As promised a while back, a shot of those winch drums built by our Master Shipwright, Tim Goldsack and now installed in their axles/bearings in the main mast case (tabernacle). For fast but harder-work straight-through winching of lighter stuff you wind your rope round the upper drum and crank away. For heavier work where you want a bit of mechanical advantage from the gearing down (looks like about 2:1 but might be 3:1) and slower is OK, you wind your rope round the lower drums and crank the top one.
These last couple of weeks Cambria has been out on her shake down with the crew of Skipper Ian Ruffles, 1st Mate Denis Johnson and 3rd hand ‘Reggiee Andrews’. I am sorry of that looks a little unlikely for a spelling but he comes up spelt that way on Facebook and who am I to argue? Ian tells us that Reggiee is doing brilliantly and learning fast and it was Ian with just Reggiee to assist, who brought the barge onto Gillingham Pier for the first time (ever?) when they were avoiding some bad winds recently. A safe pair of hands, Reggiee. Fair play to you.
Talking of increasing sailing skills, the barge’s ‘sparks’ Owen Pihama and Miranda, who was ‘Mum’ to the Volunteers, tell us that the two girls who worked so hard and well as Volunteers for us and gained Volunteer of the Year awards from National Historic Ships are now going through some sail training of their own. “Han,” says Miranda, ” is currently doing the very last bit of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh with the Tall Ships Youth Trust aboard one of the Challenger yachts. She sailed from Portsmouth yesterday and will hopefully be going as far as the Channel Islands. The trip lasts a week and she will hopefully qualify for her ‘RYA Competent Crew’. She was very chuffed as they have already asked if she would like to sail with them as a volunteer.
Meanwhile, Basil reports that, “Cambria’s first charter didn’t go to plan. She was meant to be at Gravesend by now but instead the weather forced us to try out Gillingham Pier earlier in the season than we anticipated. It was quite a surprise to receive the message from skipper Ian Ruffles telling me that he and Reggie our new third hand had brought the barge in to the pier. We believe this is a first for the Cambria. It has been a few years since barges occupied the pier though Ian remembers Portlight and Ironsides and two other barges sheltering there after a rough Medway race early in the Nineties.
She makes an interesting picture, and will be there until Friday (12th April)”. Basil also asks that if “Anybody is interested in doing some painting, please to contact him”.