Good days behind …….. and another in the making

I’ve just finished 8 days on the water. Not full-time, but full of fun. The Yachting New Zealand ‘Sailing have a go’ programme is a great thing – gives young folk a taste of what it’s about. Five days of that, one of Sailing School, one of racing myself, and one helping out at a School Camp, with a fleet of Optimists on McKerrows Pond.

I just love the way a youngster – often crying with fear at the outset (they’re so far out of their comfort-zones, some of these kids, that relativity becomes irrelevant) ends up sailing the Hobie Wave unaided. Sure, I’m there, but it’s very clear to them that I’m not part of the control – usually I move to the centre of the trampoline, and ‘snooze’ with my hands behind my head – obviously not doing anything.

It’s only toy boats in puddles to us, of course – I cruised the Queensland coast for a year with Jen and the boys when they were 10 and 12 , and have just come back from a Pacific super-yacht delivery – but to them, this is big stuff. I suspect some, particularly those with the steepest confidence-curves, go home buzzing sleeplessly – the way I did after my frst hang-gliding day back in ’77.

I just love the delighted, awed, or whatever it is, looks on the faces. Makes my day. It’s all voluntary, of course, and in reality it costs, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today is consolidation day. Just put in the two new brass taps, to replace the tapered ones (I think they’re from the front of the unpressurised wetbacks of those old No1 Shacklocks) which I couldn’t lap-in for the life of me. I considered turning two grooves in the taper, and inserting a couple of 0-rings, but…..   These taps are huge (32mm washer seat) and the seat was pitted…..and I only had a 20mm end-mill. Eventually taped 220 emery paper across the round end of a socket, and spun it on a drive-bar by hand – shades of valve-grinds on Ford Prefects…….

Cut some new washers —– excellent.

So I’l reassemble the bench (had to get to the wingbacks) and tidy up. Then I’ve got two articles to do – make that three. One to start, one to finish, one for fun. Sheryl Crow, Borodin, Alan Parsons and Wagner so far (I never get over the fact that they all boom out over the trees, thanks to a pipeful of water spinning a washing-machine motor down by the creek).  Let the chooks out when the requisite number of eggs are displayed, retether the goat, mount a stop-cock on the freshwater line, do some weedeating….   there’s always chores in paradise…….

Oh – Jen mush have let the chooks out- they’ve just arrived at the door. Cat – defend you food. Yeah Right! Zeb, chase them away. You’ve got to be kidding, Dad, they’re scary……….    one Border Collie who can’t lay claim to being a lean mean fighting machine……

Have a good day   🙂


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