Day 350 A tale of 3 hatches
As can be seen above, winter doesn't stop us! Gena braved the bitter cold, complete with frozen lumps of sand in the blaster pot, frozen valves, and brown snow, just so my hatches could be sandblasted for painting!  
Now that the opportunity to get these hatches done has opened ( by sheer chance, stupidity, or whatever lol! ) I must finish the bits that need to be welded on.

The forward hatch over the sail locker needs a spring attached so when dropped down it snaps into place without needing to fasten it down from inside right away. This seems necessary as both of us could be on deck pulling down the inner foresail  with an approaching squall on the horizon.

Another thing that must be attached is a nice grab handle to lift it up, so I had to fire up the poor frozen welder which, understandingly wasn't too cooperative after a month of slumbering in sub-zero temperatures. The valve for the gas kept sticking open, then the regulator blew a gasket! We adjusted it's flow by ear as the flow meter had packed it in as well, and the job needed to get done while it was "warm".


 
I hastily welded nuts for the latches on and taped everything up that wasn't going to be blasted or painted. The days are too short in November here to dilly-dally. Shortly thereafter Gena smoothed the welds and blasted the tops all ready for painting.
The paint of choice for the hatches became Color your Hippo, the same stuff we used on the decks except in white.
The photo below shows each hatch hung in a strange ritualistic triangle ( unrelated to the Devils Triangle, although it was devilishly cold out! ) and carefully painted with the compressor and air dryer. I'm sure there's no water in there!
 
We were not certain how this would work at 10 below 0 Celsius but thought we'd never know if we didn't try.
The main concern was once they were brought into the house, would there be condensation? We went around making sure there was no standing water and opened the back door to let things cool a bit, thus readucing the chances. In the Hippo instructions there is an explicit note to protect from water for the first few hours or the flash-off will be effected and it may not cure properly.

After a "glasses test" ( mine are pretty thick ) we were confident they could be brought in.

As can be seen in the photo, everything worked out fine. 

I messed around polishing portlight frames for up front during the week at work and today I cut the center out of one. It was getting a little too dark for the plasma cutting  goggles so I left it at that.

Day 350:
7 hours-Welded nuts etc. on to 2 forward and one aft hatch. Blasted and painted them.


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