After dropping me off at the airport Bill went into town to do some shopping (and probably had a McDonalds) then went back to Camomile to continue clearing the decks of the awful Treadmaster that he and Norman had started the previous week. He did 4 hours of stripping before sunset.
Friday 6th March 11 hours of stripping followed by dinner with our friends Rex and Susie on Ariel. I think whisky was involved!
Saturday 7th March he ran short of abrasives so he worked to 11.00 borrowed one of Mr Din’s cars and came back to do some more sanding. 8 hours of stripping today.
Sunday 8th March Camomile was starting to look very white as Bill continued to clear the deck of Treadmaster backing. He stopped for lunch at HDC while the sun was at it’s hottest then carried on. 11 hours worked again.
Monday 9th March The bow, the coach roof and a little of the cockpit still to do. 11 hours worked again, he’s now ground off all but a small patch under the air conditioning unit.
The removal of the treadmaster has taken 48 hours of Bill’s labour with the addition of 25 hours donated by Norman of Norsa; a total of 73 hours, phew!
Tuesday 10th March Bill moved the air-conditioning unit to the cockpit so that it pumps through the entry hatch, he didn’t want to not have it on, it cools the inside of the boat to make it bearable to live here. After removing the last of the treadmaster from where the air con unit had been, he then removed all the deckfitting that were going to be in the way and did the first fill of the major dings and redundant holes.
The next 2 days he spent fairing and filling plus he returned to the bonding of the starboard rubbing strake.
Meanwhile I landed safely in England after 3 flights and 27 hours fortunately the last flight to Gatwick was half empty and with no one sitting next to me I was able to lie down and get some sleep. I spent the Friday quietly because I didn’t want my sister to know I had arrived as I was planning to surprise her for her birthday. Cousin Sally picked me up and we had a lovely day visiting her horse Maud and driving around the beautiful, but still wintery, English countryside.
Saturday morning I jumped on a train to meet Thomas and Sonal in London, not having seen them for 6 months it was great to catch up. The first job was post Bill’s passport before coffee in the sunshine and then a visit to the Tower of London.
It was a cold but sunny day and we had great fun wandering around the tower listening to the Beefeater’s stories, which I swear get taller every time I hear them!
This amazing sculpture is made from weapons and armour, very clever.
As it was such a nice day we continued walking across Tower bridge and on towards the Oxo tower where we had arranged with my brother-in-law Alan to meet to spring the surprise on Amanda.
Her face was a picture when she walked in and saw us. It was a good start to my ‘holiday’.