REPORT NO. 2
‘We’re leaving next
simple words convey little of the work-intensity of the last
has been under particular pressure, not intentionally so by me
or anyone else, but because he’s so pivotal in getting the
boat ready. But ready it is, not as much as we’d like, but
adequately so in all the ways that matter.
Francois has done excellent internal work, with little left to
be finished, Vinny Salmon has piped the five fuel tanks to the
engine. Mike Burke from Limerick is rigging, fitting,
carpentering, you name it.
was hauled out from the shed in Knock on Thursday May 17th,
and then the rain lashed down all the following week, soaking
much of the inside through hatches and windows yet to be
Wednesday was particularly wet and brought expectations to
their nadir –so much still to do, and the rain bucketing
‘cats and dogs’.
internal stock taking was done, our Dublin friend Liam Canavan
put in a full week on the engine and matters looked
better.Mayo men rallied, Eddie Horan, and Brian Egan on
Plumbing and Mechanical, Eugene O’Malley on the wiring and
Paraic Harrington on the joinery.Micheal Kelly laid on his low
loader, a 50 tonne crane lifted the boat, now weighing 14
tonne with her ballast, and the journey to the sea began on
Friday June 1st.Taking the long road round to avoid
low bridges and corners – too- tight, our convoy travelled
the narrow road to Charlestown, the hull skimming the ash and
the rowan first on one side then the other and sometimes
both.‘Twas all downhill on the good road from Charlestown.
Except passing through the town of Westport. There the Garda
did a ‘Percy French’ for us stopping traffic with ‘one
wave of their hands’.
launch went smoothly, just a small leak showing round the
depth-sounder, quickly remedied and then her 18 metre mast was
stepped and rigged. There was minor mishap with temporary
rigging, which could have been major, but wasn’t – and
satisfied men, we went to Matt Molloys Pub, and stayed too
long, a few of us’.
and setting up the roller-reefing on the two headsails took
the next two days. Happily we had opted to put steps on the
mast or it would have taken longer. There are 15 rigging wires
on the mast, mostly of different lengths, with different
fittings on the end of each. The running rigging was easier.
Monday we engined away, doing 5½ knots on tick-over, out
towards Clew Bay,Croagh Patrick, holy mountain to our south,
Mulranny and Achill to our north and Clare Island ahead out in
the bay.Opening the throttle she went like a scalded cat, to
her mooring in Rosmoney. Next day she was moved to her
fitting-out berth at ‘James Cahills Pier’.And there during
the last two weeks her equipment has been put into
commission.The sails were bent-on and looked good, just a
little looseness in the luff of the Yankee, our
mis-calculation not that of our sailmaker Phillip Watson’s.
had been a pleasure to work with, very much a member of our
boat-building team, keen and able to see that the sails were
worthy of the job and the boat. With alacrity he put his
sail-loft in Malahide, Dublin, to work at reducing the luff by
cutting and re-building the tack. Brendan Minish joined with
our man Gearoid in fitting the SSB radio and today were
running the weather-fax and email system.I’m a doubter when
it comes to believing that we can run email off the radio.
I’ve spent too many frustrating hours trying to get straight
voice/talk contact. I hope I’m wrong and that Brendan is
right, that our ‘Pactor 2’ system will work. If
it does, we’ll send Progress Reports every ½ week or so,
less if we have nothing to say, more if we have. To be
heading off, as Bill Tilman put it for ‘No Wages, little
pleasure, date of-return uncertain’. Won’t it be great!