Apologies for the lack of photos... the computer is now talking to my phone, but seems to be having trouble communicating with the camera. Anyway, the last two days photos would largely have been of blackness, as we (well, nearly all me) finished the fourth coat of blacking, but before that I finally got round to giving the new Epping stove its first coat of polish. It came up a treat... and so did my hands, lovely and shiny and black.
We spent the afternoon sorting all the stuff out of the hold, salvaging the good bits of wood from the bottoms of the shuts (we'll need those as a pattern whatever we use ultimately). There were up to three spare engines - certainly three of a lot of things, most of which came out in bits. The 'diesel' in the 40 gallon drum was decanted into smaller, clear containers so we can see how it settles - about a third water, it looks like. Finally, on the end of the crane, out came two crankcases, two gauging weights and an old (possibly the old) rudder. So the engine room and the hold are now completely empty and today we start preparing for painting them. Oh joy.
But going back to the blacking for a moment... I'd rather been dreading the size of the task, having previously done Warrior, three quarters the size, and found it, well, a bit tedious after a while. But doing the bigger, old boat is far less of a chore. Mainly because it breaks down into neat sections, delineated by the knee rivets, so it's easy to see where you're up to and to see you've made progress, but also of course because it's a far more interesting surface to black than flat new steel. I've gained a far more intimate knowledge of Chertsey's dents and curves, scars and idiosyncrasies, than I would ever have had from merely looking. No doubt it's harder work though,on the rough surface, and working round and into the rivets, guard iron and repairs. But an unmissable experience.