Awa-Katsuyama: Nippon Maru, Lantern, Companionway

Nippon Maru Tall Ship

I was able to get out to work on Watari this weekend. It was a very nice weekend, clear sunny skies with crisp autumn air, but the nights are starting to get cool. Summer is coming to an end. I’m a bit sad that I couldn’t get her out sailing during the warm weather this year, it’s always nice to sail while it’s still warm enough to swim. But I plan to sail even during the winter this year, once all the work is done.

Since we moved to Zushi I take the train down the Miura Peninsula, the Tokyo Bay ferry across to Chiba, and then the train a couple stops to Awa-Katsuyama where Watari is moored. I enjoy the ferry ride across the bay. It’s nice to get out on the water, even if it’s up high on the third deck of a ship. I prefer being down close where I can touch the water. But still, out on the bay I can at least see yachts sailing about. On the way out this time I was surprised to see the Nippon Maru tall ship in port. She’s a training ship used to train cadets. The last time I saw her was 20 years ago in Vancouver. She’s still in top condition.

Nippon Maru Tall Ship

There’s a Cainz hardware store next to the ferry port in Kurihama which is where I usually buy my fiberglass and other supplies. I was happy to find an oil lantern there this time. I’d been searching for one for quite a while with no success. This is just a cheap one but runs off of either paraffin oil (which burns clean, little smoke) or kerosene. I love these old fashioned oil lamps. They cast a very mellow, comfortable glow, and put off a bit of heat. Unlike butane or propane, they don’t produce condensation, but rather help to dry the interior of the boat. Perfect for autumn and winter sailing. I enjoyed reading by the light of the new lamp until I fell asleep. The cabin felt cozier than ever, despite the construction zone clutter and mess of tools on the starboard bunk.

Interior Oil Lantern

In the light of day the next morning I was surprised to discover that the coats of oil I’d put on the stern pulpit bench and tiller had completely dried away. This concludes my test of Old English lemon oil for exterior use. Not a success. I’ll try Starbrite Teak Oil next.

Exterior teak oil on tiller

The main project this weekend was continuing the finishing work on the companionway. Two days of mixing up resin and talc to form a thick putty, filling, sanding, more sanding, and repeat. This is the most finicky, time-consuming part of the project, and will require at least one more weekend until finished. Probably two.

Sanding companionway

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