I sort of have the idea at the back of my mind that if I don't have a picture at least every few posts, people will start thinking, boring, no pictures, and stop reading. So I shall waste another megabyte of my picture upload allowance with a very boring picture. Here is Warrior as we found it on Sunday, out of the water and all dried off.(Actually, it isn't, because my phone, on which the pictures reside, is starting to refuse to acknowledge when I stick a USB lead into it. I think it may be a faulty lead, but the phone is a bit highly strung so I can't be sure. This is partly why I can't always get on line and post with the baby computer) A touch of green, but - hooray - no rust; no flaking off blacking, just the old blacking with some green stuff and mysterious deposits on it. I am more than happy to take the credit for this, as Jim's memory has confirmed what I can hardly believe - that the five coats of comastic applied in 2006 were done singlehandedly by me. So we are very happy to use comastic again (Rylards vinyl tar to be precise) and there was a nearly full 20 litre tin waiting for us.
Another DIY blacker had hired a pressure washer so Jim set to straight away with that, and a wallpaper scraper, to get the green weed and mysterious stuff off. We had completely forgotton about the anodes, until we saw them. They are well worn, but should have another year's life in them, so we are adding another set in the hope of not getting Warrior out for another four years. I have my doubts about anodes, to be honest; it smacks of voodoo to me. If they're doing what they're meant to (and I'm sure Moomin will explain this to me on Sunday, with diagrams), why isn't the prop covered in magnesium? Also, they make the paint come off in their immediate vicinity. I find this rather disturbing. But anyway, anodes we had to have, so yesterday, after putting the first coat on, we set off to Limekiln Chandlery in Wolverhampton, where we had been recommended that they were cheaper than Midland Chandlers. Never one to turn down the opportunity to visit a new chandlers anyway, I grasped the opportunity. At £36.25 each for the biggest ones, I think they were a good price, but I can't honestly remember what they are elsewhere. It was a nice shop and the man behind the counter was very helpful and obliging. There was a very nice brass drawer handle on display that I wanted for Chertsey, but there were none in the box - without demur, the man unscrewed the one from the display, and threw in the screws too. The brassware was very reasonably priced as well.
While Jim was washing the hull, I swept the chimney for the French stove in the saloon - for the first time. Thanks to its marvellous design this was a straightforward task. I was glad that I hadn't bought a special chimney brush, as the one I had worked really well. This was sold for cleaning behind radiators, and is like a big bottlebrush on a flexible handle. I bought it for the purpose of sweeping the top of the oven in the back cabin stove, but it was useless for this. However, the bottlebrush bit can be bent into a circle or spiral of exactly the right size foe any chimney, so by attacking it from the top and the bottom (there is a nifty access point in the bottom of the pipe)I was able to remove a good ash drawer full of soot. I lit the fire on Sunday evening and kept it in until this morning - could have kept it going even then, but for a misjudgement on my part. I've even been able to start closing the damper a bit to help it stay in. What a marvellous stove it has turned out to be. I also swept the chimney of the back cabin stove, but as you may recall, the soot and bits from that land on top of the oven lining from where they are very difficult to remove. I quite fancied poking the hoover tube down the chimney, but it has a long rigid straight bit attached to it that won't go round the bends, and that I couldn't get off without breaking it. Another hoover, perhaps.
So, we got it washed off on Sunday, first coat on on Monday, and second coat mostly completed this morning before. a. it rained, and b. I had to go to work. And that was the 20 litre (not quite full) tin all used up. We reckon we've put it on so thickly that, coupled with what's already on there, that should be enough. It's now got until Sunday to dry out while we busy ourselves with other little tasks, and a visit from the Moomins and from Bill and Michelle.
Meanwhile, I go back tonight to Stafford (lucky Euston is so handy for my office - it's quicker to get here from there than from home, albeit more expensive)with a big pile of marking and a glimpse of that other world out there.