With one eye on the weather forecast, which gives rain in the afternoon, and following yesterday's "rain stops play" aborted effort, Dad is down at the barge as soon as he's dropped Mum off to work to start painting the second coat of pale blue deck paint. A couple of the shipwrights are still kicking about so the painting has to be done around them, leaving them dry walkways to stroll to and from on. One of these guys, John, is doing old fashioned caulking with hot bitumen dribbled into a routed out groove between the deck planks from a very long handled, spouty ladle. Mind those splashes guys! Other shipwrights are getting the dry dock ready 'abaft' of us for the SB Beric, which vessel is going in for deck replacement and the Master Shipwright, Tim is walking the decks of Beric planning how best to attack the task. The decks are in a poor state. He's a bit spoiled for choice!
About 2/3 done by 'elevenses' Dad and all the guys retreat below decks for a coffee and a yarn (like proper shipwrights do!). He is joined by his Oppo, fellow volunteer Richard, who has showed up to help with the painting. Coffee done, and with the two guys who had been doing jobs on the barge finished, Rich' and Dad can attack the last few square yards, larruping the paint on gloopily with good wet rollers. The mission is to get a good layer on right down into the shake (the opening grain) and any air bubbles in the now cool bitumen (here it gets squidged down with a brush). They almost, but don't quite, paint themselves into a corner, retreating backwards to the gang plank, painting the last few feet while leaning over the rail from the barge next door. Job done.
We get a nice long walk today, all round the boatyard and back up through town. The town is being prepared for the imminent Hop Festival, gathering of a million Morris Men, live bands, sellers of over-priced hop bines, quaffers of beer and (usually) sunburnt, under-dressed human flesh. It's no place for a dog, let me tell you. Apart from the risk of getting squoze or trodden on in the crush as the humans mill like sardines (do sardines 'mill'?) there is sweet nothing to see of any interest to a dog apart from the odd dropped melty ice cream.
Get outta Dodge!