Day 361-363: Karamea, New Zealand


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea
January 24th 2010
Published: January 24th 2010
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Friday, January 22nd


After a good night sleep we woke to an overcast and drizzly morning. After breakfast we crawled back into bed. This kind of weather doesn’t inspire us to get up and go. Just before 10am we were roused by the sound of a familiar engine note. Paddy had arrived! We invite him in, prepared a cuppa, and spent more than an hour chatting. When he’d gone we did the cleaning, then spent some time sanding down the inwales. Ferdi’s injured thumb was surprisingly painless, until he bumped it of course. Then it flared with great pain, letting him know it was still there. John remarked that that’s where the old saying “Sticking out like a sore thumb” comes from. You just can’t help bumping it into things.

We had lunch and then decided to attempt one of the end-pours. These are located in the very end of the bow and stern of the canoe, and consist of a temporary dam in which you pour resin and let it harden. This strengthens the structure and allows us to install bow- and stern lines without having a hole that leads inside the hull. We cut a piece of cardboard and covered it with clear packaging tape. Because Talita had the use of both thumbs she got the unenviable task of sticking it into place. When we poured the resin though, it all came running out the bottom. With little time to find a solution we settled on rushing the canoe outside and setting it upright against the shed so that the resin would set where it should. It was hard going. The canoe is bloody huge! When we finally managed to get it upright we were astounded at the height it reached. There was a wind blowing and it tried with every gust to topple the canoe over. The whole debacle turned out to be a happy accident though, because the resin set perfectly where it should’ve and we just had to spend half an hour holding the canoe upright. In the light of day we saw all the “warts” on our canoe. There isn’t much light inside the shed, so we missed a lot of little bumps and hardened strands. When we build the next boat we’ll make sure we have proper lighting!

When we got it back inside the shed we were very pleased with the result of our end-pour. We decided not to do the other one just yet. The weather was threatening rain and we didn’t want to be caught outside with the canoe standing on end. Talita did the fine sanding on the inwales while Ferdi continued sanding on one of the paddles. We were very pleased with our progress and after a cuppa we decided to try out our new little air brush. We mixed some yellow paint with thinners, hooked up the air brush to John’s compressor, set the outgoing PSI, then gave it a go. Nothing happened. No paint came out. We fiddled with this and that, and when everything failed we upped the PSI. That did the trick and we spent half an hour playing. The result was childish drawings, but we were getting a feel for the brush.

When we’d had enough we cleaned the gear, then had dinner and a shower, followed by a reading session in our cabin.

Today’s highlights:
1. Getting one of the end-pours done.
2. Playing with our new air brush.

Saturday, January 23rd


Ferdi had a hell of night. He’d gone to sleep with no pain in his thumb, but after a few hours woke with pain like nothing he’d ever felt before. The strange thing was that the thumb ached on the opposite side of where the cut was. He couldn’t figure it out. When he woke again he found that the more he moved it, the less the pain. When the pain woke him again, he went for a walk, trying to manage the pain. It was then that he realized the problem; his hand was falling asleep causing the severed nerves in his thumb to go nuts. Unfortunately there was no way to stop his hand from falling asleep while he slept, so he woke countless times before the sun finally came up.

After breakfast we carried the canoe out and put it upright against the shed once more. While the end-pour cured Ferdi painted two coats of resin on the inwales while Talita kept watch to make sure the canoe stayed upright. We still couldn’t get over how big it is! When the resin was cured we took the canoe back into the shed and fibreglassed one of the end-pours to the hull. It was an exercise in patience, and before we were done both of us had lost our cool at least once. The problem is that the area and angle is severely tight and the glass cloth kept sticking to our gloves. In the end we managed it, but after that battle we needed a break so we had lunch and did our cleaning chores.

Back in the shed we tackled the second end-pour, and with a lot more struggling managed to get that fibreglassed too. This part of the build was not fun at all! We called it a day and drove down to Little Wanganui. They had their annual beach day today and we were looking forward to seeing our friends again. We found them sitting on the beach and enjoyed their company for a few hours. They were having snacks and drinks and it was almost too much for us dieting folk. We managed not to cave, but when our bellies started rumbling we said goodbye and headed home to our rice dinner. Ferdi put a little too much curry powder in the dinner broth and we had a very hot but tasty meal.

We made popcorn and spent a while reading and snacking. Both of us fell asleep around 8pm, woke just after 9pm, brushed our teeth, read a bit more, then continued sleeping. We were exhausted.

Today’s highlights:
1. Another successful end-pour.
2. Fibreglassing the end pours.
3. Spending some time on the beach with friends.
4. Popcorn snack!

Sunday, January 24th


We woke tired. This diet better be worth it, because with energy levels this low it’s hard to keep the spirits up. We decided to just stay busy and keep our minds of our bellies (which feel empty all the time but aren’t getting any smaller yet). John had offered us some polystyrene sheets to cut to shape and put in the bulkheads of the canoe for extra buoyancy. We cleaned the sheet and while Talita cut out the correct shapes Ferdi sanded down the outside of the canoe as well as the lower parts of the outwales.

After lunch and cleaning we applied drywall tape (like a plastic version of fiberglass tape) to the bottom of the canoe. It is a dream to work with as it has a sticky bottom that adheres to the wood, so there’s no slipping and sliding once you apply the resin. Because the tape is only 5cm wide we had to lay a lot of strips to cover the bottom of the hull. This wasn’t part of the plan, but Paddy gave us that tape and it’s so easy to work with, we thought that the extra protection will come in handy once our canoe is out there on the lakes and rivers of NZ.

With the strips laid we covered the whole exterior with resin. She’s lookin real pretty! Once the resin had mostly cured we did the last sanding on one of the paddles then covered one side of the blade with the tape strips, and then applied resin. That pretty much took us to the end of our working day, so we had dinner and a shower, then made popcorn and watched a movie before calling it a night.

Today’s highlights:
1. Working with drywall tape is a breeze.
2. Covering the paddle with tape & resin.


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The easiest way to make the end-pourThe easiest way to make the end-pour
The easiest way to make the end-pour

First take your canoe outside and place it in the position AND THEN pour the resin.


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