April 1st, 2023
Sand and Strip and Wash and Paint and Cetol and Varnish and Repair and Replace and Clean and Tidy and Bake and . . . ..
And then the team of heritage vessel maintenance specialists arrived and with little ceremony began working . . . and it also started snowing!
If one ever needed to remind me of the glorious wonders of having the ship inside a covered shed just mention this conjunction of events: April1st, 5 crew arrive to begin spring S&P (on payroll and time clocks ticking!) and snow.
and later installed . . .
and the aft mast was S&P’d
I installed the boat shed about 10 years ago with 14 separate 4000# concrete blocks sunk to windward, 2 separate lines to the head of the bay attached to 1 1/2″ pins drilled into the bedrock, plus one all-chain line also pinned to bedrock plus 2 galvanized steel 12″ diameter stiff legs pinned to the shore. All connected with 2″ and 3″ diameter lines connected to 2″ diameter shackles and 1″ diameter chain . . . . I need to be able to sleep at night . ..
But rust never sleeps.
During the two day blow one chain failed under strain. Despite the gale, Luke donned his dive gear and retrieved the dropped line. I had to cut the shackle (down to 1/2 its original 2″ diameter) and you can see the 1″ chain corroded to extinction. The remaining chains connecting the anchors to the shed were sistered with 1″ nylon rope in case any more failed and . . . I know what I will be doing soon . . . .replacing the chain components of the mooring system.
The main galley exterior door which is made of very solid and heavy teak, is over 60 years old and the most trafficked door on the vessel. After withstanding 3.8 million door slams, a small strip of teak cracked off around the latch mechanism. The door was repaired but had to be refinished after the new wood was sanded to shape . . .
Sanded . . .
The inset piece
I am told that it is hard to find and retain good employees: well-trained crews that work long and hard with high standards and don’t require supervision . . . so it only seemed prudent for me to have ready coffee and tea and preheated mugs and chairs and sometimes . . . .
And you guessed!! More cetoling and varnishing and painting!
And interior projects proceeded. The custom-faced under-counter galley refrigerator had very light duty plastic shelves on the door that had failed. So we designed, and Luke fabricated, welded and installed a new shelf system.
and it really is pretty excessive but I wire brush the engine roof floor plates until they shine! It is a really noisy, arm numbing job I loath to delegate . . . or as the crew might say . . .“But Ross, those floor plates look FINE as they are!”
Then the big day arrives and the weather cooperated. The shed doors were unlashed and opened
But the good weather couldn’t go to waste so some of the crew took on the tender’s refit that after
So after two weeks the crews have thinned out and finally left. My house is quiet and I almost had a well deserved day off (but that’s a different tale).
The COLUMBIA III now sits out my window, gorgeous and waiting for next steps. Lead Guide Sarah Hauser will arrive to prep kayaks and paddling gear (we have two new kayaks this year and all new Werner paddles) and I will knuckle down once again into my alternate reality of substantiating paper work for multiple levels of bureaucracy that envelope this small business. (Now that would be a tedious blog post!!). I have inspections to pass and supplies to load and somehow turn the ship into a welcoming home-away-from-home for my soon-to-arrive guests.
For our 2023 upcoming season, my benediction; Safe, fun, and viable. For everyone.