To oil or not to oil?

22nd March 2008

Kind of a boring one today, we finished cleaning the wheel with Nitrol and I spent a good while obsessively scraping off the last tiny little bits of varnish that had been missed. We started washing it off with white spirit but then the great debate about whether to sand down the dents at the ends of the spokes and what finish to put on it started. Finally, a special varnish was decided upon and people went ashore to get it, but it’s Good Friday and all the shops are shut until Tuesday. As we’re possibly supposed to be going out for a day sail on Monday I’m starting to get rather frustrated as we only have one day to get it done, we’ll probably oil it now, but we need to get on with it pronto!

My heat rash has got worse, now it’s on my feet as well, it’s driving me nuts, but they have found a lotion in the medical cabinet that helps a little. The best thing for it though was my swim this evening. I did 4 laps of the ship this evening, to make up for not doing any last night. As I finished my second lap the Unicorn came past on a sunset jolly, crammed full of tourists and pretending to sail, but with smoke bellowing from the engine. She’s the local Tall Ship, pandering to the tourists who want to get pissed and pretend to be a pirate for a day. We saw her going out this morning as well, looks pretty but I wouldn’t think she sails well.
The new captain Doug Lindsay arrived today, along with another chap called David, and we lost Bruce this morning. There’s only a couple more people to join now I think. I’m really looking forward to getting underway now, Rodney Bay is pleasant enough but isn’t the most exciting place to be, and I haven’t even been up the mast yet either.

I’m on mess duty tomorrow, which means I have to be up at 6.30, so I’m going to hit my bunk now, but to make up for the dullnes of the blog I’ll put some pics up 🙂

Heatrash :(

21st March 2008, St Lucia

I’m sitting on the well deck with some of my younger crew mates, the elders are inside having wine and cheese after dinner. Kevin is leaving tomorrow so we had a special dinner- fresh local fish and a free glass of wine each! We have a bar on board, it’s a help yourself honesty system where we pay the tab off every so often, it’s only for when we’re in port though, a glass of wine is £1.50 :-).

Kevin’s replacement arrived last night just after Pip and I had finished tidying up, he’s a huge man, as engineers so often seem to be, by the name of Mike. We had three more new arrivals today- Polly is our Chippy, who’ll be with us until Weymouth, Nick who’ll be with us of a ew weeks and may be returning or the TA, and Melissa; Tom’s local girlfriend who’s going to be on board for a couple of weeks. Polly’s been put in my cabin, and I presume Melissa’s going to be in Tom’s cabin. There is one other girl due to join the ship for the trip and she’ll be bunking in with us as well, so we’ll have a spare bunk to chuck stuff on.

My day was taken up entirely with the cleaning of the ships wheel, Pip and I have both been working on it all day, though Pip actually started sanding it (while in use) in Lisbon, which was several months back! It is now clean of varnish and awaiting treatment with Netrol, which will bring the colour of the wood up, and then several coats of D1 and D2, which are oil/varnishes. Hopefully we’ll have the job finished by tomorrow evening- we’ll need to be able to steer soon! We finished a bit early this evening and I had a quick dip to remove the ick before settling myself with a book on the poop deck behind the charthouse to catch some rays, I feel horribly pale and pasty compared to the permanent crew and have no wish to inflict it upon other people. I have also developed my usual summertime heat rash now, my hands are itching and pimply but I am holding myself back from scratching them and hoping that it’ll sort itself out soon as I acclimatize.

I managed to get out of my 4 ‘til 5 anchor watch last night, which was a boon. The boys who went out had promised to be back by midnight as Anthony was on watch then. They failed to turn up by the promised time and eventually Pip and LJohn were sent out by Francis to find them, they had ordered food at 11 and it had taken over an hour to turn up. By the time they eventually got back, Anthony’s watch was over halfway through, and as I’d been on deck all evening I suggested I finish his watch and he could do mine. Francis was very cross with them and they got a lecture this morning from him about setting a good example as the permanent crew to the trainees, which confused Anthony a little as he’s sure he’s paying for this!