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About realworkingsailor

  • Birthday 06/04/1978

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    The Greater Toronto Area

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  1. Thanks! My furry friend is named Freyja, she’s 11 months old, and still a very energetic and entertaining puppy (and being a shepherd, she’s often stuck to me like Velcro). Sadly for the wallpaper people, I have an ample supply firewood that only cost me a couple of litres of gas and a few afternoons of work last spring. Andy
  2. Hi Jerry, It’s a little wintry up here too. Actually, it’s a nice break, but looking at the forecast for this week, things are likely to pick up steam again (literally!). Andy
  3. For anyone paying attention at home, it's been almost two years since I had to give up my sailing career. It has not been an easy transition to a shore career, but at long last I've settled on a course of action and now am pursuing a little more education to help me get there. Back in August 2017 I moved up to a wonderful 80 acre parcel of gently rolling forest adjacent to my grandparent's farm. One of the assets at my disposal is a sizeable section of hardwood forest (about 20 acres in size), containing a large number of my favourite type of tree.... the sugar maple. Now that winter has begun to loosen it's icy grip, I've decided to take advantage of the situation and try my hand at making my own, home made, maple syrup. Yummy! I began a couple of weeks ago gathering the supplies that I needed to get started, spiles and buckets, and I set out with my furry friend into the woods. For a first timer, it is suggested to tap between 5 and 10 trees (I tapped 7). Each spile will yield roughly a gallon of sap a day when the weather conditions are optimal (below freezing at night, and mild during the day). A few days after I tapped my trees, the weather decided to co-operate and things started to run. My furry friend is a great help when checking the buckets I'm out every afternoon emptying buckets, and since the bush trails are impassable by any vehicle that I own, it generally means hauling out the sap on foot (with toboggan assistance). Six gallons of sap ready to go. This morning I began the initial boiling. This is always best done outside over an open fire (you can use a propane burner, but you'll run through a lot of gas!). If you try to do this inside.... say goodby to your wallpaper, it takes roughly 40 parts sap to make one part maple syrup, which means A LOT of steam. For my first run, I boiled down about 6 gallons at one shot. After a good day's boiling (about 6 hours at a steady rolling boil), the concentrated sap was filtered (there's always little twigs and things that fall into the buckets and the big pot), and brought inside for finishing. This is the tricky part where you have to watch the temperature carefully, and make sure the syrup doesn't boil over.... or burn. Finally after an hour on the stove.... my first bottle of maple syrup, it's a little cloudy because it needs to be filtered once more to remove the nitre (also known as sugar sand, which is a result of the natural minerals in the sap precipitating out), but it's still good enough for a first attempt......bring on the pancakes!! Andy PS, I've got another 10 gallons of sap waiting in the shed.... and more on the way.... I think I'm going to be busy.....
  4. See, I knew that you knew what you were doing, it was all just a test to see who was paying attention in class 😁 Andy
  5. Hi Mike, Very nice metal work on the lantern, although I hope the lenses aren’t glued in yet.... Andy
  6. Hi Sjors! Nice looking boat you're building! I noticed you referenced me the other day, asking about the colours of the propellors and I was thinking of the best way to respond.... then I remembered my profile picture, and figured that it would make a good example for you. The famous picture of me standing in the Kort nozzle. That prop is a typical manganese-bronze alloy prop after a few years work. Then I also remembered that I had another dry dock picture of another ship with a prop of a different metal alloy. I can't remember offhand what the metal was (not stainless steel though), but it's also been through five or six years of work since its last polishing. Hope this helps! Andy
  7. I received for Christmas (and just finished reading), “Erebus” by Michael Palin (yes THAT Michael Palin!). A fascinating account of the history of that enigmatic ship. While the author is not the first person you would think of when it comes to naval historians, he nonetheless manages to weave a brilliant nautical narrative. He covers, in some detail, as much of the human stories surrounding the various voyages of the Erebus, culled from various journals and letters written by the various participants. Starting with some details of her initial construction and her early deployment in the Mediterranean, to her conversion for polar service, and her two polar operations. The first being the successful voyage to the Antarctic, led by Sir James Clark Ross, and her final fateful journey. A recommended read for anyone interested in polar exploration, Sir John Franklin, and maritime history. Andy
  8. For something that has the serious potential to come out (looking) like a total rat’s nest, I am utterly amazed at how neat and tidy your work is. Andy
  9. If you’re talking about the little brass pin nails, these: https://www.micromark.com/Spike-Insertion-Plier are far more accurate and versatile for driving them in (and pulling them back out too). They were originally designed specifically for spiking model railway track, I have a set, and use them extensively for shipbuilding. I’ve had no trouble with nailing plywood, mdf and other woods. Andy
  10. With all the sudden and unexpected interest, I'll throw you good folks a bit of a bone (not one of Freyja's chew bones though). I'm out of the shipyard for the near future, but I'll share a few pics of how far I managed to get with the planking. Not really too many more strakes left to go, I can't remember if it's eight or nine by my last count. The wales are done, but not fully painted, just the top and bottom edges. And popeye, it's not so much the pitter patter of little feet.... more like the thundering footfalls of a herd of galumphing baby elephants! Andy
  11. Hey everyone, Thanks for the positive comments. My current distraction is a little more demanding of my attention (and rightly so). Her name is Freyja, she’s four months old, and she doesn’t really allow me to turn my back for a second. Andy
  12. Hi! I had been picking away at it a little bit over the winter, so there has been some progress. I tended to stall every time Jason (Beef Wellington) posted an update on his build. And also a few other distractions keep getting in the way. I may get back to it when the distractions abate, and the weather turns cooler. Andy
  13. Relatively speaking, the derrick goosenecks are fairly small. The opening also wouldn't appear faired, it would have a hard edge. Mooring bitts, despite their appearance are, in fact, hollow. Also, if the casting in question was part of the derrick base, there would be more remnants of the rest of the crosspiece on one side, and not a clean edge all the way around. Andy
  14. Yeah, I've seen those. In the first photo, if you look carefully by the break of the house, on the starboard side just aft of the ladder, there's a bitt. And you can just make out its Port side counterpart.
  15. Typically bitts are secured to the deck (never through it). The deck is generally made of thicker plating in the areas where things like bitts, and winches are located. In the era of this ship, likely bolts, or even rivets would be used (modern versions are welded). It's a pretty substantial casting, and it doesn't look too dissimilar to the bases of the intact bits. I've only managed to find a few low res images online of the ship in question, so lacking decent reference photos (pre wreck), it's a best guess. I have my doubts it's anything mechanical. Andy

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