Slow and steady wins the race.
I move onto another stage of the refit – the mast, the boom and the gaff. In fact all of these are in very good condition. It is just a case of washing off 10 years of grime, sanding down and varnishing.
It turns out that the sanding is the hardest part. It is the rainy season in Okinawa. To tell the truth it has not rained very much so far and people are beginning to talk. It is nonetheless very hot and humid. This means that I lose a liter of fluids an hour through perspiration and much of this drips onto whatever I am trying to sand. This turns sandpaper sludgy.
The jaws of the gaff on a Norfolk Gypsy are lined with leather. The previous owner removed the leather parts and they have spent 10 years drying out into hard boards. I soak them in leather restorer stuff and they become pliant, supple and adorable. Leather is amazing stuff.
So I clean, I sand, I varnish. My t-shirt and shorts are so drenched in sweat that it is as if I have just been swimming.
Meantime, Kiyuna san is getting medieval on the center plate. He burns a new straight front which he will then cover in gold.
By the way, Instagram fans, I have a Instagram feed that is devoted to Norfolk Gypsy restoration. Go to Instagram and search for ryutaro_higa and you will find a whole lot of fetishism.