Well there is good news and not so good news to report. The good news is that we have been given a length of rope for the ship. Actually that is an understatement because the ‘rope’ is over 60 metres in length and about 120mm in diameter. I would imagine it has been used to secure something like the QEII to the dockside! (Photo 1091)
The Lightship is already secure and would not need something as substantial as this. It is in good condition, although probably not good enough for the QEII, and we are going to use it as a rail (on top of the bulwarks - when they are back in place) right around the ship. Taking my doctored photo of the ship and adding this rail shows what it will look like (Photo 1092).
The bad news is that Simon has been out in his canoe again taking photos, this time at very low tide. With the ship sitting on the mud, a lot more of the hull is visible. Much of the revealed surface looks fine, if somewhat barnacled/limpeted (Photo 1093), Here and there are what look like oysters!
However, there are one or two nasty looking holes at the bow (Photo 1094),
which look much worse on closer inspection (Photo 1095).
Now the bilges are not filling at every tide, indeed the bilge pumps have very little to do, so this may not be as bad as it looks, but somehow we have to check. Any ideas? Is it the dreaded Gribble Worm?
One thought has occurred to me – the bow seems to have a very thick extra piece attached, which incorporates the hawes pipes and the bow leads and stretches from gunwale to keel. I am told (thank you Bill) that this is called the Bow Doubler. Simon and I had not noticed this feature before now. If this is separate from the main hull, although attached to it, the holes may not matter. Or am I clutching at straws?