Fair To Middlin’
Progress has been made but it’s time to take stock and look at the map.
The size of the task I’ve taken on in writing “A Foolish Odyssey’ is beginning to dawn. The first draft is now over 50,000 words. That takes the story up to the end of 2012.
A few things have become apparent this week.
First I’m going to have to include some photographs in the book. My words will never be enough to describe the build process properly. The reader will need to see the key stages.
That’s OK. I have the photos. It just throws up a few technical challenges for the eBook and some possible print on demand cost impacts. Bridges to be crossed later.
The second issue is a bit more pressing. I’ve yet to find the right balance of build and personal detail. There were many times during the build when the work was boring. Weeks of sanding, epoxy filleting and painting don’t make for entertaining reading. I need to identify what’s important and what’s not, what’s interesting and what’s not. The answers will be subjective but I’ve got to try and put myself in the mind of a likely reader. I’m not good at that.
To help me with the process I’m going to create a timeline of major events from both areas. Despite them being my own experiences I’m still not clear on what happened when and where. That’s important.
It’s my own fault. In my usual fashion I dived straight in, keen to just get writing. Now I feel like I’m sinking into quicksand with no clue how to drag myself out.
I’ll be sorting that out this week even if the word count slows as a result.
I’m getting into the running again now. I dug out my earbuds and started listening to music while I run. I’d forgotten what a difference it makes. It’s much easier to push a bit harder. “I’ll just keep running until this track finishes”
I can now run non-stop a good three quarters of the way to Cala Cortina, that’s something like 2.5km. After my exercises I run and walk back, mostly running. OK I know this isn’t exactly ultra running territory but ten days ago I struggled to make it 500 metres. I’ve completed my route twice this week making about 12km in total. If I keep this up I should be able to run the whole 6km non-stop by next month. I’m pleased with that.
This is the view from my turn around spot. Beats the hell out of a treadmill in the gym eh?
My 5-Tibetans routine has stumbled this week though. There have been a couple of days when the weather wasn’t good. With no inside space to use it’s easy to make the weather an excuse. I’m not stressing. Anything is better than nothing and it’ll get easier as the weather improves. Anyway running wasn’t in the plan when I started.
Gleda has been sorely neglected since we got here. It was well past time to make a start on the jobs list. First up were the engines. They’ve done around 80 hours of running since I changed the oil on the sand in Alvor last April. They did about the same number of hours the year before. They haven’t been out of the engine wells since I wrestled them into place back in Weir Quay. That was Summer 2014. I’ve never changed the spark plugs, I’ve never changed the water pump impellors.
The fact that they’ve served so well somewhat eased the pain of laying out for two service kits. Best price I could find was £73 each so with shipping that’s £150. The engine and gearbox oils will be extra.
I spent half a day disconnecting control and electrical cables and removing the additional retaining bolts so that the engines were free to lift. I did consider rigging up one of the gaffs as a crane and using a block and tackle to lift them. In the end I figured it was a lot of work that could be avoided by using my muscles. They each weigh about 40kg (88lb). I could lift that.
So, with my mate Duncan from ‘Samji’ to give a steadying hand I crouched down in the wells and bear-hugged them out on deck. Easy. I only pulled one shoulder muscle a little.
Once on deck I lifted them up onto the wooden pallets I’d lashed around the foremast. Good idea that. They worked perfectly. Both engines secure and easily worked on.
While they’re on deck I’ll also be able to do some maintenance on the engine wells. There’s a little bit of slack in the pivot holes I want to get rid of and I’ll also give them a coat of paint.
So, I’ve made progress this week but part of me feels that it’s not been enough. I could and should be doing more, particularly on the income generation front. Even if all goes well with the book it’s unlikely I’ll see any hard cash from that enterprise until the end of the year. I need to start work on other methods and soon.
There is one bit of good news though. I had an email from Ed at New Street Communications publishers of the audiobook version of ‘A Foolish Voyage’
Apparently sales of the audio have been good since it was published October 31st last. They said, and I quote; “sales are moving and you are going to like the first half 2017 royalty report for receipts 1 Jan ’17 through 30 June ’17 – this coming to you in July.”
I’ve absolutely no idea what those royalties are going to be but I’m itching to find out.
I’ve continued with my Spanish. At some point soon I’m going to have to try speaking to someone. Joking apart though I really feel like I’m making progress, much more than I’ve ever done with previous efforts. It’s no hardship to keep going.
The weather has been changeable this week. We woke on Thursday morning to the evocative sound of foghorns, long deep tones muted by the heavy wet air. I love hearing them when I’m safe in harbour. I’m not such a fan when I’m out at sea.
Today it’s windy. Gusting over 30knots from the West. But the sun is shining and the thermometer shows 23’C (73’F). For the last few nights we’ve not needed the fan heaters. Fingers crossed we’ve seen the last of the cold for this winter.
Catch you in the week.