I have been feeling very guilty because the boat hasn’t been out of the marina for a while now – since the end of September. To be fair, we have had plans to go for a sail, but always been snookered by the weather, and then there have also been pipe band engagements and family commitments. But we have been out on the boat albeit in the marina and actually spent a night on it. Just doing boat maintenance, enjoying being afloat and seeing the activities going on around the marina. D’Albora marina is in a national park and consequently a bushland setting – quite relaxing. Fingers crossed that this coming weekend has fair winds and calm seas, and equally calm creeks and estuaries, as that will be our intended destination.
In the meantime I have been wrestling with my new jigsaw and circular saw and as I type, the bottom washboard has been cut out, stained and coated with two coats of epoxy sealant and is now ready for sanding and varnishing. I still feel that woodworking is one of the dark arts, but after just a couple of hours at it, plus a lot of consultation with Dr Google, I feel that I have a bit more of a handle on it. If they were to make a television talent show about carpentry, similar to Master Chef and I were to appear on it, the judges would be shaking their heads as I go about my measuring and cutting. Heaven knows what the commentators would say and I can only imagine presenting my work to the judges. All these shows have the obligatory sharp tongued, Simon Cowell type judge and no doubt I would get a good dressing down. “What do you mean by handing in work like this?” “Why are there chips along the edge?” “Why isn’t the work square?” “What is this gap between the joins?” etc etc. No doubt I would get voted off on the first night and then be reduced to tears because my lifelong dream of being a celebrity carpenter has been destroyed. I have also had a go at making some shelves for the TV cabinet in the living room and these have also been a huge learning experience. Not sure how they did this stuff in the olden days where you couldn’t Google things to find out how to do it. My Father was a fairly good amateur carpenter and made lots of things, especially out of recycled timber. Did he just go out and into the garage and jump straight in feet first and learn by experience, or did he have friends giving advice? I was too young or not even yet born when he was dabbling in carpentry, but he didn’t have jigsaws, circular saws or Google. Another tick for the older generations, and a minus for the Millennials!
I have a whole list of timber projects in the pipeline, including the top washboard, a surround for the proposed VHF radio and stereo, plus a shelf in the dinette well to name a few. Some of the skills involved are a bit more advanced than just cutting out square bits of timber, but hopefully, I will improve enough and the boat will benefit from all the beautiful woodwork.
Now that it’s spring, it really sucks to be stuck at home doing woodwork projects instead of actually out sailing. This weekend was especially hard as I really wanted to go sailing, but with the Landrover off getting fixed and also my bike getting it’s end of year service and rego inspection along with a couple of repairs which meant that it was still in the workshop, I was stuck at home with my two new saws to keep me company as Debbie was working both days. Solo sailing seems a viable option and I should start thinking long and hard about learning to get the boat in and out of the marina by myself. Actually, the staff at the marina are very helpful and will give you a hand to get out and will be there to catch you on your return. Once you are out of the slip, it’s all plain sailing so to speak, well plain motoring at any rate. The first outing solo is going to be scary and I daresay it will take a few goes to work out the logistics of it all. Getting the main and the headsail up. I imagine that I can stick the boat in neutral whilst still in Coal and Candle Creek, where it is sheltered with little traffic and dash up forward and get one sail up and then get the other up a bit further up the creek ready for when I hit the main waterway. Only time will tell if this approach works but I can’t see why it shouldn’t. One of the long term jobs on the list is to get all the lines etc running back to the cockpit so that will make it easier. Also planning to get a headsail furler along with a new headsail in the new year and that will also make things a hell of a lot easier, especially if I am planning to do some solo sailing.
However, it won’t be happening this weekend as we are going out with a full crew, ie the two of us and we just have to decide if we want to head north or south. It will most likely be south and we can have a bit of a sail.
Deb’s birthday weekend is coming up in few weeks, so that’s another weekend out and about on the waterways of the Cowan and Hawkesbury. Better get some beer for the fridge so that we can kick back after a day’s sailing and exploring our lovely waterways a bit more. But more about that next time.