Boat projects always take longer than you think: You start taking undoing lines to investigate problems, the crack is bigger than expected so you pull it apart, then you see another crack and before you know it, the boat is in pieces. You spend half a day going to the hardware store, only to get back and twenty minutes later realize you need to go back to the hardware store again. The sun blazes down, you get thirsty, you stub your toe on a mangrove stump, and then clothesline your neck on the wire shrouds.
But at the end of the day, when the sun starts to go down, you can pop a beer and look at the small accomplishments of the day, and things feel a bit better. And that was how I spent my Christmas. 8am to 5pm, every day for 12 days.
And eventually it had to end, and fortunately it did.
The crossbeam is now repaired :
There is a new rear hatch, which will help keep the boat from sinking, new shelves for the interior, and a flashy new paintjob!
Life was made easier working with Daryl who did much of the painting, and Jackson who joined mid-way to help out with the carpentry.
Boatbuilding in the Philippines is quite different from back home. When I asked Jackson where I could find a bandsaw to cut out the shape for the outrigger extension, he responded with ‘no saw here, but I can cut’ – He then pulled out his machete and went to work. Twenty minutes of hacking later, an unwieldy 4″ x 6″ x 50″ chunk of wood was looking like I wanted it.
The boats here are lashed together with monofilament fishing line. Jackson showed me the ‘ropes’ so to speak and we spent a good day re-lashing the outrigger back into place until my fingers were raw.
And eventually, bit by bit the tasks were all crossed off. Flash was ready. I rounded up some adventurous souls at the bar, told them there was no risk at all of the boat sinking or crashing into a reef, and as the wind died at sunset, we pushed off and had a trial sail! Yippee!