I am fitting and installing rib number five on the treble side.
There are eleven ribs in all. Two to go: number six bass and number six treble.
And beyond that, unexplored territory….
Destined for the Paddock.
There are two additions: Pink Gum (E. fasciculosa), and South Australian Blue Gum (E. leucoxylon).
The collection of dune-care seedlings includes Ficinia nodosa (previously Isolepsis), which has a charming common name: Knobby Club Rush – and the shrub of intoxicating scent, Olearia axillaris, otherwise known as Coastal Daisy Bush, or Wild Rosemary.
These little plants have acquired the potency of totems: companions of our youthful days – the long days of summer – as we explored the adjacent dunes, or set sail for distant lands just across the Bay….
An under-coat unites the patchwork…or, if you prefer, covers it up.
Shearwater looks to be as solid and stable – and heavy – as ever.
Next, and possibly most difficult task of all: moving our little ship out of the Boatshed. The remaining work will be completed in the open, as autumn weather allows.
As far as any small boat can be watertight, Shearwater is now watertight….
Next task: repairing our new mainsail, which has been damaged by an enterprising rat. He, or she, gnawed three almost perfectly circular holes in the lower fabric. I suppose that is one interpretation of the nautical phrase – shortening sail.
Our last voyage in the Bay was long ago (around 2007). Almost time to get out the beach rollers, and return Shearwater to her native element.
I have already glued four Lute Ribs edge to edge, and to their shared point of contact: the neck-block (temporarily attached to the mould).
Here I am fitting Lute Rib number three on the treble side.
Sam has photographed the various tasks as they arise: shaping the rough-cut Rib on a Bending Iron (so that it lies snugly against all points of contact along the curves of the mould); removing excess wood by means of an upside-down Block Plane – and fine-tuning both edges on the absolutely flat surface of the Emery board.
It is an absorbing and frustrating and satisfying process….
As you can see below, Shearwater has two areas of dry rot along the top edge of the transom.
I admit to purchasing the Hishika Azebiki Saw primarily for its looks – but already it a has become a necessary luxury, as I knew it would.
These excellent saws with their curved blade can begin a cut in the middle of a flat surface….hence their traditional use in Japan for inlay work, butterfly joints, and (for all I know ) – boat-building.