SHEMARON FEB 2015 FIRST VISIT
Replacing the skylight
Chris has been busy building a new skylight for Shemaron, we took the measurements last time we were on board then built it at home in our backyard. Taking advantage of a window in the snowy weather this weekend, we made the journey to Campbeltown to fit it. We had allowed a whole day for our task thinking it might take a while to get the old skylight off. Ten minutes leverage with the crowbar and a little work with the mallet loosened things up nicely and the old skylight came off easily. This was quite unexpected, some of our other jobs on board Sheamron have involved a much steeper and more frustrating learning curve! The new skylight fitted perfectly and co-ordinated well with the rigging and wheelhouse.
Saturday turned out to be more relaxing than we had anticipated, while we were on board we were sheltered from the wind more so than when we were in the town, it was pleasant. The stove warmed us when we got too chilled and we cooked lunch on the little gas cooker in the fish hold. We keep a supply of tinned food in one of the lockers, we used to leave tins in the cupboard at the peak of the foc’s’le but we came back once to find they had rusted through and the contents had spilt out! Lunch on Saturday was another one-pot speciality – meatballs in tomato sauce mixed with a tin of carrots and peas – surprisingly ok.
By Sunday morning the wind had dropped, and during the long spells of sunshine, it felt warm. Chris did more work to the skylight to improve the water- tightness after our (buckets of water) test demonstrated the need for more application in this area! We wanted to be on the road again by lunchtime so we will have to wait and see how effective this latest effort was.
We had a few visitors while we were on board, some familiar faces and some new. It is lovely when people show an interest in Shemaron, it gives us encouragement to keep going.; we feel she represents an important piece of history.
Our drive back was amazingly beautiful, the snowy Paps of Jura stood clear under a patch of grey cloud but all around the sky was winter blue, the sea was the colour of crushed emeralds and wave-break. There is nothing like snow for altering the lay of the land – hiding the usual contours and feigning new ones, exaggerating some landmarks and hiding others. The head of Loch Fyne was dappled with ice, inland under the cloudy sky the lochs were steely grey but the sun shone brightly on the snowy peaks over Rest And Be Thankful (A83) as we headed towards Arrochar and Loch Lomond.
By the time we were driving over Beattcock Summit the sun was on its low path towards the western horizon, a large yellow shape in the sky; by some trick of the light, the hills around us glowed pink and not golden as I would have imagined. We came off the motorway an hour later and turned east towards the rising moon, behind us the sky was losing its blue and was tinged with a dark yellow the shade of daffodil trumpets. Another hour again and we were on the ‘old road’ – the ‘Roman Road’, the temperature gauge flicked between 0 degrees and -4.5. This road is a line of hidden dips and high peaks, on the peaks, we could still make out the failing day but ahead the night was coming on hard and fast. The moon by this time was high in the night sky, almost full, and the snow thick snow covering gave a remarkable silver luminescence to the countryside.