1984 - 2004: the dark years

During this period, I went through five owners.  Each intended to restore my youth, but each gave up.

The term "dark years" may be a bit too strong.  The five owners preserved me from the chain saw.  I'm grateful to them .

With each successive owner, I edged south, ending up in Cornwall.

My condition deteriorated greatly, as attested by these pictures:

That's Chris, one of the young sailors of the Hebrides, with the son he fathered.

All the black spots on my hull are "iron rot" which occurs when soft steel is in contact with wood in a saltwater environment.  The blackened wood is totally demolished.  The steel was that of my floors.  Where the black spots go all the way up to the deck, there were the two floors that stiffened my hull just forward and aft of the mast.  Further aft, one can see where there were special floors at the position of the main winches and the running backstay.

You'll also note that my lower planks are missing.  In rusting, the floors expanded and pushed the planks outward.

Incidentally,something bizarre occurred in Berlin during the same period.

Reinhard Drewitz, my architect, had passed on his practice and all his documents to Harmut Rürhdanz, who lived in East Berlin in the so called Democratic Republic of Germany.  Herr Rührdanz's son suffered from a disease that required medicine only available in West Berlin.  He was allowed to go purchase it there, but he was necessarily under at least limited surveillance by the secret police, the STASI.

One day, he lodged three young men who spoke to him about their plan to escape through a tunnel.  They were caught and revealed their conversation with Herr Rührdanz.  The STASI immediately proceeded to lock him up for three years and they also confiscated all his documents.  It is highly likely that Drewitz's plans for me were among those documents - and there are no others.

So far, no one has tried to recover them from the STASI files.  That's why, as you'll learn later in my boss's blog, he had to take off my lines himself, later lofting them and producing drawings of me.