After the canoe was out, the living room felt really empty and it was as if a flatmate had moved out. The next steps were to sand the gunwales and decks and then the whole of the hull. This took much longer than I thought, because now, whenever I wanted to work on the canoe I had to actually leave the house! When the hull was sanded inside and outside it was time to aply the varnish. this is important for the UV protection, otherwise the epoxy would start to become milky. I had set a date for the big ceremony of putting the canoe in the water and it was approaching fast. at the same time, with now three kids I could only really work late at night. The result, an awful finish job, with running noses everywhere. My fault was that after applying the first layer, I didn’t pay enough attention to how equal the varnish was and after the second coat there was no way to repair the damage. So I finished it, and most people will never see it because its only really visible from certain angles that I did a bad job. But I will redo all the varnish at some point, that is for sure.
The last thing to do was to install the seats and thwart, I did that the morning when the big party was to start. We had a great time with lots of rum (the one I often drank during the winter was called Coco Kanu, so that fitted very well), a puja and a proper speech by my girlfriend.
Obviously after so many hours of thinking, dreaming and then building the canoe it was a big moment to sit in it and see how it would fare on the water. It was really nice and I could not have been happier that day….