"I'll hae nae hauf-way hoose but aye be whaur extremes meet..." Hugh McDiarmid

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

sydney stopover, or how to antifoul a boat...

the main operation we had to do in sydney was get the boat out of the water and antifoul her, before the sydney hobart. sophie's mission was to try and fix two kites, as well as get all the extra sail numbers fitted to the correct sails in the correct place, and paint the storm jib bright orange before race start...

going under the sydney harbour bridge, taking mission to the boatyard to be lifted
me, matt and neil took the boat round to the yard, where she was lifted. we'd had to take the backstay off - this is the steel line which supports the back of the mast - as she wouldn't fit in the lift with it still on. once she was up on chocks, we could see the state of her underside. it was pretty messy down there, and we found a length of rope was wrapped round the propellor, which stopped it feathering and had slowed us down without us realising.

the offending string, wrapped round the prop
our manky keel

evidence of kite wraps on front edge, and absolutely no antifoul ever on the keel...
the keel was in a genuinely shocking state. it had clearly never been antifouled. there was a clean line along the top where the black antifoul stopped. there was also evidence of the kite wraps we'd had in the previous race, particularly along the front edge. the guy from the yard who had the thankless job of cleaning the underside of the boat looked a bit disheartened at the size of the job in front of him. it took a lot longer to do our boat than anyone else's...

grimly, he set about jet washing the crud off the keel bulb. it took him bloody ages.

and he still had the rudders and hull to do as well.

it was also pretty hot. and those attractive white suits did nothing to cool us down...

eventually, he finished the keel, rudders and hull of the boat. we were a bit surprised to find a patch on the port bow where there was no antifoul as well, like there had been a hole and a patch done...

but she was looking pretty shiny, and after being given rollers and paint by rachel from maintenance we started work.

the primer is the grey stuff. the actual antifoul is the black layer. we had to put two coats of the antifoul on over the entire underside, including the rudders.

everyone else was given brushes, to dab and fill the gaps. we had rollers as there was so much to do!

when she was done she looked very smart!

there was working going on with the other boats all this time as well. sir robin was fixing GBs bowsprit, well more like reattaching it to be honest! what a dude, going up in the scissor lift and doing the carbon repairs himself. although he did nick a bunch of roller handles that we were needing to do the antifoul....

sir robin fixing GBs knackered bowsprit, post albany crash with PSP
while we'd been working away in the yard, sophie had been assessing the sails. the code 1 was taped up by her, helen, beth and anthony, then sent off to a professional sailmakers for repair. mark (the deputy race director, and previous skipper off derry in the 11-12 race) said he'd never seen a sail that trashed before. and in the last race, he'd had his spinnaker pole punch a massive hole in his mainsail, then saw through it to the boom. he'd seen some trashed sails! it was also decided at that point not to repair thor, as we were running out of time and crew to fix him as well as get everything else done.

I'd gone to the physio by now. rachel, who I was staying with, had been a gymnast and recommended me to someone. I wish I'd listened harder when she said they were pretty brutal with her. I found myself with a very nice man called adam, who became known as 'evil joaquin' because he looked very like joaquin phoenix and, being a physioterrorist, was very evil. he was quite pleased with the lump and proceeded to try and flatten it out using only his thumbs while I chewed the end of the table. and rachel laughed. meanie...

I had a couple of sessions with him and to be fair he got a lot of it out, but when we left I still had a bit of a lump on my sartorius (big muscle in my thigh).

we also had a lot of social time in the evenings, which we spent mainly in the yacht club bar. this is the cruising yacht club of australia, home of the sydney hobart. all the yachts were here by now and the marina was like a boat spotter's paradise! 'look that's a volvo open 70', 'oooh there's wild oats' etc. we were in heaven.

I stayed with rachel at her parents house in a northern suburb of sydney. rachel is the younger sister of my friend sherry and I am so grateful to them for letting me stay, even if it was only a few nights. her and lawton, rachel's boyfriend, really looked after me and I enjoyed staying in a house for a few days! they also very kindly invited me to spend christmas with them and their parents, who had just got back from visiting sherry in the uk. there I was on the other side of the planet, having a family christmas!!

kate had decided to fly back to the states to spend the time before christmas with her family, and she flew back on christmas eve. matt had made sure we got christmas day off to rest before the race start on boxing day morning. and we were all very excited about that!!

1 comment:

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