Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sat 26 May 2012 08:52
As the count-down proceeds we have been re-checking the spares list. A starter motor for the Volvo has been securely stowed, the alternators and raw water pump have been sprayed with WD40 and wrapped in plastic, new jack-lines have been obtained to replace those that might have been adversely affected by UV and various bits and pieces have been sourced abroad. The importance of some of these purchases was not immediately apparent.
“What’s that you’re getting?”
“I thought we had masses of spare pump parts.”
“Not these ones.”
So when in addition to bicycle parts I found the mate ordering duct tape on line I found it necessary to look into the matter. Duct tape? From overseas? It turned out to be a serious order following serious research. Duct tape was in use in many areas: temporarily sealing our leaky windows, fixing the plastic cover over vulnerable parts of the air conditioning unit and so forth. However, there was evidently a marked difference in performance between the rolls, and sample strips had been stuck to the cockpit sides for detailed evaluation. The bright blue stuff, the white stuff and the red stuff (one of these was even called duck tape!) performed poorly – leaving nasty sticky residues after peeling off and failing to adhere well after only one application. On the other hand the slate blue stuff was excellent. Close inspection of the inside of the roll revealed the secret; this was 3M’s top-of–the-range “Nuclear” duct tape. Wow! The order went ahead and the courier delivered; including the shipping cost, some of the most expensive duct tape in the world. But you can’t be too careful in this game. As someone once wisely pointed out: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley,.....” To protect against storm and tempest, fire and foam only the best will do. We are doing our best. We have invited on board a Senior Quality Control Officer from the offshore oil industry and invested in 54.8 metres of 3M 8979 N Performance Plus Nuclear Duct Tape (slate blue). Could we possibly do more?