Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Oil change and engine fettle

From 100mph to 4mph ... well you know what I mean. Off the bike over to the boat yesterday for lawn mowing (I hate lawn mowing such a pain but I like looking at mown lawns - got the house one to do tonight and maybe two more to do this weekend - more on that later......)

This is Percy's "Donk" with its rocker cover off allowing me access to lube the rocker arms, drop some oil in to lube the valve stems and add a little to the pushrod cups. I have hand pumped about 8.5 litres of oil out and the same had gone back in. No filter as such on the lister as the technology relies on the oil just dumping the waste in the sump rather than holding it and having it 'strained out' in the filter. All very basic which I like as I understand most of it.

I have just ordered oil and filter for the motorbike so that is a job to be done before Germany, I am sure it will not be as easy as an oil change on Percy.

For the record the engine hours was at ...271 

The last time it was done it was at 30 hours in April 2013. For many reasons we did not use Percy  (cruising) much last year and when I was aboard for the 10 months I did not run the engine much at all being very frugal with power and using solar to top up. 

So with a clean up and wipe down, plus fitting the 12v socket in the engine room so I can use the little inverter for TV rather than using the power using inverter all the time - job done. I need to go back and see if I can do work needed on the inner window cladding for the new windows that will be part of the paint job in the July August time.... 

Finally one for the night time cruiser to be aware of....

How and why I'll leave to you (yes that is a lock bollard)  ?

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Gailey looking empty but not by canal

This time last year it was Somerset  - my blog post a bank holiday in the wet this year the annual Honda Deauville meet is Shropshire, Staffordshire & Derbyshire doing two routes over two days.

We are not in the hotel only being 40 minutes by bike. On route to the hotel for the meet I pass the toll cottage/tower so I stopped and took this pic for my blog. Empty, which is not as it was last time we came through, I recall we watered up while in the queue for the lock !!

About 30 mins from home to Gailey in the bike, when we take Percy down to the Stourbridge we will pass Gailey but it will be 2-3 days to get there, boating really is the opposite of biking !

As to the run yesterday, not too many photos. I was at the back of the ride to be dropped off for problems .... first one being the bike leader and event organisers bike breaking down 3 mies into the 160 mile ride and having to be recovered home ! Poor Kieran

Then it was a stop for a bike and pillion who was having a hypoglycaemic episode, got them back to the group after administering an emergency banana. Followed by a comfort break by one of the group which ended up me taking them on a tour of Shropshire as my Sat nav decided it knew better-  -it did not. 260 miles for yesterday by the time I got back to the hotel then flew back past Gailey and home for a BBQ at Sharon, my Sister in Laws  new house.

We passed Turners garage and went under the aquaduct at Stretton.... the four counties by bike.... I am sure I have done similar before

Today is Derbyshire and I am joining later waiting on Rachel so off to Buxton. One year I'll do the Crick show !!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

RIP the Three 'One Plan' - Greedy Three

Greedy greedy Three.

They have written to me telling me my 'One Plan' with unlimited tethered data is being withdrawn, but good news, they can offer a contract at double the cost and only 4gb of data.....

Not a difficult decision then.

Nice fella, tried all ways to sell me something, offered me nothing by way of apology or reflection of customer loyalty. So I told him I would not be using Three again in the foreseeable future and recommending to all I know to steer clear.


Ironically I was very close to cancelling my EE 4G contract but at £20 for 15gb it is the best mobile contract out there and pleasingly I get 4g on my mooring from EE but only HSPDA  (3g+) from Three.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The 10p whopper !

A bit of a catch up more photos than words.

I recently put the SD card from my camera into my Mac and a few pics from the last few months downloaded.....

This one must have been early into my 2014 life afloat....a peaceful moonlit evening. On reflection the winter was fair to me, just a few learning points but whatever anyone tells you it is an existence and a test on your systems and sanity living off grid alone in the winter. 

This was my November trip from Chichester to Stranraer...Loch Ryan  - the peninsular on the middle left is where my friends John and Carrie live a remote and peaceful life. Elsa Craig is the mound just off the peninsular, recent sold for 1.5 million or thereabouts.... now that would be solitude !

Back to a misty autumnal south downs ... very bucolic and captivating (and expensive !!) Last night whilst loading the car for my early morning trip back to the Midlands there was a 15 plate Rolls Royce with chauffeur picking up someone from the Star and Garter pub across the lane.... some taxi ! 

A couple more of the woods I love so much

Back to an equally captivating landscape around Alrewas  - this was a nice walk up to Wychnor 

Another beautiful sunset looking across the canal with the Rugely power station outputting its steam on the right of the tree. That is a 4 hour cruise for us.

Click this one.... only a fisherman or woman would get this ....stillness and expectation....

The reason for the title.... I purchased a seeded 'Bloomer' loaf  - close to its sell by for 10p from the Coop and caught this whopper Bream (my biggest from the canal) 

My day was completed earlier by a 130 mile refresher on my Pan European motorbike . Chesterfield, Long Eaton and Stone were visited. Tempted myself with a BMW, but decided to stay with my trusty Honda

Final shot of the day.... a favourite destination for a coffee and a gongoozel !!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

An alternative viewpoint of home - and the best view in reality !

Took the quadcopter up to just short of 400 feet last night and looked straight down. Percy is the boat in the middle of the shot.

I then lifted the camera to get the Fradley Junction view.

To be honest the best view was from the back cabin doors this morning.....

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Fradley junction from the air - and I am the pilot

A good couple of years ago a good friend of mine John who lives on the west coast of Scotland got me interested in remote controlled flight... not the basic stuff but the technical stuff that included intelligent flight controllers that worked on GPS height compass etc.

My aim was to build something that I could capture the canals with from height to get a different perspective. I built and crashed a few and got some good footage but not of the canals..... until now.

Today was a day off as I was full on pain mode from a few days of excess. It was not too busy first thing so I got the copter out and up she went.....

As with all my photos best click them to see them full resolution

I then tried to see how close I could get to the images that you are now seeing more and more of using Quadcopters for TV to get some decent shots. I need more practice but this will be a nice reminder of the first days of Spring later in the darker days of winter.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

.... And they're off, taps open at the marinas

Well it seems there is evermore a season for boating  and it started this morning. There has been a constant  flow of boats, most being very respectful in their speeds passing us.

I ended up running to the Post Office for my Rod license after re-mooring a boat that had been pulled loose opposite us. Just getting there with 4 minutes to spare.

Seems it will be a weekend of watching and maybe a bit of fishing while all the others do their 2 weeks Easter boating