30th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage
42 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts!
That was certainly a very good move to ask for my planned launch to be brought forward by a few days. I was really lucky that the yard staff were up for it as they get pretty busy at this time of the year.
I had a bit of a sleepless night before the launch. In order to launch early I had decided to abandon trying to gold leaf the cove line and instead I used a matt gold tape which I confess I really do not like. I was contemplating trying to rip it off but worried it would pull off the varnish. I decided to use real gold leaf on the cove line details at each end, but the size was very old and was showing no signs of drying. I suppose it is a good sign to just be up worrying about decorative trivia before the launch but these things are rather important to me.
As it happens, I managed to get into the shed at 08:30 on the morning of the launch and the gold size had tacked up just enough to be workable, and although not ideal, the gold leaf went on reasonably well and I decided to live with the taped line between as a good compromise.
The lift went very smoothly, I even had brand new slings! The staff always slip some polythene sleeving over the webbing slings to protect the boats paintwork.
All my new rigging fitted well and at 16:30 the boat was launched with Johannes giving me a hand to take the ropes on the pontoon. There was a bit of a breeze but it was a lovely warm sunny day so, after shifting a few heavy barrow loads of gear, I decided to relax and have a beer in the cockpit.
Today has been pretty grim. I have half my gear on the boat and half in the campervan so I decided to stay in the van last night. Now it is raining, and it has been all day. I decided to service the engine which all went reasonably well until I tried to bleed the fuel system with no success. So my engine which started first time and chugged smoothly to the pontoon is now defunct, at least until I have a brainwave regarding how to solve it.
The cabin is chock-a-block with “stuff” which needs finding a home. A lot of the gear will end up on deck once the rain stops. Other gear needs scurrying away, somewhere! I bought a new hose to clean the inside of the boat thinking it would be long enough to reach the boat from the tap, but it wasn’t. It also leaks with loads of pin prick holes so into the skip it will go. What a load of dross!
Right now the Eberspacher heater is running while I tuck into a big bowl of Cullen Skink. I’ll have an early night and it’ll be my first one on board, then hopefully I can sort out the rigging in the morning if the rain has stopped.