Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where did I go wrong?

We didn't leave today, and we probably won't tomorrow either now.

There was washing to do after all, and despite my concerted efforts of recent days, what could only be described as "a leak", was still allowing what could only be described as "river" into the aft cabin. Well I admit it wasn't actually river, just rain on it's way to being so, but it was a veritable river through the cabin and provided the clearest evidence yet of a source of irrigation for the now well and truly disposed of champignons.

I love the smell of grinding disk in the morning, and I had to cut the bolts off to a more respectable length anyway, after which a conference with "my chaps" was in order to determine a course of action. It was never going to be probable that Michel would be available, but he graciously confirmed my diagnosis, that an incompetent repairer many years ago had failed to pay any attention to the fact that the hull had badly delaminated after a massive accident. They'd simply bogged up the hole and continued replacing bits of rotten flooring when hirers complained about the rotting smell.

He was busy of course, and fair enough, there are a fleet of boats to take care of, but will have time over winter. I would prefer to have him work in a dry boat though, if he's going to be out here in minus twenty degrees on my behalf.

There was nothing for it but to further investigate, so I borrowed a dust mask and a bigger grinder, donned my disposable overalls with the hood and after sealing the cabin from the rest of the boat, proceeded to chisel and grind the inner two thirds of the hull away. Interestingly, under all those cracks and layers of newspaper, I found a slot about fifty millimetres by eight, which exited directly under a rubber bumper. That could possibly be the problem I thought.

So did Michel, when I called him to inspect my work. Michel is a man of few words, none of them English. Squatting with me in an inch of dust, he stroked my ground-out patch which had grown to almost a metre high and half as wide, and said quietly, "Beau", which I took to be a compliment.

As I knelt covered in dust except for the bits where my goggles and mask had been, plastering in the filler to finish preparation work, and to make the hull watertight, ready for him to glass over winter, I wondered if I hadn't quite missed the point of having a "chap".


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