With April rapidly pushing on and warm weather arriving we got on with painting the rigging. We use a combination of Stockholm Tar, Linseed or Danish Oil, Japan Driers and a drop of Black Varnish or Bitumen paint, so essentially anything we have to hand really. It is a back-breaking job as you sit for several hours in the bosun's chair with a snatch block connecting you to the fore stay rather than have to hang on with one hand whilst clutching a pot and brush with the other.
Bee went aloft this time and stay's, shrouds and running backs were duly coated. We have to choose windless days as the stuff can go everywhere and gleaming white yachts get the Jackson Pollack treatment if we're not very careful. The mizzen shrouds were done the following day and the complaints from visitors are still going on as they unsuspectingly grasp the nice shiny rigging to help them onto the boat... Perhaps I needed a little more driers.
The saddle, mast rings and traveller had numerous coats of Neats Foot Oil to help bring the leather back to life, finishing off with a liberal coating of deer tallow courtesy of Howard, Belfast Maine.
The engine sea trials have come and gone leaving us free to depart when a favourable wind comes along. Less noise and vibration coupled to a better turn of speed have left us happy with the choice. Toots, for the most part, seems unconcerned with the new noises whereas simply activating the key and the alarm on the old one was enough to have here up the steps, along the deck and under the dinghy.
With a few days of favourable winds we hope to leave and head back down toward Cornwall.