Saturday, June 17, 2017

________________________________ EEL _______________________________

George Holmes canoe yawl 'Eel'

Google emailed me today asking me to desist from Googling "Canoe Yawl" as I've worn out the fonts for this combination of letters - yikes!


 This (above) is Eel (built circa 1896) - today - still going strong..........

.......... and here is a Canadian version. I think the cabin trunk has been raised slightly which would give more sitting headroom, but isn't as aesthetically appealing as Eels lower cabin.

Monday, June 12, 2017

_____________ DOING SUMP THING ABOUT THE FUEL TANK _____________

Shipmates, it was suggested to me by Geoff the diesel mechanic that the best thing I could do for 'Mariners' engine would be to put a sump on the bottom of the diesel fuel tank. The idea is to drain the sump regularly to get rid of any water and other fuel contamination that may occur. When this excellent suggestion was made I sighed an audible sigh as I have taken the diesel tank out a couple of times before and know well the gymnastics that are involved.
In the above photograph the old bugger is lying on his stomach under the cockpit exactly where the diesel engine sits. The fuel tank is at the back of the engine bay behind the engine. I took this photo to give Terry the Stainless Steel fabricator some idea of how the tank is fastened at the back with its long metal straps. I thought that I might modify the fastening system but have decided to 'leave well alone' and simply repair, sand, repaint and re-use the existing system.

When I cleaned the tank out I readily saw the sensible logic of having a sump installed. There was a cup of vile looking sludge in the bottom of the tank. Regularly adding diesel additive to the tank and draining the sump every month or so should keep the fuel clean and keep the engine reliable. The fuel tank has now been removed and is in Terrys workshop awaiting modifications. Tomorrow I will clamber into the engine bay yet again with a vacuum cleaner, a wet rag and bucket.

Shipmates, if you are aged in your sixties and need a workout that involves contortionary stretching of an extraordinary nature then remove a small diesel engine from the small dark cave beneath the cockpit of a small yacht. The head banging; shin, knee, knuckle barking, sweating, back pain and profanity come at no extra cost. Speaking of cost 'Mariner' has now been out of the water for a month and I have just paid the first haul out and yard rent fees - yikes!!

I have been working hard every day. Sometimes the amount of work that needs doing seems never ending - But as my dear wife reminds me: "Don't worry, you'll get it done, you've got time, don't forget you're retired! " - Quite right.

Friday, June 9, 2017

______________ PORTISHEAD - BETH GIBBONS - MYSTERIES _____________



God knows how I adore life
When the wind turns on the shores lies another day
I cannot ask for more

When the time bell blows my heart
And I have scored a better day
Well nobody made this war of mine

And the moments that I enjoy
A place of love and mystery
I'll be there anytime

Oh mysteries of love
Where war is no more
I'll be there anytime

When the time bell blows my heart
And I have scored a better day
Well nobody made this war of mine

And the moments that I enjoy
A place of love and mystery
I'll be there anytime

Mysteries of love
Where war is no more
I'll be there anytime  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

________________________ JO HARDY, ARTIST _________________________

I first met Jo Hardy in 1971 when we were both in the same art class at Christchurch Teachers College. She was obviously a talented artist and it wasn't long before she left the college and enrolled at Ilam School of Arts. Our paths crossed from time to time over the years as she also moved to Northland in the 1970s. I remember her well in Quinten Macfarlanes classes sitting painting her canvases on the floor. I smiled when I found a photograph (below) of her in her late years painting on her knees. Today we viewed her retrospective exhibition at the Whangarei Art Museum.

Jo was a quirky and very original personality with a touch of the iconoclast about her. I remember her telling me jokingly once at training college that she would love to become a school principal for one sole reason. She thought it would be interesting to ride to school each day on a Norton Commando 750cc motorbike dressed in a long black coat, completing the journey outside her office each day with a long smokey burnout. Instead she became a fine and prolific painter. I attended a few of her exhibitions over the years and they were always sellouts. I always found her paintings full of symbol and metaphor combined in both personal and universal themes that were often confronting, political, perplexing, humourous, never boring and always painted with lush colour and fine technical skill. 

Jo wrote opinion pieces for the local newspaper 'The Northern Advocate' from time to time. It would be interesting and humourous to read her own review of her own retrospective exhibition (which I am sure she has already written - or painted a picture about!) when we meet again.


" Whangarei Art Museum – Te Manawa Toi is honoured to present NOT NOW APOLCALYPSE: Jo Hardy Retrospective from the 29th of May – 20th August 2017.

Hardy attended Ilam School of Arts and spent several years exhibiting in Christchurch, she then moved to Northland in the late 70s where she continued to paint more than 600 paintings. Hardy also fell in love, married, became a mother, a gardener, a writer, a member of a rural community and, in 2003, was widowed.

Hardy underlined a freedom of consciousness; borrowing aspects of reality and using them as metaphors in a parallel painted universe. She believed we each invent reality as we go along; painting is one of the ways to do it.

“I am interested in portraying both what is and what is not. My pictures are a deliberate record-keeping of fleeting minutiae, memories, dreams, attempts to depict that which has no fixed visual form and narrative fiction.” – Jo Hardy, 1998.

Hardy’s paintings are lyrical narrative works painted with acrylic on canvas. She worked on her knees on the floor, as if at prayer. Slowly, with care and precision, she built up thin wet layers of coloured washes, tickling them up until they glow.

Before Hardy passed away from cancer in late July 2016, she gave her blessing to the Whangarei Art Museum to curate and develop her retrospective exhibition bringing 50 years of art making together in one space. Her retrospective includes a large selection paintings as well as some exquisite lithographs that were produced in the 80s and 90s at Te Kowhai Print Trust – a community printmaking facility based at the Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei. "