Monday, 7 July 2008

Catch up

A wet & windy Sunday afternoon whilst Mark watches the Grand Prix is an ideal time for me to bring the blog up to date.

20th June In Paignton, Devon attending the funeral of my brother Martins wife, Julie. She had died very suddenly from a heart attack aged just 49. She brightened the life of everyone who knew her & will be very sadly missed.

23rd June saw us leaving the marina on a cloudy & breezy Monday morning, eager to leave familiar territory behind & explore new horizons & when we moored up at the visitor moorings at Pollington at 3.30pm it was with a smug sense of achievement.
About to pass under M62- many times driven over it - 1st time under!

Our1st day out had taken us from the Stainforth & Keadby up the New Junction & onto the Aire & Calder, Mark had done most of the steering whilst I did the locks & assorted swing & lift bridges. I took the tiller now & again on the ‘easy’ bits but not for anything more complicated!
But on the whole we felt we were handling Poppy a lot more confidently especially given the stiff breeze.
On arrival at Pollington in warm sunshine Poppy (cat!) was desperate to explore - she had spent much of the day trying to see out & was not the least bit phased by it all whilst Soona spent a lot of time under the sofa snoozing.
After a scout around the immediate area we took the decision to let them out ( before feeding time!) & Poppy really enjoyed stretching her legs rolling around in the dust & making short forays into the undergrowth. Soona eventually made her way off the boat ( she doesn’t do anything in a rush!) & enjoyed pottering but not brave enough to follow Poppy further afield.

So all in all not a bad 1st day- happy cats, a good signal through the T. Mobile dongle plus Mark got the sat logged on - so Sky + & beautiful surroundings, just perfect. Hmmm..
So with cats fed & back on the boat we took a stroll to the George & Dragon in the village which according to Nicholson’s did food. Not any more they don’t! Never mind - plenty of grub on board so we headed back for tea aboard.
An hour or so later the TV died as did all the 240v electrics - the inverter showed low battery which seemed odd as we had done 4-5 hours or so cruising but it was a lovely evening so we made use of the picnic table to play a few hands of gin rummy & we decided not to worry too much & to see if the next days cruising sorted the inverter out ( we are still very much newbies & find the electrics a bit confusing & I find the more I read up & the more I talk to other boaters the more confused I become!)

On the Aire & Calder we passed a few working barges most carrying sand & gravel or tankers carrying oil, great to see the navigation being used for its original purpose.
The Humber Princess

Tuesday morning & off by 9am when lock keeper arrived on duty- lock can usually be self operated but a fault at Pollington ( & also Whitley ) meant having to wait for lock keeper.

Once through the lock we set off on our 2nd day, stopping off at Ferrybridge for lunch, the inverter was checked again & still not working showing red ‘low battery’ light so we were beginning to think that possibly the inverter was at fault. After a bit of head scratching we thought that we’d press on - after all it just meant no telly, no fridge & no computer,not the end of the world really is it?.......
So on to Castleford where we planned to spend the night & by 6pm we were settled in on the visitor moorings having topped up the water, emptied the loo & eaten a meal when a phone call from my brother meant that we would be on our way home due to the passing away of my mother.
We winded & set off back stopping overnight at Ferry bridge & pressed on next morning, arriving back in Thorne at 7pm.

The inverter situation is not quite resolved yet. I asked Spike ( chap at Bluewater who knows about these things!) to have a look and after some tests he declared it not working. We have now bought a new one, a Sterling 1880w which will be fitted when the fuse ( GANL300 evidently!) arrives.
The boat builder, Lainy Cain has offered to refund us for the defunct inverter so we shouldn’t be too much out of pocket.

7th July
It is now Monday afternoon, still wet & with the odd clap of thunder but it never rains but it pours ! Because the shower pump has thrown a wobbly …arrggh!
Not sure why, quick check on Canal World Forum ( mine of information!) & seems that clogging up with hair ect is favourite. Unfortunately the pump is in a awkward spot tucked away in a corner under the kitchen units.
I think I am going to have to squeeze myself in there & take it apart but will try to have a word with someone who knows about these thing 1st! Need to learn how to do it as from what I have picked up from the forum shower pumps usually need cleaning out now & again.

Plus I have had to book Soona into the vets tomorrow, she has had anal sac problems in the past, the last time being about 3 months ago before we moved from Hull & she is showing symptoms again. It will be the 1st time at this vets so I am hoping they are as good as the previous vet we used in Hull - one thing is for sure - it won’t be cheap!

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