Westerly gales throughout the week tested our new roof. As far as I can judge, it did not shift by even a hair’s breadth. I would have been disappointed to find any change, however insignificant.

The storms washed up a perfect Helmet (Tiger) Shell. You can see it here, perched on the cypress floorboards.

Sam has recorded the next job: installation of the joists. I have already cut them to size, and placed them in position on the Ironbark bearers. Over the next few days, weather permitting, I will fasten them with (very long) skewed nails.

It is worth noting that once a nail is hammered into Ironbark, it cannot be extracted: it is locked in for life. I have therefore adopted and adapted Dad’s boatbuilding maxim, roughly translated: check your measurements twice (or thrice), before ‘hammering’ once. I hope it will save me a lot of heartache.

The native cypress, when cut with a saw, gives off an exhilirating fragrance, somewhat akin to the smell of Western Red Cedar or Baltic Pine, but more subtle. It is a fraction softer than Oregon, cuts sweetly, and has to be predrilled. Working with such lovely wood is a pleasure, and a privilege.


Early in the morning the sea-birds were to-ing and fro-ing along the shore-line. A storm is brewing, and I spotted two pelicans high up, drifting northwards on a mission known only to themselves.  As you will recall, the late-Autumn winds here can be brisk; this will be the first Test for the galvanised iron roof. Long roofing screws hold it to the purlins; the purlins are skew-nailed into the roof beams, and doubly secured by the bolted soldiers; the roof beams are bolted to the Ironbark posts; the posts are sunk into deep holes, and held firm by the concrete. At the bottom of each post, a horizontal bar of iron further locks the Ironbark into the concrete.

I will report on the outcome.

Sam took these photos from the seaward side. Seen from the east, the Boatshed looks quite imposing, but when viewed from the western side, the  beach, it fits comfortably into its space next to the shack. The dune shrubs soften any sharp edges, and I believe the weatherboard cladding (native cypress) will enhance the sense of ‘belonging’. Of course, everything at Lot 16 Lady Bay must be a bit cramped; it is a tiny block.


I wanted to record here the passing of a long-standing friend, the author Gillian Mears, who died this week aged 51. Right from the early days she was a generous advocate for ‘My Father as Mariner’ – and more recently, a keen supporter of hand-carved wooden spoons, and the Lady Bay Boatshed. She was a lover of rivers, estuaries, lakes and the wide ocean.


Perfect day for fixing iron: overcast, comfortable temperature, no wind.

The recent storm delivered a portion of Rapid Bay jetty as flotsam and jetsam; ear-marked for diagonal reinforcements.

Next job: floor joists and floor boards (native cypress).