The pace hots up

Odyssey finally came out of the water yesterday, Tuesday. She’s now safely in the yard with no masts, so we can finally get to grips with all the stuff that needs doing. The team here at Pier Seventeen is great so I should introduce them without further ado:

Brad, Mike and Kitty run the office most efficiently, organising everyone else. There’s a big dog too but I don’t know his name yet so for now we’ll call him Mr Woof. Out in the yard Ed seems to be in charge, and he’s got Chris and Doc working on Odyssey. Chris does most of the nuts and bolts stuff, while Doc plays with the engine and associated gubbins. Doc is probably the oldest on site being a mere slip of a lad at 87, and is possibly the liveliest of the lot! Actually I lie, they all work jolly hard.

Cap’n Lyle is the master of the dock, and spins Odyssey round on a sixpence and reverses her up narrow canals without even looking. He’s the man. Unlike Lynne, who is most definitely a lady, and runs the storeroom. It’s great in there – I can go in and ask her for the most obscure thing in the universe and she’ll procure it in seconds. All I have to do is sign a bit of paper and it’s mine. Fab! Although I suspect it all goes on my bill…

Nate drives around on a forklift and brings me presents every now and then. I like presents, even if they are ones I’ve ordered and paid for myself, but it’s still great when he arrives with another load of parcels for me to unwrap. He even takes away the rubbish for me. How nice is that?

Finally there’s Rick, perhaps the most important guy to me as he’s the one putting together my new rig. By this I mean all the wires, ropes and bits’n’bobs that’ll hold up the masts and sails on the way home. Needless to say without sails I’d go nowhere fast (unless I cheat and start the engine but we won’t mention that), so in a way the whole project revolves around him.

There are lots of others I haven’t met yet, but these are the lovely people who’re helping me realise my dream and get Odyssey ready for my trip home. As I’ve said, they all work extremely hard in the sweltering heat here. I always feel a little guilty when I gaily skip off to the beach at 3pm every day but hey, I’m paying their wages, so there!!

Today I pretty much finished sorting out the electrics which are now ready for the new instruments to be installed. My next task was to remove and inspect 3 of the 15 chainplates. These are big steel bars bolted into the hull, to which are attached the wires holding up the masts. They’re pretty important because if any one of them fails then the whole rig could come crashing down. For the non-sailors among you, that’s Not A Good Thing.

The surveyor had pointed out apparent corrosion of the chainplates so my insurance company asked me to remove and inspect 3 initially so we could get an idea of their general condition. Half an hour with a large spanner, a hammer, a little blood and lots of sweat had them out and on the floor, and I was mightily relieved to see that the rust is only on the surface. There are no apparent stress cracks or fractures which could foretell impending doom. Tomorrow I’ll clean them up and show them to Rick to get his opinion.

All this hard work got me far too hot and sweaty, so being a gentleman as ever I made my excuses and left, heading for the beach to cool down.

Have I said recently how much I love it here? No? Ok, then – I LOVE IT HERE!!!!

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