----- Original Message -----
From: Rodney Field
To: 1 Rodney Field
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 8:00 PM
Subject: Ahoy landlubbers - the dinghy sunk - Swiss Visit - rain pours down - aerial view

Well - I'd like to tell you that everything is going smoothly - which I suppose for the most part it is - what with steady progress on putting more inside plates on.   I just can't believe how perfectly the hull has lined up - and it's just great to be able to put in the bolts and have them go easily and correctly through the plates and frames - exactly as when they were drilled.   It makes life a lot easier that no forcing or redrilling is necessary anywhere - so far.   And I'm sure that when all the plates are eventually on - the yacht will be as strong as new - and capable of handling any sea.
But nevertheless - there's always something - and it wouldn't be an email from Rodney - without some drama or another has occurred.   So in keeping with form - I can tell you that there was a knock on the boat yesterday morning by one of the yard hands - to tell me - that the 12' Dory Dinghy - HAD SUNK!
What!  How the hell could that happen? - I thought it was supposed to be UNSINKABLE.
We'd had some rain - but really - that dinghy should be able to fill with rainwater - and still float.
So out I go to the foredeck in the still steady rain - and look over the side - to see the damn thing stuck under a concrete pier of the dock - caught squarely on the motor - and completely underwater - including the outboard motor.   It's immediately plain to see that it has gotten caught underneath at low tide - and with the rising tide - couldn't go up - and was trapped and drowned.    The poor bastard.   You could imagine it silently pleading for me to come out and help as it went under inch by inch with the rising water - until it was too late.
I didn't take any pictures because it was raining too much - so the best I can do is this sketch which I've prepared for the Naval Inquiry that will be chaired by Lord Penny - on a date to be advised.
So as if we didn't have enough to do around the place - we had to spend several hours - retrieving it from the bottom and emptying out the water - and then stripping down and cleaning the outboard motor - and getting it running again.
I have moved the dinghy to the stern of the yacht - but that's not entirely satisfactory - while we are tied to the dock because if the wind is from behind it just bangs up against the yacht continually - which will not occur when we're out and in the open - when it will always hang cleanly behind.   I was keeping it out the front between the yacht and the dock because it is sheltered and safe.   I may move it back there again - and just make sure it is tied with several lines to keep it out in the open.   But there's every likelihood we will be moving away from the dock in the next few days anyway.
And just to be safe - I've taken the outboard off it - and put it in the Lazarette (stern storeroom) with the others - until it's needed again.
It was while I was in the dinghy bailing it out - that John Morris and his overseas Swiss friends Esther and Martin Vogt - arrived at the dock.   Martin and Esther had visited the yacht about a month ago when it was at Erskine Park - and then they headed off on their trip around.   So they were keen to come back and see the yacht again - on the water - and the unbelievable change of these past few weeks.
They are flying home to Switzerland on Monday - but will no doubt be back again
as this is Martin's 6th trip here.
It's been a funny old day with the weather - with sun - then torrential rain, wind and storms.
This was taken at 430 and it was very heavy driving rain.
It was straight after that - I rang the Canvas people at Minchinbury to see if I could make some arrangements for them to do 4 more of the vinyl screens and repair 3 big zippers - when one of the zippers tore away today in the violent storm.   What can you expect when it was me who made the screens in the first place - I guess I should consider myself lucky they've lasted the 3 or 4 years till now.
So maybe one day in the next couple of weeks I'll make a run back to St Marys - do a few things - (like go to Target and buy a few pairs of big shorts) - pick up some more gear - and drop the screens in and get them done the same day - I hope.   In the meantime - it will be better for them - when we are turned head on to the weather - out in the Bay - and the new front screens are doing the work.   And I may even punch some temporary eyelets in the ones with the broken zipper - and if it looks really bad they can be partly laced up for now.
And finally - here is an excellent shot of Botany Bay - and the Airport - taken from very high up - in a departing plane.   It came from Flickr.com.
The arrow is us.
Bye for now - landlubbers.
Rodney & Penny ('I'm really a landlubber')