JOHN LAING goes back in the water in 24 days’ time!!!!
Anyone who watches the TV programme “24” will be familiar with the level of tension and drama which this implies. Mark “Wolf” Todd plays Kiefer Sutherland in our very own OYT South version of what the BBC website describes as “Television Without Pity”. Our refit has the same level of nail-biting tension, the same devastating pace, the same uncertainty as to which of the leading characters will still be standing at the end……
The production as ever includes a dazzling array of talented co-stars: Craig, Phoebe, Dinghy Boy and Sarah, plus Penny Buckley on catering. Special guest stars this week included Di Francis, Wendy Dickerson (playing the role of “Craig’s mum” with remarkable accuracy), Mark Boggis, Chris and Adge from Contact Marine (I see them as the Special Effects department), Alan Underwood, James, Rob Harwood, Graham (brought to us by Di Francis) and Ian Webster (who works for the director of Fleet Time Engineering at Portsmouth Dockyard). Christ Hirst and Harry helped unload the sails from Ratsey’s; Dave Carnson and Si Holman helped sort out the rigging in the store. The lighting department ran into a slight hitch, however: Travis got in touch promising to get the new lightboxes back by March 20th. We sail on March 19th…
With all this help, it’s been a productive week. Lots more work has been done on the deck, the cockpit locker and the hull, which should be ready for a first coat of paint this weekend. Apparently the team has started “filling the portholes” – I hope not too literally or we shall all be living in darkness next season. They have also got the GPS working; done one coat of paint in the bilge in the crew quarters; and seen one of the liferafts inflated at Viking – happily found to be in good condition. The forehatch has been painted and, most exciting of all, we have bought a new chipping hammer!
Ian Webster has been a real godsend, doing substantial work on installing the new fridge-freezers and rewiring the engine loom.
Having both said loudly, clearly and repeatedly that no-one at all was to remove or dismantle anything else on the boat, Wolf and Craig took off the main halyard and got the log out. (Note to Andy Royse: this still doesn’t mean you can take anything else to bits. Really not. We mean it.)
Jobs for next week: finish the boat, says Wolf hopefully. More realistically, we’ll be doing more hull painting, weather permitting; finish filling the deck; more filling around portholes; put the forehatch on; put more seacocks back on; clean fuel tanks; do the water tanks. And Wolf and Trevor Hewson are doing a day trip to the Caravan and Motor Home Exhibition looking at ovens.
Meanwhile, a note for all sea staff: Poole Youth Afloat weekend (26-27th June) has been cancelled and we hope to use the time for sea staff training instead. Can you let us know as soon as possible if you would be interested in coming along, and also tell us if there is any particular training you would like? One thing we aim to do is a masterclass in some of the boat’s equipment: does everyone know how to operate the SART? Launch an EPIRB? Locate all the seacocks? It should be a good weekend; please reply to this email if you might be interested.
Also, don’t forget the activity weekend in Gosport on February 21st / 22nd – call the office on 0870 241 2252 for more details. It's only a week away and looks like being a great event. Wolf's GMDSS course could be a highlight and will explain why he now answers to the name "Pipnanoo". However nothing in the world explains why Craig has started answering to the name "Princess". Try it and see.
But above all, COME TO THE REFIT. We’re in the final stages now and we really do need all the help we can get. Even if you’ve never been to a refit before, there are jobs you will be able to do. Whatever time you can spare will be very gratefully received. Call Wolf on 07771 771864. We look forward to seeing you!