Friday, 16 March 2018

No more gaps

A lot has happened I swear!
The seasons change, time moves on and the wheel of fate continues it inevitable turn. Occasionally, incremental progress on a simple plywood boat (now two!) is also made. The past week, it was necessary to travel to several destinations around the South Island which somewhat slowed me down. South to Invercargill then up into central Otago and the lakes around Wanaka and Queenstown. Followed by a trip through Haast Pass into the West Coast, Hokitika and Greymouth. Finally back across the mountains onto the Canterbury plains and Christchurch. Some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer was on display and I feel very privileged to be able to see these fantastic destinations during work hours!

Deep, blue, glacial fed lakes dot the region of Central Otago
Rivers like this one criss-cross the valleys beneath glacier capped mountains
You can drive hours surrounded by steep mountains with mist shrouded waterfalls
Rob Roy Glacier
Rain-soaked hikers looked with envy at our umbrellas after a two hour hike
On the west coast, old mine workings can be explored
Birds come so close a wide angle lens is no problem
Safe to eat?
Despite all this time away from home, I did make a small amount of progress on the boat. Seams and cracks in the plywood were sealed with expanding foam glue. My thoughts here is that it is probably a good idea to keep water out rather than in, thus holes and cracks in a boat may not be helpful.

All four side pieces on boat number one now have the chines attached. By clamping them together I can sand back any rough edges and ensure they line up true and straight.

Two pieces that will make up the starboard hull are clamped together

Then sanded true and straight
A flush, clean surface will make it easier to attached the bottom

In other news, I discovered what the strange knife-saw device found at an op-shop is meant to do..

This is a knife
Made by a japanese company a long time ago, this type of knife is used for sawing up frozen items and large pieces of meat. So there you go!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

That's not a knife

In this weeks exciting edition of 'excuses for why I haven't done much with the boat', our hero travels to Nelson, has some lunch and is given a knife!

Ex-Cyclone Gita closed the coast road, so I was forced to take the inland route
These enterprising folk bough some land on a popular tourist road and opened a 'permanent' food van. The council closed them down a couple of years back, now they are open again in mysterious circumstances
One day my boat will look as good as this... (cough)
Is it a saw? A knife? What should I cut with it? So many questions...
Exciting news, I have started on the side pieces for boat number two! That's right, one boat is clearly not taking enough time, so I have upped the stakes!
Finally, I have some exciting news. A short story I completed a few weeks back has been accepted into an anthology of stories set in the solar system of yesteryear. Think jungles on Venus, dusty taverns on Mars and strange cloud like beings on Neptune. For more information and a full list of authors check out the Solar System Heritage website.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

A windy diversion

As it turns out, boats are traditionally built in winter. Seeing how busy things have being this summer I understand why! Last week I visited Wellington, the capital of New Zealand and one of the worlds windiest cities with an average wind speed of 22kph. Wellington is crammed in between steep mountains and sits on an active fault line. Twisting narrow roads, overpasses and tunnels turn, overlap and zig zag across the city.

A rare piece of flat ground
Every house is built on incredibly steep ground. Many have some sort of electric cable car system to carry their occupants from the car-port to their home.

A typical Wellington car park 

In between visiting Wellington, making pickles and plum wine, some progress on the boat has happened. Three out of four side pieces (remember this is a twin-box boat) now have their pine chines bent and glued onto the plywood. One more to go!

And, failing that, it will be winter soon and progress will be sure to speed up!