Having been told that the Victoria dock was still there, I spent some time proving that what appeared to be the remains of a dock was not the Victoria. Prompted by a reader to look more closely, I found that the ‘remains’ were in fact an optical illusion created by the shadow of the boundary fence of the dockyard. Using Google ‘Streetview’ it is possible to look into the yard through a wide entrance gate and see that there is no dock-shaped depression in the ground (Photo 971).
So I have proved that an optical illusion has no bearing on the location of the Victoria dock! This just goes to show that, if you are expecting to see something, it is highly likely that you will. However, the effort was not wasted as I believe I have now positioned the Victoria and the Albert dry docks as accurately as it is possible to do so.
Meanwhile, back on the ship, Simon has made excellent use of a slack week in the wallpapering business to progress things. He used his skills on behalf of himself for a change and hung some very smart wallpaper in the salon/wardroom (Photo 972).
The photo does not do it justice; the wallpaper has a linen-like texture. At the moment the room is actually the bedsit and it will be many a month before the below-deck rooms are ready and his bed can go down there!
He has also had time to fix the stern decking in place and give it a good day’s sanding (Photo 973).
When the moth-eaten sections of the bulwark are reinstated (with cement), he intends to build a curved seating structure around the stern. Please excuse my amateur PhotoShopping (and the colour of the seat cushions!) but I have done my best (Photo 974)
Going one step further (several steps in fact), Simon would like to make a small ‘gateway’ right in the centre there and have his clinker boat hanging off the stern on davits – with matching cushions of course! At the moment he is unable to find and suitable davits. Long term followers may remember that when Cormorant became Lady Dixon, part of the transformation was a ‘boat platform’ added to the stern. So perhaps he can indulge his whim on historical grounds!
Meanwhile, the other member of the crew shows little enthusiasm for the work (Photo 975).