I realise things have been rather quiet here, but there's a reason for that. It all has to do with the Marion Aagje. Mo and Craig's week on the slipway was long, hard work and they put in equally long hours to finish doing all the loud and dirty work that can only be done in the yard. The redundant mast was craned off, the mast foot unbolted, and lots of extraneous bits of steel were ground off by a determined Craig.
As I was still working, I could only help for limited amounts of time, but by the end of the week, most of the necessary welding, grinding, scraping and banging had been done. Then, the dreaded moment when they came off the slips. All seemed fine, until they got back to the mooring next to the Vereeniging. It was then the leak appeared. Water bubbled up and into the hold in rather worrisome quantities. Not sure of exactly where it was coming from, they covered every possible spot with quick drying cement, but the flow still kept flowing. Mo and I spent the best part of an afternoon excavating the now redundant and well solidified cement till we found the real source of the problem, but then, how to stop it? Well cement again did the trick - eventually - but not before I'd requested a return to the helling to pull it out of the water again. Mo managed to exert her will over the leak and pushed enough of the grey powdery stuff into it to finally halt the flow.
After that, well, the rain started, and it rained and it rained and it rained. Last Thursday, the 14th, poor Jodie came to visit for her birthday. It rained relentlessly the entire day, not just lightly, but torrentially, in fact so much that water leaked through my windows and into the bottom of the Vereeniging. Now I had a leak too, but this time from above, not below.
Anyhow, fortunately Friday dawned clear and bright. The sky was blissfully blue - the perfect day for painting. Mo, Craig and I set to it and spent the whole day painting the Marion Aagje from end to end and the results are in the photos above. I gave up around nine at night, but the kids went on and finally finished up at midnight. The barge looks gorgeous now, and I absolutely love the colours they have chosen. There's still loads for them to do, but the bulk of the work - outside at least - is done. What a job and what a week, but then that's life if you have a barge...as they say here 'koop een boot, werk je dood'...I don't think it's all too difficult to work out what that means....