Gosport memories

The title may suggest that I’m no longer in Gosport. I’m still in Gosport.


I spent 17 consecutive days in Gosport working on the boat between two bank holidays to try and nail as many jobs as possible.

My daily commute to the local Aldi has become a thing. I’ve never seen so many brightly coloured hair do’s in one place, and can confirm the ladies in Gosport are the ones peacocking like exotic birds of paradise around here!

Working on the boat all week is a lonely affair in Gosport, so the weekends have been something to look forward to as friends and family have popped down to help out, or get me horrendously drunk..

The first weekend myself and Ollie hit Portsmouth for a night out. On the way to Gun Wharf Keys we saw one woman passed out on the floor, watched over by two old ladies as she staggered to her feet and held onto a chainmail fence looking dazed and confused. Further along two girls were pleading with the shopping precinct security guards to let them back in. Then immediately after that a girl passed us shouting down the phone “JUST F*CKING PICK ME UP YA C*NT”, and it was only 8pm!!!!!!!! We hit a few pubs and then spent the rest of the night standing in the middle of various dance floors in Tiger Tiger, bemused by the sights and sounds that surrounded us. We ended the night with cheesy chips and the ferry home. I’m never going back to Tiger Tiger, it remidned me of my uni days in the Hippodrome, those days are well and truly over.

Another weekend Ollie came down, and this time we went out for a few drinks in Gosport. We ended up in the local Wetherspoons, then Nelsons Bar, and to cap it all off, a trip to Emma’s nightclub. Emma’s less favourable reviews are quite entertaining:

Better when you are too drunk to see.

Plays alright tunes early on then absolutely terrible! Sack the c*nt

The next day I awoke with the most god awful debilitating hangover. No work was done that day. I spent an hour slumped on the floor in the shower at the far end of the shower block crying, well not actually crying but I’m calling it my crying shower from now on all the same. I blame my hangover on Ollie. I’m pretty sure I kept asking for water and he kept feeding me vodka.

Ollie bought me an axe for my birthday present. THANKS OLLIE! A couple of weeks later I was sat in the living room with mum and dad when mum asked “Tim do you feel safe in Reading?” “Oh yes, very safe. Why do you ask?” I replied “Because there’s an axe under your bed”. This Friday I’m getting a shed, and I’ll feel much safer leaving it in a shed than hanging around the house!

I also went to Beltane festival with Trina which was a lot of fun. The Beltane festival is a Gaelic festival celebrating the start of summer, by burning a massive wooden man.

Beltane saw members of communities come together to celebrate the return of the summer. The observance of this hugely important time in the turning of the wheel of the year was characterised by a celebration of the return of the fertility of the land and would have been a time when livestock would have been put out to pasture. The word ‘Beltane’ roughly translates as ‘bright fire’ and, as such, one of the most important rituals, which survives today in our modern festival, concerns the lighting of the Beltane bonfire. Fire was seen as a purifier and healer and would have been walked around and danced/jumped over by the members of the community. Farmers would also have driven their cattle between bonfires to cleanse and protect them before being put out into the fields. In ancient communities, all hearth fires would have been extinguished and a new neid fire lit which would have then been used to relight people’s hearths in their own homes. In this way the community was connected to each other by the sacred fire which was central to all, . The festival would also have been a time of courtship rituals and a celebration of our own fertility!

The event was held at Butser Farm, which is an archaeological open-air museum containing reconstructions of late prehistoric buildings such as Iron Age roundhouses. I seriously recommend the festival to anyone who enjoys stomping around in fields to cider infused music. Old ladies were dressed as white witches, and one particular man wore a red velour suit and carried a silver cane. Those were some of the highlights!

On yet another weekend in Gosport, Andy came down. We visited the explosion museum, which was interesting. We had a few drinks one day and I ended up coming away with a banjo. Oops. My promise of a sail was thwarted by that bolt up the mast, but the weather was delightful and we have a super time drinking tea and a few glasses of wine. I shall reimburse Andy with a glorious summer sail very soon as promised.

So on to boat jobs.

I’m still fart arsing around trying to seal up the water tank inspection hatch and water sender, which is quite a challenge. I bought a kickass rivet gun, but the tank still leaked, so now I’m using bolts.

Dad came over to help sit on tape measures and pass up drill bits for a job I was working on.

I’ve shortened the wind gen pole which was fun. For this job I had to stand on top of the pushpit, and roped onto the pole with my climbing harness wielding an angle grinder. Cutting through tublar stainless steel was surprisingly easy. A cutting disc cuts through SS like butter. Drilling holes in tublar ss is another matter. I had read on forums to start with a 5mm and then just go for it with a 10mm (this is what I needed to drill out for the wind gen screws). I can confirm this is utter nonesense. After trying a few different ways, the most successful but painfully slow technique was to start with a 3.5mm and work up through the drill piece sizes 0.5mm at a time. Sure you’ll ruin your drill bits, but it was the only way. Perhaps if I was using a pillar drill in a workshop things would have been different, but balancing on a pushpit was another matter.

(warning this is not an interesting vid)

Locker lids are now back on after a good lick of varnish. Thanks Trina!

Some days I feel I could write a comedy out of the events that happen in the marina. The other night I slipped in the boat on the smooth floorboards in my socks and shouted fuck as my hands were full before collapsing over the galley. A guy two boats down shouted fuck later that evening as I was walking up and down the pontoons with a glass of wine in hand admiring boats. A guy scraping his wooden boat opposite me nearly fell in today with a sander and a power file, and his elderly neighbour was shouting and blasting as the wife couldn’t free a rope on the bow as they were trying to leave the berth. Some days marina’s are unreal!

Excalibur will make her first trip out over the May bank holiday weekend if all goes well, fingers crossed.

..and finally…gangster swan!






Author: Tim Butler

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