For those unfamiliar with the above quote it is from one of the finest works of cultural importance ever to be visited upon the human species. It is up there with "The Origin of the Species", "Ben Hur" and "Family Guy". I am of course talking about "Blackadder". Series 2, Episode 5 - 'Beer' to be more precise. Why do I include such an erudite and slightly controversial quote in my highfalutin stream on online consciousness? Well, it sums up my last visit to Zeelandia after she was set down on blocks.
I was made aware that there were a couple of leaks when she was floated, which was better than expected considering the amount of work which had been carried out on her hull. However, when I went to have a look on board I was greeted by the following sight...
After one of the dry dock staff went on board to recover the pumps which were put in place prior to refloating, they failed to close the main hatch to the cargo hold. Couple that with some dreadful weather we have had here over the last few weeks and the entire bilge is now 3-4 inches deep in water. What makes it doubly annoying as that any holes in the hull which have been overplated will now have allowed water in between the plates which will (I suspect) be almost impossible to remove. This will have to be sealed with a 2 pack epoxy paint to try and seal the air from getting to the plate and rusting it from the inside.
The yard is hiring a pump to get rid of the water at their expense. The other snafu is that the blast media which was too difficult to get at under the ballast will now have to come out, otherwise it will retain water faster than a pregnant lady with obvious consequences for the hull. It was dry and relatively easy to remove with a dustpan and brush. All in all 'Percy' has well and truly done what I described.
The welders were in a rush to get her refloated and as such tried to paint over their welds prior to being immersed in water. The photo below shows what happens when you do not allow the paint enough time to 'go off' before it gets wet. Essentially the paint is useless and peels away. I am sure it did its job but will have to be stripped prior to the painters coming in . It should be that same colour as the dark browny/gold coating on the rest of the barge but has been affected by the water.
The rust on the bare steel is furry and will have to be blasted off with a pressure wash before painting. This is the welding at the rear near the prop shroud. We need about 4-5 days of decent weather but so far the South West does not seem to be playing ball...
The sooner I can weld over the portholes and get the interior dried, stripped and protected the better as the longer she remains in this condition the more work is being made for me. Oh joy.
Oh, and a Happy New Year to everyone...
Cap'n Spack Jarrow
Brownian motion-type musings on barge renovation, life and other bits of flotsam.