Because the weather has been pretty foul, I've been working on cleaning up in the fish hold.
I was merrily rust busting away, and had just attacked a piece of rust I'd seen in a corner when suddenly I had water squirting in from a hole I'd punched through the hull below the waterline.
I found some wood and jammed it in as best as I could, then phoned Robin. When Robin could finally understand what I was saying through my babble, he said "I'll be right down".
I calmed down a bit, found a better piece of wood and hammered it into the hole. The water coming in stopped completely, allowing me to regain my composure somewhat.
This happened in a place I was convinced the steel was all good, so it had me really worried.
Needless to say, the rest of the day was a bit of a write off as attention was diverted to the hole in the hull.
I spent some time thinking about it and carefully examined the rest of the hull, while waiting for the tide to go out so Robin could weld safely with Lady Jane settled into the mud.
I worked out that the hole was where wood was laid against the hull, which would have been wet against the hull for goodness knows how long. Ideal conditions for corrosion.
I looked at other, similar, spots and, unsurprisingly, found three other places where the steel was rusted right through. I suspect there are more, but Robin wanted to get away for his tea!
It is important to make clear that these patches, although serious, are very small and relatively easy to fix completely.
Once all the suspect patches have been cleaned out and repaired, the integrity of the hull will once again be as sound as was expected.
In a really bizarre coincidence, I'm 99% certain that I was rust busting on the exact same panel when the leak in the fuel tank happened.
It's amazing to me that Lady Jane has been afloat all this time, with holes effectively stopped with rust.
The really scary thing is that these patches could so easily have been missed in the rush to get Lady Jane ready for her voyage round to the Itchen.