Sunday, July 29, 2007

Refit: back to work again

Her moment of racing glory behind her, for this year at least, Arabella's refit has resumed. The objective was to have completed the loose ends by the end of July but, in fairness to the yard, the weather has been less than helpful. Here's what we did manage to get done in July.

Above: Arabella in pieces once again. The ST60+ Graphic Display has been removed and returned to Raymarine for replacement as it has turned out to be faulty, refusing to (Sea)talk to the cockpit instruments.

Above: Work in progress: Mr G and I have been constructing the box which will enclose the consumer unit, battery charger and other electrical equipment at the aft end of the starboard settee berth.

Above: The cabling and deck gland for the solar panel have now been tidied up.

Above: New toggle catches have been fitted to the cockpit lockers. The locker lids now boast gaskets in the hope of reducing the amount of water that finds its way inside - the current weather should given them a good test.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Worst floods for a generation (vaguely boaty)

As I type this, much of Gloucestershire and parts of Hereford & Worcester are under water as the Rivers Severn and Avon burst their banks following days of torrential rainfall. Hundreds of thousands of people are without drinking water, and a smaller - but still very large - number of homes have no electrical supply.

The news presenters have taken to calling these "worst floods for a generation." That, and a particular shot taken from a news helicopter showing the flooded fields that have transformed Tewkesbury into a beleagured island, reminded me of an old family cine film, captured on silent 8mm, of those self-same flooded fields a generation ago, in November 1960.

I've posted the clip here and on Arabella's new Movie Gallery - not for the flood pictures, which we can all see live on 24 hour news feeds, but for the interesting manner in which my family and their friends amused themselves in those biblical floods nearly 47 years ago.

Stay with the movie and you'll see what I you think they'd be allowed to do this in the Health & Safety-conscious Britain of 2007? With or without a risk assessment?

On an embarrassing note, the stupid yellow pom-pom hat sported by my older brother, back then in the Good Old Days before I was born, had an extended life and was regularly worn by me on the way to and from school, at my mother's insistence, as late as 1970. I'm pretty sure Social Services wouldn't allow that degree of mental cruelty to children in Britain in 2007.