not let-up and the trip from Hollowshore to Brightlingsea would have been a very wet affair with the wind coming from the NE it would be a beat all the way there. So back to bed we go. On waking we talk, about boats of course, drink tea and coffee and Ron makes a splendid cooked breakfast. All in all a very pleasant time.

I have included some photos from Friday morning. The top photo is the newly restored smack, Emma, below this is Arthur's project, a Maurice Griffiths Lone Gull, beneath this is Ron's project, the Smack Valkyrie II and finally a view from the main hatch looking aft on Gracie.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Repairing Oars

I am currently varnishing the interior of the pretty 11 footer. This is a satisfying job and I enjoy watching the deepening shine develop on the application of each subsequent coat. 

In between rubbing down and varnishing I have been repairing the boats oars. As you can see these were in a poor state of repair. The blades were literally falling apart and the varnish was flaking badly. 

The blade sections have been carefully removed, cleaned and glued back together, the varnish has been stripped and the oars have been sanded and are now ready for varnishing.