Sunday, 29 May 2011

Windy day

Wow.  Not sure why it is that when I decide to stay we end up with hurricane winds.  Oh well.  I was a bit late starting this morning.  Sadly, not due to the effects of alcohol.  Just general fatigue I think.  But managed to get on site by lunch in time for a ham, double eggs and chips.  Need my strength.  What for I am not entirely sure as I have not done any heavy labour today due to the fatigue mentioned earlier.

As I am going to attempt another overnight stay I thought I would try and bring the living standards up a bit.  I realised yesterday when my brother and SIL visited that, despite having cleaned the place very well, I did need to get some more basics in place.  So off to the local home, leisure and garden store in the Chatham outlet centre.  Strange place.  Sort of like a Woolworths/dept store cross.   But they had the right stuff.  A couple of big plastic 70litre boxes to store stuff in and keep clean.  One for cooking stuff and one for food and crockery etc.  Then I bought a gas cooker (camping) which is compact and runs off gas in what looks like aerosol cans.  Not bad for about £12.  Then a whistling kettle.  I had consider an electric kettle but I would like to boil the water for a little longer than an electric one would allow.  It also puts more pressure on the yet to be modernised electrics.  So a 1 litre shiny green kettle was purchased.

Next on the list was 2 mugs and a couple of plates.  Then some cutlery.  Nothing too expensive.  lol.  OMG.  I have managed to find the worlds cheapest ones ever.
In the film the Matrix, Neo goes to visit the Oracle.  Before he goes in he witnesses a small bald child with a bent spoon.  The child gives the spoon to Neo and says: 

Child: "Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth."
Neo:  "What truth?"
Child: "There is no spoon."
Neo: "There is no spoon?"
Child: "Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself"

Well all I can say is that the Oracle did not buy her spoons from the same place as I just did.  Mine are so thin that when I gazed at the first spoon it did bend, mostly from embarrassment at how thin it was.  But the child is right.  There is no spoon.  Well, not after about the 4th wash I think.

The other win was that I already owned a cooler which ran from a car 12v socket.  The shop actually had a mains converter thingy that turned the 240v to 12v with a standard car socket.  So I now have my milk in the cooler running off the mains!  So coffee in the morning is now available.  Phew. 

The kettle also allows for some warm water to wash in.  YES!

I had my first meal onboard tonight.  Pot noodle.  Yes, I know.  But the pots are useful.  

So not quite home yet but now equivalent to a comfortable (ish) camping experience (as the Americans would say).

I did do some work today.  I traced and confirmed the wiring from the fog horn units down to those odd heater elements in cages I discussed in a much earlier entry.  Turns out they are ballast loads for the fog horns.  Is that clear?  Nope.  Still no idea what they are for.  I am sure the drawings will help.  I also looked at the various radio room unit wiring and I have decided to label all wires, disconnect them, move all units and then rewire them.  One shot to get that right.  That will then enable me to tackle the remaining panels in the radio room and shorten the wiring between the various optics, fog horns and ceiling wiring exit points.  Not sure what to do with the balast heater units.  There are 4 of them and clearly their job is to dump power into which they turn into heat.  So its not like I can hide them away.  I will need to think about that.

I also marked out the hatch.  For the love of god, not one wall or floor or ceiling is level or upright or at right angle to anything else.  Its amazing.  How they managed to weld all those panels together I have no idea.  You would think it straight forward to just cut a rectangular hole in a metal wall.   No.  The floor level on one side of the wall differs to that on the other.  One wall is shorter than the other, the two vertical sides of the walls are different heights and neither are vertical.   The ceiling seems to be level (lets say flat) but is covered in beams and nobbly paint which prevents any kind of straight edge.  The floor is as far from flat as you can get and still call it a floor.

Its a crock.  Now add to that problem that you have no idea if the boat is itself upright.  So you can put on a level and not know if the ceiling is not level or that the whole boat is slightly leaning.  Or both.


So I have a solution.  I picked on likely corner of the rectangle.  Drilled a hole through.  Thats the starting point.  Now I know the size of the hatch I want to build so I will go home and get a large piece of paper and cut it out to EXACTLY that size and perfectly square.  Then bring it here and tape it into place using the starting hole.  Adjusting the whole piece of paper until it looks like it will align roughly with the ceiling (I decided that level was less important than parallel so at least to the eye it looks ok and if it does slope I can just say the boat is leaning :->).

Tomorrow's jobs then.

1) Rewire some of the radio room units.  
2) Remove the units from the walls and move them to the right side.
3) Remove the last wall panels
4) Remove the water pipes from the whole boat.  Starting with the piping in kitchen and corridor leading to the bathrooms.
5) Cut off a number of ceiling bits and trunking (might as well while I have the saw out).
6) Dismantle the UPS battery chargers in the wheel house.  Keep the transformers and store the rest.  The weigh a few tons each (I suspect, but certainly more than I can shift in one go).

Right, I hear the sound of my bottle of Shiraz crying out to be opened.  I think I will need a drink before I tackle the new inflatable mattress.


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