5 January, '08

Stanley Fong and Masaya Kinoshita flew down from Japan to spend a weekend helping Charlie with his project.  They flew from Tokyo to Korea, then to Auckland New Zealand, and from there travelled for about 2 hours on a minibus to our town.  I’d guess at about 20 hours door to door, and the same to get home.  That’s friendship!  Good guys, and Charlie seems much cheered by their effort. 

Thanks for coming guys, nice to meet you.  

While there were four of us, we did a quick cleanup to make a path for Resolution, jacked her up a little and slid pipe rollers under her, I drove my old Toyota around the back to the double doors and sat her there with the handbrake on and hooked the big block and tackle onto the towbar.  I wonder what Toyata san would think of the old girl being used as an anchor?

A foot at a time (“one small step for a boat, a giant leap for boatingkind!”), we lined her up with the door and moved her up to the step to outside.  Some old round fence posts were commandeered to use as rollers from there, and the car was moved a little, then it was “Pull Stanley”, and “hai Masaya” again, and again. It took perhaps an hour to complete the job, and she is all lined up for the trailer when we slide the ballast keel under her in a few days.

It was like watching some treasured baby animal being born, there was lots of help to get her out into the world, and there are only a few weeks to pass before she is in the water and can move under her own power.

Sigh, another step toward being a “grownup boat” and seeing her head off on her big adventure.  We’ve a daughter who went off to work overseas at 21, it feels a bit like that to see a project that has been so much part of our lives getting so close to leaving.

In the meantime, I think it’s rained every day since we pulled her outside so her bow has been very thoroughly wet.  If there is anyone out there in a drought area, this seems to be a sure fire way of breaking it!

 I came out to work on Wednesday and was asked by Charlie if he’d woken us  (Resolution is not far from our bedroom window) as he’d been out with tarpaulins at 2 am, the cockpit floor hatch into the cargo hold had not been sealed to the deck, (it has now!) and he was worried that the boat would fill up with water. 

But the man who does the welding came, and has fitted the pushpit and pulpit feet to the angled deck, more paint has gone on, check out the bright yellow!  High visibility for sure!

We have a few days ago put the keel casting mould into its trench, levelled it and rammed earth in all around it to ensure it does not move when we start the pour, and tomorrow, well, we might be standing stoking the fire most of the day.

Update, we tried the melt.  No problem with heat or melt but the bath fitting leaked molten lead so we aborted the job for the day and are now going to try again on the morrow using automotive exhaust repair putty as a sealant.

Think of us, its not a job either of us are looking forward to, the biggest pour I’ve done in the past was about 200 kg, this ones 720 kg or so!

Charlie is working on the wire rigging, making up the wooden sections to complete the aluminium mast section, setting up the butt end in the tabernacle and making sure that it will allow the mast to pivot and still take the rigging strains through the butt of the mast not the pivot pin. 

Our friend Ian Mander has been working the lathe and mill that we have in the container workshop around the back, milling the castings to finish them ready to fit.  Much appreciated, while Charlie has been working on them with grinders and such this bronze is tough and difficult to work and the use of “real” machine tools has sped things up no end.

Ian milling

Charlie grinding

The other member of the crew, the supervisor, is asleep wherever there is a sheltered spot.  Cloudycat, the master of all he surveys and possessor of many claws, is completely convinced that all the fuss is for his benefit.

Cloudycat supervising

We are beginning to have more and more visitors, the excitement is rising, not long now.

John Welsford.