Monday 27 August 2007

Blog decommisioning

Jo da, her var det slutt no for tida. Æ må takke aill sammen, dem som kom langt herifra og hjelpet med det siste på båten, og dæm som hjelpet med å lage god fæststemning. Koselig å sjå dokk, og vi møtes igjen snart. Men alt om båten, sægling ok sånn fortsættes på denne nettsida, - -- en god haug bilder om byggingen, sjøsettningen og tur, tilsætt med toillat og alvorli ord (desverre bærre på Engelsk)

Well, that’s the end of this blog for now. I must thank everyone who helped so much with the whole enterprise - the rest of my family, the Camuscross Steering Group, people of Camuscross and elsewhere who appeared in such great numbers with all their boats, John Urquhart, and all the foreign nationals who came such a long way to add the event and to help with last minute building. And of course Fergie MacDonald for the great music.
You will find more boat stuff here: - a load of photos plus captions, on the building, the launch and trips in the boat.

Uill, sin e airson an drasda. Mìle taing dhan a h-uile duine a chuidich leis an latha air fad – an teàghlach agam fhìn, muinntir Camaschros is daoine eile a nochd nan aireamhan mòra leis na bàtaichean aca, Ian Urchartan airson am beannachadh, agus an ainmeachadh ghrinn a rinn e. Agus Fergie Dhòmhnallach is a chòmhlan, a rinn an danns as fhearr aig an robh mi riamh!

Chi sibh tuileadh mun bhàta – togail, cur air bhog agus turais seòlaidh, le fo-sgriohadh(gu mi-fhortanach anns a Bheurla) - an seo Uill, se sin e, ach naach math gu bheil an fhacal mu dheireadh aig a Ghàidhlig, mar am bu chòr! Tha mi an dòchas gun fhaic mi sibh uaireigin a’ siubhal uachdar na mara, falmadair is sgòd nar labh!

Camuscross Boat Day

The big day dawned, somewhat indiscernibly. It was cloudy and dull with a forecast of rain later. There was still work to be done, but there was that feeling of anticipation in the air… along with the clouds of midges. The sails were all packed up, bits and pieces gathered together. The last bolts were bolted on. But somehow or other we were still attaching the rudder straps – quite vital, for no rudder means no sailing – at 3.00. The launch was scheduled for 4.30. Gavin and I drilled while Susan flapped a board to keep the midges away! Then there was the hoisting of the boat onto the trailer - by this time it had started raining, so the fortunately midges had retreated. So with much heaving and ho-ing, and balancing and cursing, we had the boat hoisted onto the trailer and tied securely. Great thanks to Ronan, who at about 6’4”, arrived in the nick of time to help with lifting. Then a brief reprieve for a brief repast, and it was time to trundle the boat down the hill to the shore.

It was an inspired decision by the Camuscross Steering Group that turned the launch into a community event. And what a day it turned out to be! As Gavin trundled in the tractor down the steep hill from the top road, our contingent in procession behind the boat, we could see that there was at two score of craft in Camuscross bay. It really looked like Dunkirk beach in 1940!

When we unloaded the boat and placed it on the shore, it looked like about 100 people were standing along the shore road. When they all gathered around to hear the launch ceremony, it seemed there were more like 200. I started, telling of how the boat had left the sea in no fit state those years ago, and how it was now ready to return. Then we had a song led by the Scandinavians, “Hvem kan segle forutan vind” – a sailing song about friendship, before Donnie MacKinnon of Camuscross led “Mo chulaibh ris a bhaile seo” a song about a sailing man from the village. Then, local minister, John Urquhart, blessed the boat with a blessing from Carmina Gaedelica, before naming her “Gobhlan Gaoithe” – Swallow - literally “Fork of the Wind” in Gaelic. He said he hoped that this swallow, like the swallows that nested in the barn she was built, would go off on many exciting journeys, and would always safely return with her precious cargo. Then the boat was launch, and as the crew was carried on board by bewetsuited kayakers, there were cries of “look”, as several swallows swooped and dived over the bay.

We had a fine, if wet journey round to the next bay, Eilean Iarmain. Malcolm and I played the pipes as we left, the entire flotilla accompanying us, and once we got the sails hoisted, we had enough wind to make some speed. We rowed continually just for that bit extra speed, and sailed the last bit to the pier after rowing through the dornie. We were welcomed on pipes by young Christopher MacDonaldfrom the village. Then drookit and cold, we headed back to the house for a dry out and a whetting of the appetite and thirst, before making our way to the grand dance.

Probably the best dance (that’s ceilidh dance for those coigreachs) I’ve been at, It was the very man himself, the world famous Fergie MacDonald and his band, who were playing. Chris MacDonald again played his pipes, and I did a spot playing for a Strip the Willow, and we all danced till the sweat dripped off us. It was brilliant! Well, by the end of the night, I think I finally believed that Gobhlan Gaoithe was now a finally sea-going craft!

That last hectic week

For a while I had lost touch with the outer world – the world beyond the confines of the boat shed, the smell of tar and woodshavings, and the next problem to be overcome concerning which piece of material would suffice, and how to measure up that gap to fit it… With the arrival of visitors from various parts of Europe ( first Jared, coming from Norway, then Johannes from Germany, Machiel (NL), Liv (NO), then on Friday, Jess, from near Dundee, Paul, an American living in Edinburgh, Claire from Nethie Bridge, Sean from Ayr, and finally Gulli and Joe in their van from Forres) the small world began to open up. But I still couldn’t believe that “the boat” – the term that encompassed what I had been working on flat out all summer – could actually become a sea-going craft, and actually sail!

Everyone did their bit in some way or other, and all the necessary hard work had been accomplished by 11pm on Friday night ( I remember battling in raging midges, in the dark, to get that final floorboard finished) It felt good, and there was good cheer what with 11 visitors, but the boat still wasn’t done!

Na gobhlain gaoithe - The Swallows - Svalene

For about three years - approximately the same time period over which I had been repairing the boat – a pair of swallows have been nesting high in the cross-beams of the shed, right over where I had been working. They have been incredibly understanding, tolerant neighbours – not filing a single complaint even with the whine of electric planers, the angry scream of a grinder or even the incessant bangbangbangbang of clinking (clenching). And if Radio nan Gaidheal or similar was blaring out across the boatyard, occasionally one of the swallows would let out a torrent of chattering chirping – but whether in appreciation of the likes of Ian “Costello” MacIver, or to warn them off – I’m not sure why. They would only ever become distressed if there were a throng of boat-interested people crowding the doorway. It only needed one person to move out of their way, and then they would happily zoom in at breakneck speed, just avoiding your ear, to bank and turn, shooting up to the nest and then flapping, hummingbird-like, to carefully negotiate into the nest and feed the chicks. The pair of them would be at it continuously, alternatively zipping out on short trips to swoop and dive collecting insects, and back again into the shed to feed their young. I got perfectly used to the “whoof” sound of one narrowly passing my head. Their co-ordination at speed must be amazing.

Then, after both clutches had been hatched and flown, they would set off on their autumn journey over land and sea to warmer climes – maybe to Europe, maybe as far as South Africa. I read that some experienced birds may be able to return in about five weeks at a speed of about 300km per day! I’m sure they will continue to return, and their offspring continue to shite on the boat from their nest! for migration stuff

Tuesday 7 August 2007

Cha Mhòr Ullamh!

God dag, her har det blitt litt mindre travelt med nesten alt gjort sm må gjøres, Jared ankommet i går i ettermiddagen. jeg sto i båtskottet og lurte på om han hadde klarte å finne seg fram til Skttland i det hele tatt - og pluttselig var det noen sm bankte på døra. åpnet døra, der sto Jared! Han bare dukket opp! Javel, nå får jeg hjelp med det siste på båten

Så -
Dørken - gjort
dekket - gjort
Tegn vannlinja - gjort
gjør ferdig "gunwale" - gjort
Smøre båten - gjort

Hello there, here's the list så far. Almst everything is done. and Jared has just arrived t help with the last of it.

Floorboards - done
Deck - done
Draw the waterline - done
Finish the gunwale - done
Tar the bat - done

Nw we just have t wait fr the tar t dry - a little alaming. considering the winter weather what with north wind and relentlesss heavy rain! oh well fingers crssed for the week ahead

Madainn mhath agus ciamair a tha thu? Tha cha mhr a h-uile rud ullamh a-nis agus tha Jared dìreach air nchdadh airsn cuideachadh leis na tha air fhàgail.

Se na chiadh a dhenamh bhon turas mu dheireadh a sgriobh mi-
loidhne uisge a tharraing
beul (gunwale)

Friday 27 July 2007

Serious update!

1)Frames and ribs finished
2) 'Skottrogn' made from one branch
3) The stringer
4) Susan (mum) planing
5) Gavin (dad) cooking up delicius tar mmmm!

Click on thepictures t see largr versions

Ska vi sjå,,,,, ja, heilt ferdig med innved, til og med ekstra dampbøyd spant som en båtbygger på oya - han faktisk eied båten før oss - tilråde att jeg burde sett inn. Er godt i gang med dørken (gølvet), Aaaaaaa, må være ferdig med alt som må smøres med tjære til sluttet av neste uka!!! Jared kommer 6 August, Liv dagen etter, vet ikke om resten om resten,

Lets see, yep, completely finished with frames, and steamed ribs - put in on the advice of a boatbuilder in the north of skye(he actually owned the boat at one time) Good progress with the floorboards, Aaaaaah, only a week until everything that needs tarring has t be finished!!

Nis, ceart ma tha - ullamh leis na raingeanan - saibhte agus air an smùid-lubadh. Air deogh adhartas a' dheanamh leis an ùrlar. Aaaaa - chan eil ach seachdainn ann mus bith a h-uile rud a' dheumas tearadh a bhith deiseil!!

Oh, and then there was als the stringer, the long horisontal bit which runs under the thwarts and is attached to all the frames

Monday 9 July 2007

Hei. Nesten ferdig med band. Går bra, skal gjør ferdig skottrognet og sett inn stimete inn i mellom de som er saga ut i denne uka,

Hello Almost finished with the frames. Going fine, should finish the 'skottrogn' as they say in Norway - a big v-shape frame made from swept grain timber (ie the grain follows the shape of the frame). That should give the bow section strengt i a sea! Also goig to pt in steamed ribs in between the sawn ones.

Halo Gu bhith ullamh leis na raingeanan Dol gu math, am beachd an 'skottrogn' mar a tha iad ag rath ann an Nirribhidh, raing mòr a tha a dol an an cumadh 'u' ann an toiseach a bhata, air a dheanamh le meur mòr a tha a' leantainn cumadh a bhata. Am duil raingeanan smùidte a chuir a-staigh eadar na feadhainn a tha ann.