Archive for August, 2009

East Head

Posted in Fun, Photographs on August 27, 2009 by maidofmettle
Hi everyone,
Thought I’d post a few photos from the beach.  It was lovely to see the people who made it to East Head on Sunday.  Thanks for battling the traffic for us!
Dad took a few photos from the day as well so I have added them in today.
Chris and Pete motored round to East Head and stayed overnight.
Maid of Mettle without mast but with smurf bunting

Maid of Mettle without mast but with smurf bunting

getting comfy

getting comfy

Pete rowing his mum out to the boat

Pete rowing his mum out to the boat

Thanks Bella for the fantastic boat cake you made!  It was really tasty and was very accurate.  It even had a broken mast

Bella's amazing cake!

Bella's amazing cake!

Jon

Jon

Graham and Jacqui

Graham and Jacqui

Mum, Dad and the only shade on the beach

Mum, Dad and the only shade on the beach

Some of Pete's work collegues

Some of Pete's work collegues

Kirsty, Rich and their artwork

Kirsty, Rich and their artwork

Heather and Mark

Heather and Mark

Thanks to Chris and Pete for offering to row people out to see the boat.  I know they got slightly more than they bargained for as the tide got a bit stronger on one of the trips.   Despite attempting to allow for the tide they ended up getting a tow by a motorboat after what seemed ages going nowhere.   I’m sure that was a welcome relief and very tiring.
Taking over East Head

Taking over East Head

Rowing out

Rowing out

Having not been on the boat for a week (or thereabouts) it was nice to come to the beach and see her having been dressed for the occasion.  Anyone who managed a trip in the rowing boats will know about this but it wasn’t until Monday when I got a lift to the Marina that I finally understood why people were coming back saying “The bunting had smurfs on it!”
East Head a bit calmer

East Head a bit calmer

Flying Jack

Flying Jack

sunset

sunset

The boat remains in Chichester for the time being, having the finishing touches completed.  As I write this I have just ordered 200 cans of food for Tesco to deliver to the Marina (that’s going to be heavy!)

The mast spreader sockets have been replaced and the mast looks set to go up today for some rigging alterations so we hope to be able to have a sail soon 🙂

In the water

Posted in Fitting out and maintenance on August 20, 2009 by maidofmettle

Please call if you were planning to visit on Saturday…We didn’t think anyone was so if you do come down there’s a chance you might miss us.  I am currently at home and look likely to get a lift to the party tomorrow as that  seems to make most sense. 

Chris and Pete hope to motor round to East Head  probably at some point today but would appreciate a phonecall so they know who to expect.  Sorry for the short notice I totally forgot to mention!

Sunday day weather

Sunny Intervals

  • Sunny Intervals
  • Max: 23°C 73°F
  • Sunrise: 06:03

Ok, so I think the weather looks ok enough for Sunday to be at the Beach as planned. It looks like it will be fairly sunny for the day which is great.

This website has a map that might be helpful for making sure you find the correct bit of the beach. You can click on it to make it bigger.

http://www.westwitteringbeach.co.uk/estate_map.html

Basically follow the road to the end of the carpark where you will see West Wittering beach itself. You then need to continue following the path round (with the sea on your left) until you get around the corner to a much more sandy/duny/conservation area bit (it should be obvious!) If you continue on a bit further it opens out and you will see the beach and probably lots of sailing boats. We will be somewhere on the beach there. If you can’t find us, give us a call.

Maid of Mettle is in the water! 

On Tuesday the haulage company came to lift the boat out of the garden

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a flying boat

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a flying boat

It took 2 attempts and we weren’t sure the crane was going to be able to lift it out.  On the first attempt one of the warning lights started flashing because it was registering as too heavy, then the crane locked out but fortunately once the lorry was moved a bit closer the load was ok.

Once on the lorry we drove through the town and then along the road to the harbour and the big plunge. 

On the road

On the road

En route to the harbour the mast spreader (bit that sticks out of the side of the mast to support the shroud wires) was knocked rather hard by a tree branch and broke which meant that the mast could not be put up on the same day as the boat entered the water.  Hopefully the riggers will be able to sort something out fairly quickly for us but it does mean that we will be a bit delayed.  Latest news on this is that the mast will be getting new spreaders and sockets which will be much stronger than the old ones.  I’m sure Andy at Bae will be relieved to finally know what happened as I hear he may have been worrying about this all through his holiday!  Still, all the setbacks give us more time to finish the things we were hoping to before leaving so it’s not all bad, but it might mean we are mastless when we come round to East Head on Sunday 🙂

The boat made it on to the slings to be lowered in the water which was amost very bad when one of the slings slipped a bit causing it to hit the ground (luckily not from very high) Even more luckily a piece of wood being used as a wedge on the cradle had got stuck on the bit that hit the ground meaning that there was not even any damage caused to the paint on the keel.

on the sling

on the sling

Chris watches on...

Chris watches on...

Will it float? and where will the water line be?

Will it float? and where will the water line be?

Given the things that had already happened it was quite a stressful time.  Would she float and where would the water line end up? 

Fortunately once on the water floating was not a problem and there were no leaks.  Also the all-important water line allows for us to put more weight in the boat when all the supplies are loaded on which is excellent news. 

It floats!

It floats!

Now the boys are working in the marina finishing some of the heavier work and sorting out the mast whilst I recooperate and take care of a few bits and pieces that can be done from the computer.  It’s hard not to be able to get stuck into some of the things I was hoping to (including fitting the toe-rail I mostly finished) but it will mean that some important off-boat work will be completed which might have been left until the last minute or not done at all. 

The Home Straight

Posted in Fitting out and maintenance on August 15, 2009 by maidofmettle
It has been a bit of an eventful week this week. The boat is due to enter the water on Tuesday so we have been mostly trying to finish off any bits that need to be done whilst out of the water.
We have been increasing the amount of work we have been doing each day.  Getting up an hour earlier and finishing an hour or so later than usual most days.  That meant our deadline of getting the boat back in the water seemed much more likely to be achieved.

Lots of work was done on the plumbing within the cabin and the large flexible water tanks were washed out with a mixture of water and vinegar.

Chris and the plumbing

Chris and the plumbing

Water tanks post washing

Water tanks post washing

The finishing touches have been put on the electrics so now we have the Man Overboard system set up.  We wear a pendant that sets off a really loud alarm inside the boat if it gets wet or moves too far away from a sensor.  That way, should anyone fall off the boat into the water everyone (and probably everyone within a 2 mile radius it’s so loud!) will soon be aware what has happened.
fitting the MOB system

fitting the MOB system

Pete put a coat of anti-fouling on the bottom (underwater) part of the keel.

Anti-fouling coat

Anti-fouling coat

The cooker has been put back into the boat and I began investigating the large paraffin tank underneath Pete’s bunk.  It will need to have a bit more of a clean and have some foam put in before being filled with fuel.

Chris has fitted some safety bolts to the hatch and hatch-boards to make it more secure from the outside.

Matt has kindly offered to make us a table out of walnut wood so he started that on Thursday for us

Matt making our table

Matt making our table

Unfortunately I took a bit of a tumble down the hatch hole on Thursday afternoon after trying to walk on thin air.   I have been unable to do as much as i’d have liked thanks to breaking a couple of ribs on landing.   I’d have liked a trip in a helicopter but had to settle for an ambulance instead.  It was painful and a bit embarrassing, but now I have lots of painkillers which seem to be helping with the former at least.  I hope it will  settle down quickly enough not to hold us up too much.

"We're (not) walking in the air"

"We're (not) walking in the air"

Our satellite phone now has a sim card which will be tested soon properly.  The calls will be expensive but it is reassuring to know that we can call someone almost anywhere.

Nearly the biggest phone in the world

Nearly the biggest phone in the world

James,  Laura and Gwynn came down last Sunday.  We had a BBQ down on the beach at the same time as the lifeboat station was doing a demonstration day.

Chris, Gwynn, James and Laura

Chris, Gwynn, James and Laura

lifeboat demonstration

lifeboat demonstration

Party Info and plumbing (and electrics)

Posted in Fitting out and maintenance, Fun on August 9, 2009 by maidofmettle

We have set the date for our launch party for the 23rd August from around 12pm onwards.

We’re hoping to be in chichester harbour and can have a beach bbq at east head which is a lovely sand dune.

Bring disposable BBQ+food+drink or whatever kind of picnic you might prefer.

Parking is available at a car park close (less than a mile if you park at the far end) to East Head itself, but it shuts at 20.30. For those wanting to stay late, there are normally free spaces before you turn off the main road, near the “Old House at Home” pub.

If the weather is being uncooperative, then we will relocate to a pub in the area. Please check back here on friday evening when we will have a better idea of the forecast.

**If you can’t make Sunday we will be lurking around East Head on Saturday too**

I did a clean-up to take some pictures of the interior last week.

Inside looking tidy

Inside looking tidy

Chris gave Pete and I a crash-course in electrics so we have been practising our new-found soldering skills on the control panel and various bits of wire around the boat.

My soldering :-)

Pete and I, our joint wiring effort

Pete

Pete

"I can do wiring, me"

"I can do wiring, me"

The Lights are working and look really good when we tried them in the evening.

Chris spent some time working making sure the cooker is in good order this week

Chris taming the parafin burner

Chris taming the parafin burner

as well as sorting out the lighting and sea-me (that makes sure other boats can see us on their instruments) for the mast before it is put back up on the boat.

Chris wiring the mast

Chris wiring the mast

I hadn’t noticed until Friday that Pete had made an impressive shelf for his bunk at the back.

Pete's marvellous clothing shelf

Pete's marvellous clothing shelf

I spent rather a lot of time crawling around the boat finishing lining the water tanks and using vast amounts of gaffa tape in the process.  This took me far longer than I hoped…nothing is simple with boats and the job was made all the more challenging by the fact that absolutely nothing is square or rectangular!  That said, the water containers are now in place ready, to be plumbed in so we will have over 400 litres of water to carry onboard.

Flexible water containers

Flexible water containers

Also the hatch is almost ready…and just needs a bit of neoprene on it to make it completely water-tight and something to enable to lock it down properly.

Hatch and hatchboards

Hatch and hatchboards

Mum and Dad came to visit this weekend so have finally met the boat.  They were apparently glad to see that it’s “a lot bigger inside” than they expected especially after they’d first seen it in the garden.

Caroline, Alison, Paul and Chris and room for more!

Caroline, Alison, Paul and Chris and room for more!

Some people asked us if we could post up a route map of where we hope to go.  Obviously all plans are subject to change depending on how we get on and the weather etc but this gives you a vague idea of what we’re hoping to do. As we go around we will keep you updated with what we’re up to.

A possible route

A possible route

Nearly there

Posted in Fitting out and maintenance on August 4, 2009 by maidofmettle

As we get closer to the launch date of hopefully the end of next week there is still lots to do in order to meet that deadline.   The list is getting smaller though and this last week we have completed a few things.  The most critical things to do now are plumbing and electrics.

This week Chris and Pete started designing and installing the electrics.

main control centre

main control centre

Chris wiring things up for the control panel

Chris wiring things up for the control panel

I finished the toe-rail and am awaiting a delivery of new bolts so it can be finally attached.  It’s surprising how quickly you get used to new things on the boat as when we removed them it suddenly felt a lot more vulnerable up there!

Toe-rails finished more or less

Toe-rails finished more or less

Pete made a platform for the front bow-sprit:

Bow sprit platform

Bow sprit platform

And using Chris’ templates I made the hatch boards out of lexan plastic.  Once I got over the fact it costs £100 a sheet and that we only had one piece it wasn’t actually as scary as I expected!

We had a delivery of packing foam for lining the water-tanks…

Andrex launch its new super-size toilet roll...but just how big is the puppy!

Andrex launch its new super-size toilet roll...but just how big is the puppy!

These will have flexible water tanks in them but need to be protected from any sharp bits of paint to prevent any leaks.

lined rear tank lid

lined rear tank lid

Mum unveiled the quilt she made for us.  It is beautiful and will remind us of home whilst we’re away.  Thanks Mum 🙂

Mum's masterpiece

Mum's masterpiece

Clare also made it down the other week for a BBQ that was cooked in the kitchen after trying to get it to cook anything for 2 hours

Clare gives approval by "doing Titanic" on the bow

Clare gives approval by "doing Titanic" on the bow

*All reference to Titanic is incidental and bares no relation to our chances of meeting an iceberg.  This is highly unlikely and in the event of anything nasty happening we will have lifejackets, a liferaft, tender, EPIRB beacon so people can find us, lifelines and a man-overboard system that will wail if any of us fall off!