You may recall that back in August I posted on the subject of artist Lesley Everatt who had created a rather superb picture of the crew of the sloop ‘Spider T’ who were on board for the run up the Thames to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. That was the first time we ‘met’ Lesley. I have since got to know her better through the Facebook feed and have learned that she is (among other skills) a superb artist of both military aircraft – we have seen some lovely Spitfires, Lancs, Vulcan bombers as well as modern aircraft – and of maritime stuff. The latter particularly includes many traditional sailing work boats but had not, as far as I know, yet included any sprit-sail barges. Well, now she has. This is a lovely picture of Cambria coming up into the Thames followed by a Humber Keel. So far only the original is for sale and there are no plans to produce prints. You can follow Lesley on FB and contact her that way or ask here if interested.
Meanwhile, Cambria is now back in Faversham, moored on Standard Quay. She is being divested of her rig so that she can be covered for winter maintenance. The foresail and mizzen sail have been removed and Basil tells me they have been having some fun playing with main spars, with photographer Mr Brooks on hand. I am hoping for some good pictures to posts here. The bow sprit has been unbolted from the bitts up front and dragged inboard using the fors’l halyards to take the weight. The mizzen mast has been stripped of its boom and gaff poles and these are now stored below decks. A tackle on the sprit end was used to assist here. The Mizzen mast itself is in a forward opening tabernackle, so gets dropped forward onto the main hatch again using the sprit as a derrick to take the weight. We have fashioned a mast prop to give it a secure resting place. Finally the main gear will be lowered.
Work this winter will possibly also include the replacement of the old, cast Seager leeboard winches with modern galvanized steel ones. We have apparently been suffering from the brittleness of the cast sprockets on our existing gear and have in some cases had to sail with one or two teeth missing which is never a good idea – the winches tend to lose grip over the toothless bits, skid and crash violently into the remaining teeth, risking breaking those too, and, with having no engine, we obviously rely heavily on all our sailing equipment to get about and it’s not easy to beat to windward with a leeboard disabled. As I said, some pics of all this work as they become available.