... Or, How to Recycle Scrap into Cash ...
After 5 years spent converting a 50 year old fishing trawler into a live aboard, there was a lot of scrap metal left over. So we hired a massive skip and set about recycling it. This is a film about how we did it and how much money we made from it. This is our first 'feature' film made for our new Video Blog about our life spent on boats, upcycling, playing with (very) old cars and exploring hidden corners of Cornwall. We had great fun making it. Hope you enjoy it too ...
For interesting facts about what happens to scrap metal after you've traded it in ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrap
Some Credits ...
Licensed music uploaded from Artlist at https://artlist.io
'Big White Ship' by James Forest
'Enemy Toes' by Light Whales
'Tough' by Rafael Rico
Skip Hire from Simms Metal Management at http://www.simsmm.co.uk/Contact-Us/So...
Tim's Delicious Pasty courtesy of Warrens of Torpoint
Tim's Outfits by Hard Graft.com
Teabags supplied by Lisa
Ambient sounds of hammering, sanding and grinding courtesy of the inhabitants of The Boatyard ... Thanks for all the additional help lifting and carrying, guys!
Ambient sound of The Wind supplied by The Cornish Weather.
Filmed and edited entirely on an iPhone SE ... Some day we might even upgrade to some fancy new equipment ...
Well, this is a new venture for us ... Making videos.
This is something we've been wanting to try for some time now, but we've been so busy all winter just trying to stay alive and get the boat all painted and repaired. She's looking wonderful now and the weather is glorious after the seemingly endless rain, wind, hail, snow and fog of the last few months. We're still super busy but taking a little more time now to kick back and enjoy the sunny days of May, and May is a glorious month down here in Cornwall. So with the new season, a new direction, and for us this means we will be making a lot more videos to accompany the blog.
Some of these we anticipate will be about our life here. Some will be about the truck and vintage driving, car shows, practical demos etc. Some will be about the things we make, particularly our upcycling. And some will be demos on the things we do in general, like this of Tim giving a demo on how he created the woodgrain effect on the steel wheelhouse of our boat 'May Queen'.
We get asked a lot how the effect was done, so we hope this gives some insight into the whys and the hows, including the materials he used to achieve the end result. If you have any questions about anything we might have missed, leave a comment and we'll do our best to provide an answer. We hope you enjoy our first (proper!?) video, brought to you from the deck of our boat in the boatyard where 'May Queen' is moored in sunny (and a little windy!) south-east Cornwall ...
... Or A Long Overdue Update ...
This morning, I thought to myself: 'I will write a blog post for Old Rope Salvage. It's been a while.'Only I didn't realise that 'a while' is, in fact, a year, and that there really is a lot of stuff to catch up on. Now, I'm not making excuses, but it is 8 months since I last took some time off from The Day Job and 8 months ago, when I took that time off, I spent it scraping barnacles from The Underneath of A Really Big Boat.
Since then, our Really Big Boat has undergone something of a radical transformation ...
Those of you who have followed us and supported us on this journey, from the very early days with Tim in Kilkeel, and his (somewhat perilous) journey across the Irish Sea (romantically retold by me in the story 'Salt in The Blood'), through the years of life onboard and the ups and downs of restoration work slowly and meticulously carried out, we thank you all and would like to assure you that although this is the end of one adventure, it is also the gateway into another. As Tim would like you all to know: 'I'll always be a pirate. I'm a pirate at 3 in the morning on a Saturday and I'm a pirate at half past ten on a Tuesday morning' ... (To be fair, he may have been a little tipsy on the rum when he said that!) Our decision to sell has not been easy, but after 5 years (7 for Tim) the time has come for us to embark on new projects. No plan is set in stone, but we do hope to grow and expand our upcycling venture at Old Rope Salvage: One of the things we have recently started working on is the possibility of video blogs. We also want to explore some new ideas for sustainable living and working, perhaps a campervan for extended trips ... (Tim?) ... There is much to do and much to think about as we look to the future but most importantly, the first thing will be to have a wedding and a much needed holiday (not necessarily in that order!) so WATCH THIS SPACE!
So, the time has come for us to part ways with our beloved 'Albacore', now restored to her former name 'May Queen 1V'. She will always be 'Albacore' to us, but during the restoration we uncovered, under the many layers of peeling paint, the beautifully carved letters of the old name and so we decided to reinstate 'May Queen 1V', an old/new name for a new life.
For those of you not in the know or recently joining us, Tim brought the boat, then with the name 'Albacore' across the Irish Sea to Cornwall from Kilkeel in 2011 and since 2012 he has lived full time on board whilst converting her from a fishing trawler into a houseboat. We have her moored on the Cornwall side of the River Tamar on a residential mooring with an enviable view across the estuary.
Last summer, after several years of living and working this idyllic but sometimes hard outdoor life, always beautiful and interesting, always close to the edge financially as we worked at building Old Rope Salvage, our thoughts started turning towards 'The Future' and where we wanted to put our energies, and we decided that the time had come to move on from the boat. Our adventure had become our everyday life, and whilst wonderful, we both enjoy new challenges.
And so, through the autumn and winter, Tim has worked tirelessly to turn Albacore into the kind of liveaboard he would be proud to pass on to a new keeper. During the renovations her old name was discovered carved into the wood and so we decided to return her to her former name. She will always be 'Albacore' to us, but a new/old name seemed fitting for a new life with a new owner.
Over the winter then (which as we all know, has been pretty brutal this year!) 'May Queen' has undergone her transformation. The former fish hold (below decks) with its impressive oak ribs, has been cleaned out, sanded back, waxed and polished. The once very dirty bilges were also painstakingly cleaned out. There is a new, hand crafted staircase and an incredible bespoke kitchen which has been uniquely and painstakingly built to fit the space and the aluminium shelter deck has been weatherproofed with a 'front door' and a 'back door' to keep the lively Cornish elements firmly on the outside.
In September last year, we took her out of the water and treated her to a complete de-barnacling(!), a rigorous clean, caulking, repair and anti-foul. I could swear that the smell of old seaweed and dead seagull still lingers in my abused nostrils from that memorable fortnight, although I have to say that I loved every crazy moment of it. Check out the film I took to see some of this in progress ... (Apologies for some of the sound quality, the wind was relentless!) ...
She has since, over the winter, undergone a transformative, extensive and meticulous restoration and repainting from the top down, including the removal of all the old paint, repairs to boards and the thorough preparation of all surfaces prior to painting. This includes the wheelhouse which has been restored to the traditional wood effect she would have had when originally built.
There is still some work to be done and Tim is still living and working on her full time, still ploughing on despite the numerous aches and injuries he continues to add to his impressive resume! We have taken, literally, thousands of photographs and we will, at some point, begin to catalogue everything we have done, partly for anyone who might be interested in undertaking a similar project, partly for the curious, but mostly for ourselves so we have a record of this extraordinary time in our lives.
Without a doubt, 'Albacore' has been the greatest adventure for both of us. She will always be uniquely special in our memory but as anyone who has ever had an adventure knows, when one story ends, another is just beginning, and we can't wait to get started on the first chapter of our new book ...
If you're interested in buying, there is info on the sale here at Sale of The May Queen.
A View from The Starboard Side ...
By Tim ...
I'm not a writer and I seldom have words, but some days (or rather nights, like this one) they appear. How long they will last I don't know so I'm putting them down now, while I can. It is late and the night is quiet and maybe, in some strange way, having a cold and feeling ill as I do also helps.
If my life here in Cornwall was a book, I'd be starting this blog somewhere around Chapter Three. Or maybe Chapter Ten. It doesn't matter, except to say that I've skipped a bit. My story for the last two and a half years has been one of finding my feet after a massive upheaval. A complete change of life. Not always easy. Sometimes quite painful. An attempt to simplify. To remove unimportant details. To be more at one and at peace with myself. It's working. Gradually. One day at a time.
I'm an artist. A painter. I make all manner of things, creating and recreating objects, building, upcycling, seeking out the inherent beauty in the everyday things I discover all around me. I do all sorts of things. But mostly, I'm a painter.
Painting, creating images, to find expression in the visual, this is what I do and what I love to do. But also, I find it so hard. I learned long ago that you can never go out to create a masterpiece, but even so, the pressure I put on myself to paint well, to always be better, builds and builds.
So ... I just paint, and sometimes I get lucky. Genius is not something which can be possessed but is something that, if you're lucky, can pay the occasional visit and lend a helping hand. But still, the pressure remains.
For the longest time, I managed to hold in check my need to be better at any one thing by trying to master a new style or medium, always moving from one to the next, always restless. But it is in oils that I may have found my home, so confront the anguish I must!
A gap of two years in creating work is the longest I have ever gone (two weeks would have been my previous record!) I'm not sure why it has taken me so long except perhaps that the life-change demanded that I take a step back and be patient. I truly had no idea what it would feel like to paint again after all this time, or even what it was that I wanted to paint, or how, but the itch had been growing and I couldn't shake it.
Helped by watching how my friend and fellow artist John Maclean can simply sit himself down anywhere and paint what is in front of him, I followed his lead, not over-thinking, not worrying, merely desiring to break the oily ice and put it on the canvas. So, I stood on the port side of Albacore and painted what I saw there.
And it felt good. Not perhaps the greatest of my work, but a new direction and more importantly for me, renewed hope ...
It was two weeks later before I found myself sitting in front of the completed picture of three boats, 'The View From the Starboard Side' and the scene I had observed for two years and imagined as a painting for just as long. And I smiled.
I had been drawn to this image for a long time. Visually, the decay, the streaks of rust, the strong, bold shapes, the way the light would catch them at different times of the day. But more than that was the emotional. These once majestic sea vessels had all lived meaningful lives, and now they were all liveaboards. Homes. A Navy boat, a fishing trawler and an old Dutch barge, retired from service and given another chance for life. A new purpose. Maybe I saw myself reflected in them. A renewed meaning and a renewed hope.
Looking at the painting now in its temporary home on the wall in front of me, I'm still smiling. I know I can never stop painting so maybe the occasional smile on a night like this is worth all the anguish after all.
By Tim ...
Last week, sandwiched somewhere between the mizzle, the wind and the fog, we had a couple of days of perfect Cornish Blue and everyone at the boatyard sauntered forth to celebrate this wonder. At the end of the pontoon where Albacore is moored, a small impromptu party took place around the picnic table ... Well actually, me, Lisa, Bob and Andy had a couple of cheeky beers and, fuelled with the giddyness of said beers and the sunshine, we decided it might be a good idea to do a bit of flag-raising.
Now, I know nothing about nautical flags and their meanings, except that it's probably a good idea to exercise some caution before hoisting up any old thing just because it looks nice. Bob, who lives in the boat next to me, had acquired a set of flags from a boat jumble in Plymouth a while back (along with the world's tiniest anchor, but that's a different story) and happily for us each flag had been neatly folded away into a pocket which conveniently displayed its corresponding letter or number.
There was much debate over what word we were going to hoist up Albacore's flagpole. After 1 beer there were a few suggestion along the lines of 'love', 'hope', 'help' etc. So far not very inspiring. Having only one of each letter was somewhat limiting our choices and the discovery of a missing 'A' caused much disappointment when we realised that 'pasty' was no longer an option. After 2 beers, the suggestions were becoming slightly ruder, mostly thanks to Lisa whose language would have made a pirate proud. In the end, growing bored, we settled on 'dreckly', a suitably Cornish word which suggests something along the lines of 'I'll do it soon. Probably not today though. Or tomorrow ... Or ever.' Which seemed apt.
Now, I'm not too shabby when it comes to climbing things, but that ol' flagpole is pretty high. But it was worth going up there, twice, just to torment Lisa whose cries of 'I can't believe you just did that', 'get down now' and 'I'm not going to save you if you fall in' quickly evaporated into 'hang on a minute, I'll just get my camera'. Never a one to waste a good photo opportunity. Coming down was slightly more tricky, but we won't dwell on that here.
So the flags are up, and mighty pretty they look too. Every boat should have some.
We did check, via google, that we'd displayed the correct letters, and I'm still slightly concerned that I might have hoisted a 'Q' instead of a 'Y' (the 'Q' flag, incidentally, also means 'My vessel is healthy and I request free pratique'. Which is good to know.) For anyone who might be interested, here is a link to a chart of nautical flags and their meanings. For now, though, it's entirely possible that Albacore is flying the word 'drecklq', but after all that sun and beer and climbing, my legs need a rest.
Tim & Lisa
We are both artists, living