Thursday, 18 June 2015

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 101



Very much heartened by the kind comments I have been receiving about the blog and the restoration/preservation work, on we go.
    A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Simon could paint only the areas of the hull that he could reach. A spell in dry dock would bring all areas within reach for painting and inspection, but out of reach financially!  So necessity being the mother of invention, he has devised a platform which will float on the water, or the mud (depending on the state of the tide) and give him access to the areas not within reach from the deck (Photo 1011).   
 

It is a large, thick slab of expanded polystyrene sandwiched between two aluminium plates. It floats well even with Simon on it – a bit wobbly at times he says.   “Rather him than me” I hear you cry.  I can but agree but you can’t tell your children anything they don’t want to hear, especially when they have passed 40.
   In my 6 June posting I mentioned that, at last, the two ships moored alongside Simon were going to be moved and he went off on holiday looking forward to them not being there when he returned.  Surprise, surprise they are still there.  Apparently there were gales in the Medway estuary every day last week, preventing any boat moving. That must have made flying difficult for all those pigs overhead!!  So I (Disgusted of North Wales) have been searching the Internet for another berth for him in the Medway area, but 100ft residential berths are hard to find.
   On the historical side I have sent a query to the National Maritime Museum to start the hunt for Royal Navy records of the 1916 requisition and another to an Irish commemorative group who keep alive the memory of the rebels who were executed in May 1916.  No response from either yet.


   Finally, a question for my nautical readers.  Photo 1012 (taken in about 1908) shows Cormorant’s lifeboat hanging on davits.  It is hanging inboard and the boat is longer than the space between the two davits.  How does it get outboard when being launched?
David