Friday, 31 March 2017

The missing March posts plus Rachel tries to sink the boat from the inside !

Some picture catching up to do.

Living on the boat from mid January onwards stops being a trial (with some winter beauty but too much winter mud) and starts being a pleasure.

The sun's angle woke up the solar panel and I started to come home to full or nearly full batteries, now that is a pleasure on its own. I do not need to run the engine for hot water only to keep the batteries toped up so I can sit on my mooring now for days without the need to run my engine.

The mornings were bright and the evenings longer  - not too much warmth but the warmth from my soul was all I needed.

Storm Doris came and went, scarily the day before we completed the sale of our house. I was praying the place would look after itself one more time, which is did. Not so lucky was the caravan park owner who is seemingly taking all the Fradley assets, the boat yard, the moorings between Junction and Middle locks as well as the shop and gallery. His new gates for the back route into his park  (and we suspect for  future touring pitches)  got hit by a falling tree

I started to get some sunsets... as the year progresses to hi summer the sun sets further across from my mooring

 The sun rises were equally as impressive and welcome.

Just a skin wound (from watering up !) but living alone does carry its risks, so everything is done with a little more care

The nice thing about late winter is getting home to the boat and still having the light for a walk. 

 Plus a pint after the walk of course 

I actually got my motorcycle sorted, well the little 650 (electrical problem) so one Sunday I rode out in the South Downs with my good Friend Mark and found my next(ish) bike  - a 1200 Triumph Bobber  - beautiful 

Below is a little video Mark took of the 650 hustling along the slippy South Downs roads 

We needed a good walk and the coast is a good place to do it so we did a favourite Bosham walk  - quite deserted we had the coast line much to ourselves.

Back at the boat and it was just nice enough to site out for a glass of wine before last light

Rachel decided she wanted to sprint clean the boat, so while I went for gas and did the cassette run as well as split some oak logs for the outside burner she left the tap on and put some much not needed water in the bilge.

Now on the survey I was advised to cut an inspection  hatch in the bathroom to check the bilge which I had not done so I told rachel she had done me a favour of sorts !!

 My bilge water absorption tool - a sponge on the end of a fishing rod, it worked !

 I was pleased to see how well Tony had built the boat and protected the steel with felt so no water if it gets in there can wick up the timber bearers plus rust the base plate. Nice touch but symptomatic of the detail in the boat build - the engineers eye and building it for himself !

.... and just to prove it can be crap living on the boat sometimes, rain = mud 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

...... drumroll - been cruising !!!

Due to some daft delays on the house sale and without any certainty of sale, for our anniversary week off, instead of cruising from Dubai (£650 pp )  we ended up on the Trent & Mersey (£0 pp). Please bear in mind this post was written in mid February and I am only now late March getting back in the blogging driving seat.

Due to the stoppages we could only go one way so we had a night out at Wychnor as we were due back south then in London the following weekend.

There were not too many boats moving as this part of the canal really is a dead end due to the stoppage at Junction lock.

The advice was 'proceed with caution' but the river was quite gentle.

This was our mooring, a bit noisier that I was expecting  - we have passed these mooring many times and they are popular in summer being the first after the noisy A38 stretch.

Those who have cruised this stretch will know this bridge and the tight clearances and precise approach needed - not helped by half a dozen maggot danglers fishing !

Rachel holding Percy while I set the lock off the river section 

Yes this is Alrewas, only one boat on the whole village stretch  - you wont see that in a few weeks time.

Leia and Lillie approve of the sofa.... but have not got the sharing issue sorted (with each other or us !)

Then it was off back south the the cottage for a couple of days  - some nice walking in the longer days 

The only downside to moving about is this..... a very slow tailback as someone had broken down in the Blackwall tunnel.

But we had had a good day looking at flats for my youngest and his girlfriend in and around Crystal Palace.

I'd quite like this little bobber.... but it did not come with the flat, surprising based on the price of a one bed flat !!!

Standing at the start of time 

Not the week we were planning but a very busy week and far too much driving, but we did get the boat moved and not many were doing that in February !

Friday, 3 March 2017

Nature keeps giving this time of the year

Ok, so it gives high winds and lots of rain but it also gives extra daylight, warmer days, more sunshine and with the sun some lovely sunrises.

The solar panel on the boat 'woke up' mid February as the sun must have hit an angle to the panel that allowed a charge. These last few days I have come back to the boat to find all the electricity magically put back into my batteries I used the evening before.

Nature is giving me the light to walk Leia morning and night in the light. I actually hung up my two head torches this morning  - they have been ever present in my jacket pocket since October.

In another few weeks it will be light enough and hopefully warm enough to get some outside jobs done after work.... and fishing  - hurray !!

Some pictures rather than words ....