The Easter Period

The Easter Period

Grab the bucket and sponge.  Grab the spanners and screwdrivers.  Charge up the drill and dremel.  Plug in the fridge and make sure it has beer in it.  Easter is coming and La Mouette and I are going to spend some time together.  The Easter bunny can come if he wants but he or she must be prepared to bring beer and help out with jobs.  I have four days free and as I did over Christmas, I plan to stay aboard and do some fettling.  Hopefully, there will be some sailing involved.

First cab off the rank is to climb the mast and sort out that pesky anchor light.  It has never worked and during numerous attempts to fix it, I have traced the electricity through to the wiring at the bottom of the mast.  Where it goes after that, I have no idea, but it doesn’t make the anchor light work.  I would hazard a guess and say the wiring on the anchor light has been wired incorrectly ie positive and negative are around the wrong way, which, on LEDS, means that the light won’t work.  The other possibility is that the unit is faulty.  Either way, it involves climbing the mast and finding out.  This will be a good time to put my mast climbing rig to the test. 

The exterior woodwork needs a coat of Cetol or two, and the port rub rail needs scraping, sanding and a few coats, or four.  The starboard rub rail needs an additional couple of coats as do the hand rails and washboard guides.  The Cetol is starting to look a bit thin in places and it’s time for re-coat.  This will take four days to do, but whilst it’s drying between coats, I can climb the mast and sort the anchor light.

Also between coats, the engine is due for its annual service.  I have a box of bits and pieces so will do the usual oil change along with cleaning the strainer.  The anode needs replacing and the impellor also will be replaced.  It’s time to remove the fuel tank and give it a clean out, replace the paper filter element and install a new sight glass.  That should give me another twelve months of trouble free motoring – fingers crossed.  Nothing is certain in the boating universe.

I have discovered that one of the windows in the saloon is loose.  I will pop that out and stick it back in with some sealant.  Last Saturday when we opened up the Gull, we discovered that there was water in the bilge.   The water wasn’t clear but a muddy brown, sort of coffee colour.  After a few days of puzzling this out, I have come to the conclusion that the water somehow got into the boat after I pressure washed it a few weeks back.   I always check the bilge when I open up the boat, but never when I lock it up to go home.  Maybe, I should.  Especially after a washdown.  I think the water may have got in through the loose window.  Not sure about the brown colouring though.  Maybe it was the gunge in the space between the roof and the headlining.  Compasses have this brown goo and it’s my belief that the water coming in the though the window collected some of the goo and ended up in the bilge.  Nothing else fits the scenario – it’s not rust.  Definitely not oil as there is no slick floating on the surface – so where else could it have come from?  So, between coats 3 and 4 I will fix the window.

I am not to going to be too ambitious with the job list this Easter.  I only have four days and 4 jobs should be sufficient.  On past experience, I might not even get that far.  I might need the help of the Easter bunny after all.

The last few times I have spent a few days on the boat doing jobs has been quite enjoyable.  It’s a different pace to normal life and should be fun.  The weather won’t be stinking hot as it was over the Christmas break, which will be good for the varnishing.  The evenings aboard can be quite relaxing.  We don’t watch television at home, but do spend an evening or two each week watching the sailing channels on Youtube, so a few days without the electronic stimulation from a video screen will be beneficial. The evenings aboard will be nice and relaxing with a bit of reading, and maybe doing some marlinspike work.  I have been trying to learn to tie a Turk’s head knot and ringbolt hitching, so I most probably will do some more practice and maybe even get the tiller sorted with two turk’s heads and ringbolt hitching to protect the varnish where it hits the cockpit seating.  However, that’s getting ambitious and as I mentioned, I am trying to avoid having too many jobs on the Easter list.  Keep it simple and manageable – that way you get the warm glow when you complete all your allotted tasks, and don’t end up feeling despondent when the to-do list still has undone items on it.  Did I say I was going to go out for a sail?  What did I just say about keeping a manageable list of tasks?  Oh stuff it, throw the list in the bin and hoist the mainsail!  I do need to run the engine after its service, so that would be a good time to back the Gull out of the slip and up the channel to some more open water where I can hoist a sail catch the wind.  Cue the Donovan song, “I may as well try and catch the wind”.


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