sailing the NorSea


WEEK 5 2011

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 5 February 2011
Saturday - I actually got some varnish on. I was a bit concerned about the bulkhead, as even a light sanding with 220 grit had left it looking a bit mottled. But, after all, the die had been cast across the Rubicon, I couldn't "unsand" the planks.

I used a clear semi-gloss, Varathane Polyurethane - several books had stated that any good polyurethane was fine for boat interiors, as long as it was out of the UV, and it was much cheaper than the purpose sold stuff at marine hardware places. I bought a good badger hair brush, following the COB rule, China for initial, Ox-hair for intermediate, and Badger for finish. Since this was just a refresh of a reasonable finish I went straight to the Badger.

The coverage was great, just a few ounces for the entire 4'x8' side. It went on well, but I should have used a chisel brush, and a light positioned at an angle so as to show what was being covered - up in the vee berth it was hard to see. Generally it went well, there were a couple of small runs at the top, and another where I foolishly went back and tried to "touch up" a holiday after the paint had turned tacky. I'll have to sand and re-do those.

The other thing was that it wasn't a badger hair brush, it was, rather, a china brush labeled prominently on the packaging as Badger, with the china bit in smaller print. Oh well. I'll have to look around and see if I can find a good brush somewhere.

I also varnished a couple of cabinet doors, with the same 1015 Captains Spar Varnish as I used a year or two ago on other doors. And, when done, I had exactly the same disappointing results! Despite using 320 grit, and mineral spirits and tack rag to clean there are numerous little holidays in the coat. Looking at the old doors you see just the same, but I had forgotten. Well, maybe I'll resand and try the polyurethane over the top, or another coat of the 1015. It all looks better than it did, anyway.

Late afternoon I headed back to Lancaster. I'd have loved to stay and work, but my cat sitter was occupied with other duties and I hate to impose of friends.

Friday 4 February 2011
Friday -  The plan was to get some brightwork done on the boat, and be back up to Lancaster in the late afternoon.

But everything took much longer than expected: the cleaning up of various bits of stuff (old fittings, ornaments, even a miniature teevee from the original owners), moving all the cushions and other dust catches outside, sanding, cleaning up with mineral spirits. By the time all that was done it was late afternoon, the wind had come up, and there just wasn't time to apply the varnish.

I chose the starboard side paneling, as it was a smallish area. I am really concerned more about the overhead, but this is an easier area to practice on!

Since I'd cleared out the main cabin I slept in the aft cabin. I'd forgotten just how hard the cushions were back there. Yikes.

Book #16, read over the last couple of days on the Kindle, was Half Share, by Nathan Lowell. This is the second novel in the Shares series, about a young merchant spaceman. Not quite as good as the first, but two days evening entertainment for $5, so no complaints here.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Thursday - It was a cold night. I actually had to turn on the little electric heater a couple of times. Generally I'm too warm in the sleeping bag on the boat, but not these evenings. Odd, because the days have been very pleasant.

I did a bit of work on the boat in the morning, a bit of programming scripts mid-day. In the early evening met with the boss, picked up a check and my 1099 from last year. Now I can do taxes...yay.

There was an interesting conversation with a fellow sailor a couple berths up. Bill had pulled his engine, an Atomic 4, out of his Islander 32 to overhaul it. He'd left the prop in, so he didn't have to put a wedge in there. But the boat bottom cleaner had moved the prop while cleaning in his scuba gear and started a small leak. And his bilge pumps didn't kick on. Fortunately another boat noticed that the Islander was riding unusually low, notified the marina office, and they put a temporary pump on board to keep him dry. But he was nearly 16" below his standard waterline, and had a lot of carpets and stuff ruined.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Wednesday - down to Ventura. There was a meeting with the clients' rep, who will be running the scripts, and she picked up quickly how to use them, and seemed happy. We were a bit concerned about the speed on their machines, older XP boxes (the demo machine in the office was a 1.66GHz P4!), but apparently it was good enough. There was a bit of feed back on some formatting issues, and she pointed out an error in the assembled table - data not currently used in any of the reports so it skipped my notice.

Book #15, was The Bounty*, by Caroline Alexander. This was another book on the infamous mutiny and I didn't have high hopes for it. But it was actually a fairly good book, with decent scholarship and attention to the sources. Bligh comes off not as a martinet, no Captain Queeg, but probably someone who lacked the command presence to keep a ships'  crew in line after leaving paradise - Tahiti. He prided himself on not having a fatality on the cruise out, only held punishment details with flogging twice, and generally tried to imitate his previous commander, the great Captain Cook.

The motives of Fletcher Christian aren't well presented, perhaps there just isn't enough evidence as to what he was thinking. At the court martial various people opined on him, both the accused and witnesses, and the best guess is stress on a high strung personality and the shock of leaving his native lover at Tahiti. Peter Heywood comes off as almost certainly complicit in the mutiny, despite which he was found not guilty (he had numerous family connections in the navy and even on the board of judges). The few who were found guilty (rightfully) were hanged.

Tuesday 1 February 2011
Tuesday -

Monday 31 January 2011

Monday - Working away on this and that.

Sunday 30 January 2011

Sunday - taking it easy, working on a few things.

Book #14 was Betrayer of Worlds, by Larry Niven & Edward Lerner. This is set in Larry Niven's Known Space universe, and is the fourth in a series:
  1. Fleet of Worlds, #10, 2008
  2. Juggler of Worlds, #36 2008
  3. Destroyer of Worlds, #12 2010
  4. Betrayer of Worlds, #13 2011
It is well written, but, again a little forced plot wise, particularly towards the end. As I grow older I get pickier, I guess. Lerner and Niven are a bit handicapped by now having two sets of super beings, the Pak and the Gw'oth. I recall someone (David Brin?) writing about the problems of creating characters (not to mention entire races!) smarter than yourself. It's a bit like writing about the Singularity, not easy to pull off.

In the evening I went with friends over to the LPAC for a performance by the New Shanghai Circus. The circus acts are usually fun, but after a while you've seen most of the different types of act. This show was nice in that there were a couple of new acts, and some variations on older ones that made them interesting. I say this was a plus, but the choreography, if that's the word, was a little rough. I'd say that athletically they were in the middle of the pack - not quite as quick and smooth as the circus act we saw last year. Anyway, fun, and worth the $26.00. My friends wife, who sews, thought the costumes a bit rough. I didn't notice it myself though.l

Picture of the Week

A Ship of the Air and a Ship of the Sea.
Photo Notes: A Ship of the Air, a Ship of the Sea..

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