As I mentioned, I’ve been back at work in the corporate world, while Alex has been continuing work on our old wooden boat (which we still need to name, but are referring to simply as ‘The Monk’).
He has been working long days for the past few weeks, knowing that he had to go back to Toronto for a wedding this past weekend. He had made significant progress, and the weekend before he left we were able to spend a couple of days together giving it a few final coats of paint.
Although the actual repairs were the most integral to restoring the boat, like any renovation, it is always the paint that makes the most significant difference. After two part days painting, it felt so satisfying to be able to compare The Monk to what it looked like when we first bought it:
I went back to work Monday, while Alex spent the next few (long) days finishing up some last minute tasks, as well as finishing the anti-fouling paint on the boat.
It was finally ready, or at least as ready as it was going to get, and we were able to put it back in the water:
Now for those of you who may not know much about wooden boats (and trust me, I didn’t at the beginning of this venture either), while the boat is out of the water, the planks start to dry out. This means that the wood contracts, and cracks start to open up between them. This is a normal part of working with a wooden boat, and once it goes back into the water, the planks expand and (hopefully) seal up any leaks. The agonizing part is the time it takes for that to happen, while you wait to see if any of the leaks are significant enough that they need to be patched or if they will take care of themselves.
In our case, some of the leaks were worrisome, so after pausing to take a video for the blog:
Alex had to climb into the bottom of the boat and work against the water to seal the leaks with some cotton. He was able to stop the majority of the big leaks before he had to come home and get ready for his flight. Before he left though, he was able to get some more pictures of the boat back where it belongs – floating happily in the water.
The satisfaction that we both felt is indescribable; so many people thought that we were being reckless and foolish when we got the boat. Even some of the guys at the marina thought that we were over our head and that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
This week we are enjoying the glow of our accomplishment. We are fortunate enough to have Alex’s father here, and are able to share part of our vision and the planning stage with him (not to mention our plan for a sailing mission with him this weekend – because how can we not share that part of our life as well??).
There is still a lot of work to be done – the whole interior needs to be designed and built – but after the past six weeks, it feels attainable, and is just the next step in the journey.