The exceptionally cold winter really set us back with work on 'Cachalot' but April 2010 found us in Woodbridge at last, with all the frames now in place . . . and after final touches to the stem, the next visit we’ll certainly be making a start on planking in earnest on our return in June. Paul is still busy on his other project, but offers guidance and advice as the first plank is measured up, planed, placed - and soundly rejected. Try again, and Steve gets the ‘OK’ from Paul, and by the end of the week there’s several new planks shaping up from stem to counterstern!
As its well into the sailing season, we joined in with East Coast OGA events, had visitations from several members, an invitation to tea with Paul and Jo as well as the invitation to crew on 'Kestrel' again in the August Classics Cruise.
Another extended trip to Woodbridge included an OGA event in Southwold, a short sail up the Deben in 'Cachalette' and lots more visitors. The crew of ‘Nyula’ introduced themselves, another Dunkirk Little Ship visiting the Tidemill. Barry and Lil, OGA members visiting the Tidemill on ‘Random’ called by to see how we were getting on. On Sunday afternoon, there was an invitation to afternoon tea on ‘Great Days’, another East Coast Old Gaffer taking a sojourn up the Deben! All this moral support is most valuable as the project continues.
After a failed attempt to scarfe a short plank, Steve is now becoming quite proficient with planking. Next time, we'll begin to hone our skills with the ‘dolly’, following instruction for Beverley from Paul. After clearing space on the port side to start work in September, planks are coming off and new wood going in . . . she’s really beginning to take shape at last!
Whilst there’s still the occasional damaged frame that needs repair or replacement, it’s beginning to feel more like a ‘clear run' for the hull.
However, the original estimate for planking didn’t account for replacing the stem and stern, resulting in the need for a serious reassessment of the remaining wood stock. Obvious conclusion . . . we’re running very low on timber. Next question . . . where and how do we source more wood? During a stroll up-river, Steve has met JK, just completing restoration of an Albert Strange in Mel Skeet’s Yard. After another rather chilly and wet week in Woodbridge late October, Steve decides to engage Paul to get five more planks on before winter sets in, just about finishing off the remaining timber. We return to Derbyshire for the winter.