Saturday, October 04, 2008

Working for a Living

Well, there you go. One week of work done. I'm sore and tired and having a pretty good time working at Spice Island Marine. One of the best features is to dinghy back to Enee all hot, sweaty at the end of a day's work, covered in sawdust and jump right in the ocean. Takes away the grit and some of the pain.

There is this 74 foot, one-of, Italian sloop that sank during Ivan. We're talking a 2 million dollar boat. Beam must be about 20 feet with a 10 foot draft. The mast, which is off now, is 98 feet off the deck. Decks are teak with two cockpits. One for crew and and separate one aft for the helmsman. The wheel is about 7 feet in diameter. The boat was underwater for about a month. The owner of the marina is re-commissioning her. What a job! All the electrical, hydrolics, and plumbing have been re-done.

All the doors and drawers are out of the boat. My main job is re-doing, rebuilding or re-veneering all that wood work below. First main job was to remove some water ruined bulkhead material in the companionway to the aft cabin. Then we built that back up with plywood to be one veneer thickness below the remaining teak. We have now cut about 6 jigsaw pieces of veneer to carefully bond into place. Last step will be to re-varnish to match the existing teak. Picture at the left shows a strip of teak removed and ready (we hope) for the veneer.

I say 'we' because I'm working with two great young Grenadians - Johnny and Ronel. They are funny and energetic and anxious to learn. One of my jobs is to teach them whatever woodworking skills I can pass on. Since I alread mis-identified which side of the veneer was the teak side I think my status as teacher has gone down a couple of notches! But I'm good with fractions. They seemed impressed that I knew without hesitating that half of 14-3/16 was 7-3/32. So I got that going for me!

I have a very nice shop to work in with quality power tools and a view of the ocean. I can see Enee from my shop! I typically have to scrounge for hand tools or borrow from Shirley, the nice lady next door to my shop who is in charge of all the sanders, drills, etc.

So, after 3+ years of being out of work I'm back on the job. The yard is about a 2 minute dinghy ride from where we are anchored. I work 8 - 4 every day (with an hour lunch back on Enee) and 4 hours by myself of Saurdays. That's the best. I'm the only one in the yard and I can work with no distractions. It's a little strange to be on a schedule and to wear a watch again! It gets very hot in the shop as you can imagine and I make about a hundred trips up and down the ladder to the boat (rail is about 15+ feet off the ground). You know how it goes. Looking forward to lunch at noon and I look at my watch. It's 11:00. Ok. I do a few things, sand a little, measure something. . .now what time is it? 11:03. Arggg! The watch is a curse!

There should be enough work just on this one boat to keep me employed to the end of the year. After that, we'll see what transpires.

More pics. . . On the left is the main saloon or do you say salon. I've had smaller apartments! And, look at all that wood! Yikes. On the right is looking forward from the main saloon. Yeah, it's far to the bow and along the way are 3 staterooms with bunkbeds for crew and 3 heads. Captain's quarters are aft with a queen size and single bed, writing table and another head.

Oh and don't expect to see any Cubs references on this blog right now. . . .

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