12th April 2015
It isn’t the end of the journey that matters; it’s the journey itself.
I don’t know if Hemingway ever set about restoring an old boat but it sounds as though he did! When Python leaves the Sheet Stores, that may be felt to be ‘the end’ but before then there will have been plenty of journeying up and down between Chesterfield and the Sheet Stores. But not in vain! We have achieved another step on the way and now we must wait for the boatyard to begin serious work. With luck, Paul will be happy with the clearing work we have done and will set to with both a will and a welder. Various people had quite a few journeys up and down to do all sorts of arranging until we got to the stage of taking the plunge and ripping everything out. As I said in the last couple of blogs, we began ripping stuff out and taking it back up to Chesterfield and into my old shed. Over the last fortnight, we have done a couple more trips with the van and have achieved two things. One being that the boat is now almost empty and the other being that my old shed is full.
You can see from Andy’s brilliant photos that Python is not in the most convenient position for access because all the stuff had to be carted along the narrow space along the side of the boat on its way to be stacked in the van. It didn’t help that the wind got up on the last trip so the ladder we used to get into the boat was blown over – once just as I was about to clamber up! But we wedged it against the cabin and solved that problem. In fact, we didn’t have much in the way of problems with the whole job. True, the fuel tank was subject to an unscheduled descent into the Engine Room bilge but it didn’t matter because it can come out when the bottom gets chopped off.
Talking of bilges sets me thinking.
Now, there’s been a lot of talk lately about Dark Matter and CERN are racking up a massive electricity bill whizzing neutrons in and out of Switzerland. Those of us who have some familiarity with bilges are inclined to think that we know quite a bit about Dark Matter. We know that it’s very massive and its immense gravitational pull causes it to irresistibly attract and then stick to your trousers. And it’s not just Dark Matter – you know the thing about the Uncertainty Principle where you can measure it or you can know where it is but you can’t do both? So the best you can do is probability? This is clearly demonstrated under the circumstances where:
1) You are taking down an important and expensive piece of kit and you find that you have to partially dismantle it but one of the small, indispensable screws is of a thread and size known only to Korean engineers and;
2) The screw is, say 3.7 mm diameter and;
3) There is a hole in the floor 1.27 m away which is precisely 3.74 mm in diameter.
If you drop the screw, what’s the probability that it will find its way down such a titchy hole and down into the bilges?
Yes, it vanishes – thus showing the effect of Dark Matter in the bilges and causing you to have to grovel about in the muck.
Ah, well, we were well equipped with Thermos flasks and snap,
Here’s my shed when we finished unloading the van. Do you think that if it were to remain untouched for hundreds of years then someone in the future would have a Howard Carter-type Tutankhamun’s Tomb moment? Well, yeah, we are a bit short of gold.
Here we are, taking on sustenance. Three of us are at the van while Andy is taking the photo. With his camera on the end of a telescopic pole! As you can see, there is little or nothing left on the boat. She looks a bit forlorn, sitting there, out of her element. It’s that moment when it really sinks in that we’ve done the easy bit, we’ve turfed it all out, we’ve seen plenty of boats mouldering in the corner of boat yards where the will has faded away, now it’s down to us to get the wherewithal together and to maintain the drive. I bet we will!!