Swallows and Amazons

Another day full of surprises down at the boatyard.

You will recall that my engine was extracted at lightning speed by China san. The next dilemma is: are this engine’s thunka thunka days definitively over or can she be rebuilt?  I can get a rebuilt 1GM from Osaka but that in itself would be complicated and costly.

I ponder all this as I spend the morning cleaning the engine compartment from many year of fuel spillages, oil leaks and general grime.


Not a pretty sight. I am in fact quite far on with the clean up before I remembered to take a photo


Better now.

As I have said before, I enjoy this kind of work. The results are immediate and there is no agony of “Am I doing the right thing?”

I also give all the wood work yet another coat of varnish. This is less rewarding, The first few coats of wood treater and varnish were fun as each coat made a difference but now it is just another coat. It takes about 2 hours to do a coat on all the  external wood and another hour for the cabin.

Two guys come up and ooh and aah.  They love the boat and are both seasoned sea dogs.  I show them around. They speak little English and I actually thing my Japanese comprehension is getting a little better.  They repeat ” Kulnishuskrimpelu” several times and I finally realize that they are referring to a similar English boat, a Cornish Shrimper.

One of my guests also says “Arthur Ransome.” I realize he is talking about Arthur Ransome, an English children’s novel writer who produced a series of great books about kids having  adventures in gaff rigged sailing dinghies, written between 1930 and 1945 ish. These books had a big effect on me and I have read each several times. I think my need to have adventures in gaff rigged sailing boats  is directly attributable to Ransome.

My new friend  says that he also read all the books when he was a kid and has the complete collection that he continues to dip into. Amazing. So we slash our palms with sharp knives and become blood brothers.


Great guy.

I also explain my problem with engine diagnosis,  10 minutes later they return with a gentleman who I had noticed riding around the yard on a huge 1940s Harley. This is Kiyuna san, a mechanic.


He is a very funny guy. I said that I had just left OIST to which he replied “So you graduated?”

Anyway, he says there is no way of telling if the engine is post thunka without taking the head off and having a look around. He says he can do it. “When?” ” I will do it now.”

Agonizingly, I had to leave before he set to work so I will only get the answer tomorrow morning.

Fingers crossed.

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4 Responses to Swallows and Amazons

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    Apart from all that sweat and tears etc. you are also losing a lot of blood with all this hand slashing with your new brothers. Shouldn’t you do a Tony Hancock and keep a spare pint in reserve ?

  2. calderi says:

    I wonder about your fuel tank – is it full of corrosion and gunk; can it be got at ?

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