Back to the Old Grind

Brought the sander (my other tool purchase) to the ship yesterday to test it out. It’s a pain to lug the tools around, but at least I can look after them.

So…I did some sanding.


To tell you the truth, due to the general situation with the ship, I’ve lost heart in things. I had to prod myself to get to work.

I started with an area on the port side of the salon. It was a bit of a kapulu job, as we locals say. Thinking about it now, I wish I had taken the time to do better.


The base of the pillar at the left looked like the one on the right. I guess it’s a slight improvement.

On to the big job…the poop deck rail.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that the rail was one of my first projects. It had been sanded and varnished by volunteers shortly after the ship changed hands in 2008. It went downhill from there and looked terrible after a while.

I hand sanded (ship had no power then), scrubbed, and varnished it over a period of six months. It wasn’t perfect, but it looked pretty good.

What happened?

rail looking rough

I feel bad about letting it get so crappy, after working so hard on it.

Back to work with the sander:

work in progress

Some parts are worse than others and will probably have to be taken back down to bare wood.

I was able to get a small section looking pretty again.

part of the rail done

I’m glad I used le Tonkinois. Worth the expense, I think. Time to order more.

This will keep me out of trouble for a while.

Stepped on this while walking around on the poop deck:

chicken bone

Not much going on, ship-wise.

Water taxi, Hikino:



Unexpected Work Day

I had intended to do work around the house today, but I wound up at the ship instead.

As I mentioned in my last post, I got a package in the mail yesterday:


It contained a much-needed can of le Tonkinois*:

new can

I usually apply new coats of varnish before the previous work becomes too worn. Due to lack of time, I let things go a bit too long. Thus, I had to do more work on the rail than usual.

Yay for electricity and a random-orbit sander:

sanded rail

After a few hours of work, it looked much better:

coated rail

Speaking of looking better, here is part of a yard that was coated with primer yesterday by volunteers:

painted yard

Interesting ship of the day, Condock IV (a dockship):

Condock IV

I wanted to get more/better photos of her. However, she departed earlier than expected (while I was busy varnishing). So, no luck there. 😦

Maersk Matsuyama…something’s not quite right:

Maersk Matsuyama

On the ship again tomorrow to apply another coat of varnish, then later on in the evening for the New Year’s fireworks.

*I noticed a slight change to the design on the can. It used to say “Homologué par la Marine Nationale” on the hull of the ship at the bottom right.

Cosmetic Stuff and Fo’c’sle Details

I was tired of looking at the old flaking varnish on the coaming of the small hatch on the weather deck, so I decided to sand, clean, and varnish part of it. I worked on the port- and starboard-facing sides today. It was nice to be able to use the random orbit sander. I did the side facing forward when we had no power on the ship. Hand sanding was not fun.

port side of hatch

starbd side of hatch

After scrubbing the wood with water, applying oxalic acid, and rinsing, I let it dry out. That’s one nice thing about a sunny day on an iron ship. Things dry quickly.

While I was waiting, I decided to poke around in the fo’c’sle.

I found more rivet head samples to send to Vern:

rivets from fo'c'sle

The rivet has failed here:

rivet fail

The pieces of metal it once held together are being pushed apart by pack rust.

Holes in the plates are definitely scary. Fortunately, these are far above the waterline.

daylight not good

fo'c'sle corrosion port

The back of the port trailboard is visible through this hole:

holes in plate trailboard

There’s a circular opening (I don’t know the correct term) in the bulkhead, which I stuck my head (and camera) through.

The area forward of the bulkhead is a perfect space for critters (rats, cockroaches…) to hide out in. I’m glad there weren’t any. There was this odd attempt at a patch and a roll of duct tape:

odd patch and duct tape

I helped do some painting, then put the first coat of le Tonkinois on the areas I had prepared.

Port side with a view of the aft side that still needs to be worked on:

port side tonkinois

Starboard side:

starbd side tonkinois

Much better! I will probably head down to the ship tomorrow to put another coat on.

Disney Arrives

I had hoped to make it down to the harbor in time to get pics of Disney Wonder arriving. Too late. I did get to hear the “When You Wish Upon a Star” horn, which amused me.

Disney Wonder



Rain on rail:

rain on rail

Will let it dry off a bit before I put another coat of le Tonkinois on it.

Morning sun on hull:

morning sun on hull

Watch Out for Squalls

Sunny, brisk breeze…lovely day for adding another coat of le Tonkinois on the rail. Until a squall rolled in from the west, that is.


Rain on rail:

rain on rail

Ship Day After All

Due to issues related to a leaky water pipe at my house, I didn’t know if I would be able to make it to the ship today. Fortunately, things worked out.

Desk on ship with my personal log book and pink dino guy among other things:


The task of the day was to touch up the varnish on the poop deck rail.

touched up rail

I may return to the ship tomorrow to apply another coat.

We replaced the loose, worn chafing gear that had been placed (temporary) on one of our newer lines:

new chafing gear

While looking at the new chafing gear from the pier, I noticed that we need chafing gear between the hull and the starboard spring lines. Always something…

starboard spring line

No interesting ships in the harbor today, so I went to see if I could find the cowries again. No luck. I did see various fishes, including a school of good-sized ‘ama‘ama or striped mullets (Mugil cephalus).

Hard to see because of the ripples:

mullet school

Detail in calmer water:


Bamboo Needle Case Progress

Section of bamboo with six coats of le Tonkinois next to another section that has not been sanded or coated.

bamboo comparison

If I have time this weekend, I’ll probably finish it off with a couple of Turk’s heads.