Sunday, 14 January 2007

High and dry

0 Locks / 0 miles

Just as well we set an alarm clock last night. Neither of us slept very well for one reason or another and Murphy’s Law prevailed because we had no sooner dozed off when the alarm went off. Dead on 8am the boat yard team arrived and started to remove the boat in the dry dock and within 10 minutes we were being pulled in by rope. They don’t drive the boats in or out as it stirs up too much sludge making it difficult to seal the dock gateway.

After closing the gate behind us and lining the boat up, securing ropes fore and aft, 3 submersible pumps were started to drain the dock. This took about 30 minutes and “Gypsy Rover” gently settled on the 3 wooden bearers without a bump. As soon as there was no fear of any movement a gangplank was placed from the dock wall to the boat. I then set about putting on my wet weather gear in preparation to start the water blasting A.S.A.P. I had no sooner got down onto the dry dock floor when I found a small Perch (see picture) flapping around in the shallow water. So a helping hand was needed for this little fellow to get back to the canal in one piece rather than being minced up going through one of the pumps.
We hired the water blaster which can be used hot or cold but it was recommended that we do the job at 700 C to remove any oil or grease as well as the sludge. The whole job took 4 hours with a brief coffee break.
Lunch was the next order of the day while I waited for the boat to dry.
After lunch the hull was dry enough on the starboard side to set to with an electric grinder fitted with the meanest, coarse wire brush available. The rest of the afternoon was spent wielding this heavy piece of electrical equipment around grinding off anything the water blaster had failed to shift. To date I can report that 25% of the hull has now been finished awaiting blacking and I am exhausted (I was going to write something else here but I’ve been censored) so it won’t be long before I’m in bed to restore some energy for tomorrow.

Just had a power cut after some heavy rain so I am uploading this in the dark, I can't wait for the power to come back on. I hope the dry dock doesn't fill up over night and ruin all my hard work!

1 comment:

Khayamanzi said...

Great toread of your exploits. I hope the hull blacking goes well and you're soon cruising again.
Best wishes for 2007.