And perfect timing. There's no phone signal at sea and as I learn that we're popping into Harwich to re-supply sometime before the end of the month, I can deal with car insurance, pay a couple of bills and have a few hours R&R before starting the second part of my spell offshore.
There's been a couple of times when operations have had to cease; either the current has been too strong or there's been a lightning risk - particularly dangerous for the teams on the towers. An hour after this picture was taken, I could see part of an embedded CB developing but it came to nought.
This image attempts to illustrate one of the little publicised effects of windfarms. I understand that fishing boats are prohibited from entering the areas and as a consequence, the fields become nurseries for new marine life. Corals develop and fish stocks proliferate unmolested. Each of the white dots on this ROV sonar image is a fish (there are several hundred of them but my phone's camera hasn't picked them up) and shoals gather around the pilings that support the turbines.
I managed to find a picture of the drill stand that I adapted for engine turning and subsequently, scarfing. It made the job both even and easy.
The aluminium panels that would be flush with the second layer of ply were shaped and attached so that the strips making up the second skin had a line to finish cleanly.
With the first layer of ply complete (I used aircraft grade 1.5mm ply throughout) it was time to cut up the 2" strips for the second layer. I considered the various options for sticking the strips down for some time. The problem was going to be holding the strips in place as they assumed a gentle spiral around the body. Obviously, I wasn't going to hold each piece until it set, so wood glue was out. A copper rivet at intervals would be unsightly and difficult to apply, so I settled on a truly industrial grade super-glue.
Worked a treat and even the rubber band was unnecessary. Each strip had a slightly different contour and in order to keep the lines straight as the skinning progressed, a small adjustment with a sanding block kept everything in line.
Once I got going....
... it all came together very quickly.
It took only a day and a half to complete and, as you can see, I'd cut a hole for the filler neck...... in the wrong place - the old guessing stick trouble!
Of course, the thing to do with a cock-up is to make it look as though you meant it.
Which I did. An aluminium plate with a dummy pump handle looked the part and was actually a dip stick to check the tank contents. I never used it as such, much preferring a piece of wood which could be more easily read.
Leon and Awkward completed the rebuild of the 7 engine which roared away happily from first start up. Excellent news.