28th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage

44 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts!

Sumara fully varnished and prior to the horrible tape cove line being applied!

I’m ahead of schedule..and you don’t hear that often in boatyards!

It has been an up and down week. The downside has been that I have been suffering excruciating toothache for the last week. This was eventually cured by a visit to the excellent Oban dentist who pulled the offending tooth out. I feel so much better now!

Whilst in Oban I went to see my new rifle so I could measure it up so that I can make some securing devices. I had to purchase the rifle in advance of my firearms licence arriving because rifles are in very short supply, not sure why! The great news is the licence arrived today so that little worry is ticked off the list.

Progress on the boat has been good with everything going to plan except the cove line. I was offered the chance of a Friday launch and an early launch trumps everything. I would need to ditch the cove line. To apply real gold leaf to the cove line involves sanding, masking, red leading, gold sizing and then applying the leaf. It would require two days, so I decided to try using gold tape instead. Sadly I hate it! It looked great in blue on Phil’s boat but the gold doesn’t hit the mark. There are some detailed carvings at each end of the line which I thought I would apply some leaf but my size is “12 hour gold size” and they have just locked up the workshop! It might still work in the morning, we shall see, otherwise gold leafing from a dinghy may be my only option. I am still considering tearing off the tape, but I suspect I’ll just have to live with it. I now need to stop titivating the boat and get on with the technical stuff need for the expedition.

The mast dressed and ready for stepping.

This morning the yard crew moved the mast out of the shed and placed it under the crane so that I could dress it. The trick with carrying masts is to try to find four people of equal height, poor Phil, being the tallest, seemed to be taking all the weight! All the standing rigging is brand spanking new made by my fair hands so there will be no one to blame if it doesn’t fit. I used KOS wire with Stalok rigging screws. The new halyards are Liros Herkules with Brookes and Adams bronze snaps. Just before I retired to the campervan for a glass of rioja (well, I was locked out of the workshop), I decided to carry out a final rig inspection and absolutely everything was perfect until I looked at the end of the very last spreader and it was missing a Nylok nut.

The missing Nylok and washer on the spreader end

So easy to do, a little distraction, you forget what you were doing and move onto something else. Everything is 100% now, I don’t want any worries whilst battling a storm in the Denmark Straight.

Hopefully the mast stepping and boat launch will go smoothly tomorrow.

You can find out more about Sumara’s new rigging here: https://sumaraofweymouth.co.uk/2021/11/22/sumaras-ropes-and-rigging/

I’ve just been asked if I want to join Will Stirling on his yacht Integrity sailing in Newfoundland. Obviously it would be a “no” if it clashed with my Greenland Expedition but it would actually start two days after I return in September. Rather tempting! Let’s see.

4 Responses

  1. Ahead of schedule! Marvellous. Will be thinking of you and Sumara tomorrow.
    And yes that does sound temping going back out with Will.
    44 and counting…

    1. Still plenty of opportunity for mishaps during the launch so I’ll feel a bit more relaxed when I am moored safely alongside. Then there will need to be a big clean-up as everything is covered with the winters grime. I’ll leave that for Saturday. Might even have a day off on Sunday!

      1. Glad launch went well. Shame about the weather today and the engine but hopefully tomorrow the day will be dry and you can get all sorted Fingers crossed x

        1. ..and today it is calm and sunny, so I shall get the rig all set up. Still pondering why the engine wont bleed but I’m sure a flash of inspiration will come along!

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