Dave Brooks reports that, “Due to Cambria arriving at Oare one day later than planned she still awaits jet-washing and anti-fouling. Hence only limited work was possible on the hull this weekend. None the less, Boss of Volunteers, Basil and ‘My Oppo’ Richard Weekes donned wellies and have managed to get the tar scraped and undercoat on where necessary. Also completed this weekend was the painting of the mainmast so that re-rigging can commence next weekend”. Thanks for that, Dave B.
The work carries on behind the scenes. These are some of the metal rigging blocks which are being dismantled for cleaning, greasing up and painting, in this case by Boss of Volunteers, Basil. There’s a lot of this goes on out of sight through the winter. Mark (Nozz) Boyle tells me that some folk even slacken off all the bolts they can get at on things like mast cases and deck winches, grease and re-tighten, just so that they do not seize up and rust over the years. I don’t know if we are being THAT diligent on Cambria but if you get bored over the winter, please do volunteer!
My RSS feed from Yachting Monthly has a nice item today written by Dick Durham about the tragic level of suicide (jumping over board) due to loneliness and feelings of being badly treated among modern merchant seamen. “Merchant seamen,” says Rev Andrew Wright, quoted in the article on
” – once held in high regard – are now among the forgotten lost souls of the workplace”
The Rev is determined to raise their profile and has been working alongside the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) to that end.
The chaplain and director of operations at the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, and honorary chaplain to the Isle of Wight for The Mission to Seafarers, Rev Andrew Wright takes up a new post as Secretary General in February 2013.
I will let you read the full article if you are interested.
Just to prove that all the hard work is actually going on on Cambria over the winter, Boss of Volunteers, Basil emails me this pic of some ‘vang’ blocks. The ‘vangs’ or ‘wangs’ (according to preference or maybe Dutchness) are the big cables which run down from the top of the sprit pole to the aft rails on either side of the barge. They are variously slacked off or hauled in taut to control the position of the sprit which holds up the top-rearmost corner (peak) of the mainsail and holds out the rearmost corner (clew) of the tops’l. These parts might need to be anywhere from fully out to port, through the centre line to fully out starboard. They get a lot of use and suffer a good deal of wear and tear, out in all weathers and often under some huge forces.
Hence, when the rig is down and the sails are taken off, we take the opportunity to dismantle and service the blocks and here, says Basil, “the top three in the picture are ready for the re-rig; and the bottom one has to be greased and reassembled.
The 2nd picture shows the two main sheet blocks before work commences – these will be stripped
down, shells painted, re greased and reassembled .
Most of the blocks on board Cambria will be similarly treated this year.
I won’t trouble to count them all!
Richard has already made a start on some of them down in the hold.”
Thanks for that, Basil
With the Thames Match over, Cambria is back on the pier at Gravesend for her short series of lectures and to be open to the public. Here, Boss of Volunteers, Basil, prepares to hoist the Class Winner’s pennant from that rather windless day. Anyone who knows Basil will know how much he loves a bit of bunting and a few flags, so he’ll be happy that we’ve now started to accumulate pennants. I wonder who gets the job of polishing all the silver. The lectures are listed in the ‘News’ / ‘Future Events’ section of this site.
Chasing up an enquiry by Boss of Volunteers, Basil yesterday as to whether we might link the new website to that of the Sea Change Sailing Trust (http://www.seachangesailingtrust.org.uk/) who, under the Skippering of Richard Tichener and the First Mate duties of Hilary Halajko, frequently use Cambria, I went for a small explore of that site. I’ve been there before, of course but I have to say I was very impressed. It is a superb, informative website, easy to use and packed full of fresh recent stuff. It runs a regularly updated blog (which is half the story anyway; there’s nothing worse than a blog last updated 6 months ago!) which takes centre stage on the front page of the site and contains frequent links to albums of photographs and chunks of video of their exploits.
Most recently, for example, there is a clip of video in which Richard T talks about the Sail Training activities and the intended outcomes. This is on
Further down, there is a nice long clip of the barging fun itself accompanied by some excellent music, which I wish I knew the precedence of (tempted to try to get hold of it). That is on
If you are doing nothing for the next few minutes, go take a look. Excellent!
In more general terms, if any reader thinks we should be linking to any other sites please let us know. We are happy to consider anything and that is, after all, how the internet is meant to work, after all; as a network of interconnected sites allowing you to browse sideways as well as in and out so that you can ping about for ages, never having to go back to your first Google (or whatever) screen.