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Published: December 16th 2009
Monday, December 14th
It seemed that in our absence the Bus Rat had invited some friends to come live in the bus as well. During the night there was a lot of squeaking and the pitter-patter of more than one set of little paws. We were in for a bigger battle than we had expected. Catching one rat might be possible, but trying to catch many seemed nuts, so we decided to use the cowards way; poison.
After breakfast we borrowed Dave’s chainsaw and drove down to the building site to finish clearing the building area and to cut firewood for the owner as promised by Bruce. There were a lot of wood to be cut into 10 inch pieces. There was also a felled tree that was still hung up in the branches of its neighbours and it took Ferdi a long while to get it safely out. Luckily we had two chainsaws! That really made a difference. We were also happy to find that although our chainsaw is smaller than Dave’s, it out performs his by a mile! We spent four back-breaking hours down there and by 2pm we were done. We’d probably cut enough firewood to keep
a household all of next winter.
Covered in sawdust and pine needles we drove into town to pick up supplies (read beer), then stopped by the holiday park to pick up some PVC tubing (to help draw the curves of the canoe plans). Back home we cleaned the chainsaws then had a shower. Talita baked a Beer Bread and at 4:30pm we had a very late lunch/early dinner. We also received the good news that our visa extension application has been approved. We can now be in NZ until April 21st. We spent the late afternoon reading, then took a break and walked to the orchard to harvest some Raspberries. This was followed by more reading and at 9pm we snacked on the fresh Beer Bread, read some more, and then crashing for the evening.
1. Getting the building site cleared.
2. The approval of our visa extension.
Tuesday, December 15th
Today was the day we started to build our canoe and we’d been looking forward to it since the moment we found the plans. Before we could start though, we had to build a couple of saw-horses on which to work while building our
canoe. Ferdi spent the morning constructing these from the old pieces of wood we had removed from the van. With that done we wanted to start the build, but we had to wait an hour for the weather to make up its mind. During that time Ferdi made a “shoe” that fit to the bottom of the jig-saw. This “shoe” stops the splintering of the plywood when the blade cuts through. We’d found the idea online and was keen to give it a go.
Talita made “vetkoek” for lunch, then we started marking and cutting the panels. The “shoe” worked exactly as described and our cuts were smooth with not a splinter in sight. Wish we had known about that when we’d built the van! Well, you live and learn. We made good progress and by 7pm we’d finished cutting out half the panels. We had a shower, a glass of wine, and then made dinner. We watched a doccie, then read a bit before falling asleep.
1. Starting to build our very first boat.
Wednesday, December 16th
After a hearty breakfast we prepared for day two of our canoe build. Firstly, we cleared out
the shed area. The weather looked a little unpredictable and we didn’t want to be interrupted when we got going. We managed to create enough space inside and with a bit of fancy footwork we marked and cut the most complicated parts of the canoe.
In between the cutting Talita baked delicious Sweet-corn Bread for lunch and by mid-afternoon we were done cutting all the panels for our canoe. We assembled them on the trampoline to get an idea of the size. It was big, very big. After loading the panels into the van we researched various seating options. Combining our own ideas with some suggestions from the internet, we managed to design a seemingly comfy seating setup. It remains to be seen if it will work though.
Just before 6pm we went to sit on the veranda and enjoyed a beer and the last of the sunshine. Talita made dinner, we watched another doccie followed by a spot of reading, then we hit the hay. Another successful day was behind us.
1. Sweet-corn Bread for lunch.
2. Finishing the cutting work on the panels.
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