Slow but steady progress

Sjogin’s resting comfortably in the slip in the south shed. The keel still weeps in spot, with one persistent leak around an old keel bolt. It’ll take a while for the timbers to return to normal. For now it’s about ten pleasant hand pump strokes per day.

There’s been real progress on the spars. While your writer was comfortably ensconced in the hills of Tuscany in early October, Beaton’s again stepped into the breach and stripped and faired the spars. When we got back I finished the sanding and as of today, there are two sealer coats applied. First coat of varnish this weekend.

The cockpit sole is moving along at my usual pace. The oak sole beams have been fitted and the initial sole pieces have been milled by Paul. With any luck the stove may be in by Thanksgiving.

Speaking of which, we gave our own thanks last week for recovering from Sandy two years ago on October 29, 2012. Thankfully no hurricanes this year (so far) but old Mister Northeaster may have a few lessons to give us this Winter.

All sanded and ready for the first coat of Interlux sealer. No serious defects found after many years of varnish. The wood is close grained clear fir. Tough stuff.

After the first coat. It will get darker after another coat of sealer and a half dozen coats of Epifanes varnish. And endless sanding….

Resting comfortably
Slowly rehydrating. Nice to be able to deal with her weeping by hand pump. There’s a sump pump on board if needed.

Trimming plugs
All of the old rivet holes have been plugged and sanded. The ceiling will cover most of them.

Getting greener all the time. The rub rail and letters ageing nicely.

And now, something completely different:

Villa Iris
Our bit of Tuscan paradise. We stayed here with seven others, exploring Florence and San Gimignano which was a mile or so away. Terrific views of vineyards and distant hills. Bliss for a week.

San Gimignano
That’s San Gimignano on the next hill. Classic Etruscan hill town with lot’s of places for a glass of Vernaccia or dinner. We had fine dinner at a restaurant on the edge of the town walls with sweeping views of the countryside and full moon.

Some of the Gang
Here’s five of us wandering the streets of San Gimignano. The others were waylaid by shops and such.

Vineyard tour
Touring a local vineyard for a tasting and later consumption of their Vernaccia. Yes, that’s San G in the background.

Ste. Chappele
We spent two days in Paris at each end of the trip. (You have to change planes somewhere.) This was at a string concert of the Four Seasons at Saint Chapelle on the Isle de Cite.

Small boat heaven
Finally, a bit of Beaton’s activity. Paul Smith giving an old fiberglass dinghy a new life. The two new Duckboats are getting freshened up before storage.

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