Friday, October 28, 2005

Shutdown!!!!!! Maybe locked out?

I hadn`t posted for about a week, while I was away and did so two days ago! However nothing would enter inon my site. I had duly written it all and published what you see and still nothing. So I closed the site and reopened it using the same address and everything and it now works OK! strange eh? I guess it just locked out

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Homeward bound! mission completed

I have just this minute arrived back from the Isle of Wight, where I have been assisting a friend repair and refurbish an ancient jetty in an ideallic creek on the north north east of the Island. He, at present, lives aboard his steel cruiser in the Medina river and is soon to move to this refurbished jetty.

One problem with working on a job like this is the time of high water and in this case it was
12-00 and so we had to start early at 06-00, which the torrential rain did too! By the time we had got ourselves kitted up in waterproofs and rubber boots, we were ready for anything! so off we went into the mud. We took bets as to who would be the first person to fall over when our feet got stuck in the mud and who would be the first to loose a boot ! well as you can guess it wore pretty thin as we all did one or the other most days.

We started the works by demolishing most of the collapsing structure and dragging it up the embankment and into a large heap for the owner to cut up for fire wood (Phew!!! that was lucky as we don`t have to "cart it away")

The jetty was at least a hundred years old ( probably more) and had been repaired so often that there was "stumps" of what looked like stone sticking out of the creek bed where the origional jetty had been built and the truncated wooden supports had now all calcified into a sort of fossil. The timber for the refurbishment was duly delivered from a real old time agricultural joinery works housed in a succession of Oak barns way out in the country, down a mile or so of rural lanes. The owner of which was a real gentleman and helped us to decide upon what sort of timber and the sizes that we neeed.

We had to "pile drive" new vertical stakes into the creek bed, which were four metres long, so you can imagine what had to happen for this to take place, we set up a pair of step ladders on the creek bed with some of the old boarding to prevent them from sinking into the mud and we perched ourselves at the very top and manhandled the "post rammer"( which weighed at least twenty kilos). The steps were virtually "alive" and every time the rammer impacted with the post the steps nearly fell over, casting those perched on the very top, head first into the mud. We had eight such posts to "Ram" and had finished them by mid morning, this gave us time to install some of the cross members and the diagonal braces and start to build the longitudinal structure that was to eventually take the decking. The high tide came and went and we waded in about two feet of water before we had to stop work and take to the high ground and start to construct the main longitidinal supports.

As we lined up each pair of supports we traversed along them to access the next set and so on until the tide had gone out fully and we could access the underneath. There were several large holes beneath the mud so that as you slurped your way along underneath the jetty you would suddenly disappear down another foot or so into these holes, as this happened a plaintif cry would be heard saying "I`ve found another hole" everybody did this more than once. By the end of the first day 21-00 we were soaked to the skin, covered in mud and stinking or creosote (Orodichloro-benzine) but satiated with the thought that we had done a really good job so far.

On the second day we continued working our way along the platform, having re-visited the workshop for the rest of the material we finished the first stage of the platform( up to the end of the narrowest piece) The rain didnt stop and the severe wind (about force eight) really drained us of energy, we however seemed to regain our strength when it came to going out on the "Raz" in the evening. As we went back to the boats we reflected that we must be absolubtely mad! We finished the platform and all its fixings and had fitted the water supply and electricity by last night (wednesday) and so we celebrated our success by going to the Bistro and my friend getting slightly inebriated. He is really looking forward to moving around to his new mooring in December where I sincerely hope he will be very happy.

Whilst working on the jetty I noted many species of water birds along with voles, water rats, Egrets, Dippers and so may other species that my memory can`t allow me to name, it truly is a wonderful spot, so bleak and lovely and little more than a quarter of a mile from the open sea. My friend who is single and quite a self sufficient sort of character will fit right in with the solitude and rugged demeaner of the creek.

Another view of the creek, across to the ferry terminal, taken from the very end of the now completed jetty. Posted by Picasa

Note the foot marks on the right hand side and the depth of the mud. This job certainly made me re-think the title "Skipper" Posted by Picasa

How straight is that? just the end ten metres to finish. Posted by Picasa

A view up the creek Posted by Picasa

A view past the jetty to the solent a lovely spot with Egrets and many other species of water birds Posted by Picasa

The jetty refurbished with new planking and some supports Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005


I am back at home now! as I thought I was due to take the boat to the Isle of wight on Thursday to help a mate re build his dock for a week. I made a mistake and it is the following week. Don`t you just love it when someone who is supposed to be an expert (like me on navigation etc) makes a fundimental mistake that they should know better about, te he! So I am now captured and lumbered with cutting the grass, repairing the roof and shopping Oh! and a christening of a friends young lad "Benjo" I am looking forward to that, Oh! and I have to install a new boiler!! Blahhh Yawn! Back to the boat I think! "What"!! "Im not playing on the computer" "Tescos?"" "how many?" "yes dear!!!" Got to go! :o))

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ode to the south sea!

The stripey snake is hunting among the coral heads
she swims from side to side searching under every ledge
at lunchtime when the school upon the island closes
under the wooden campshed she meets the children and reposes

They laugh and play around her as she swims between their legs
and stroke her skin along its length as she brushes round their heads
They know that she is friendly and them she will never bite or kill
as their parents used to do the same and play with her at will

Taken from a true life pacific island experience.
Crap poetry though :o))

Wifi Whoopee!

Finally I have managed to get my laptop connected to the local area connection LAN and now I am permanently connected on the boat ish. I can now get weather forcasts and shipping etc as I require them, not to mention being able to send e mails (I said not to mention that)

Yes as you guessed Im bored! Im sitting here at the Laptop listening to the sound of my heating, Yawn!Ive read all the sites and searched the web and now Im Bored bored bored!