Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Water, water..........

Feels very strange this evening as no cats aboard as they have gone to the cattery whilst we go off in search of some sunshine. How bad did I feel as we walked back to the car leaving a forlorn looking Poppy hanging off the inside of the wire door to the (cell) kennel. It was probably all an act & she was no doubt fawning round the staff as we drove away....

Finally got the hole cut in the floor to check the bilges & guess what ... water right up to the underside of the floor! So Scott if you're reading this we could have gone halves on the pump. Scott & Sharon are our neighbours & had the same problem this week. Their adventures as they refit out their boat can be followed on their own blog.

So a visit to Thorne Boat Services on the way back from the cattery to pick up a Whale submersible pump. We managed to get quite alot of the water out & hope that all will be okay whilst we are away - not sure where all the water has come from, we have previously had the odd leak from the plumbing but wouldn't have thought that would have resulted in that much water. Someone suggested it could be condensation but again seems too much water - so a bit of a puzzle but glad we checked & the investigation ( & the drying out) will continue when we are back from our jaunt - assuming she hasn't sunk meanwhile!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

A rare treat & Colin does a bit of fishing

Phil asked me if I'd check on Rosie this afternoon as he & Gina had the opportunity to visit the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull with Chris. Of course I was more than happy as she is such a lovely dog, I wasn't sure if she would come with me for a walk but when I showed her the lead the tail wagged so we walked down the towpath to Moores swing bridge & back & she behaved impeccably.
As we made our way back to the boat we passed Colin atop this boat dangling something in the water, turns out he had dropped one of Spike's spanners overboard,

a few minutes trawling with a sea searcher & success!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Not so far....

This was the state of marina on Friday morning & I didn't hold out much hope of getting out although the canal looked clear but by lunchtime the ice was melting & had been well broken up by Spike & Colin moving a boat so we decided to go for it.

All seemed fine, no ice & we even had some sunshine but just after Thorne swing bridge we passed Waterstart who told us that they'd had to turn back just before Stainforth due to ice.

We decided still to plod on as far as we could as it was just nice to be out of the marina on the canal.

Sure enough we found the ice but it didn't seem to bad at 1st. We moored here & had a walk up to see if it got any worse - which it did! So we continued as far as we considered sensible which got us into Stainforth & moored just passed the New Inn.

We stayed put Friday( karaoke night at the New Inn & just a bit noisy so no sleep till after midnight!) & Saturday night, unable to get a signal for sky so read & played scrabble.
After stocking up with fruit & veg at the Sunday market we decided to see if we could get any further - only managed about 1/2 a mile but we found a lovely spot to moor. No karaoke, a good sat signal & Poppy enjoyed exploring.

Being cautious when the dog walkers are about

& back to the safety of the boat ( with tail up!) till they've gone.

By Sunday evening the weather was much milder with most of the ice now gone but too late for us to get to Sprotborough, still we'd enjoyed our little jaunt & we will try again in a few weeks.

Monday was a slow trundle home & we arrived back at 2ish. Mark reversed onto our pontoon as if he'd been doing it for years, I was very impressed, would that I could handle her so well!

After a quick change we jumped in the car & went to Tesco at Scunthorpe to stock up & to nip into B&Q to get a jigsaw as we still haven't made the hole in the floor & a jigsaw will make it a bit easier.

Next Thursday we are off to Grand Canaria for a few days which I booked online back in December. No sign of any tickets arriving so last night I sent an email enquiring when we could expect delivery. I received a reply followed by a phone call to say they had been sent 2 weeks ago, mmm... we've not received them & also back in December they had sent confirmation of the booking that we had also not received. Goodness knows why we haven't but anyway they are going to set up a 'ticket on departure' for us. So fingers crossed that it goes okay.
The tickets are not the only thing to go missing, we have had a few thefts from vehicles over recent months but this weekend Alan has had his landrover stolen. But the best bit is that it was spotted the following day in Thorne ! Either a very brazen or very stupid thief.....

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Scuppered :(

Unless there is a thaw tomorrow it looks like our plan to head off up to Sprotborough is not happening, we are frozen in here, the canal is frozen in places & it started snowing at lunchtime, oh well, never mind eh.

We lost shore power again (3rd time) last night at 8pm - swapped over to the inverter for TV etc but not sure about using the electric blanket through the inverter - can't find any info re wattage etc but assume that as it's heating something then it would be a drain on batteries & therefore only suitable for shore power.'s a good job that yesterday I had bought 2 hot water bottles ready for this w/e. & so we were still toasty in bed.

Saw Spike 1st thing & he sorted it out for now but the reason for it happening evidently is more difficult to trace. I suppose if anything it teaches us not to be reliant on shore power, after all it's only about 14 months before we leave these shores & head out into the unknown.

We changed the gas bottle a couple of days ago & I keep getting a whiff of gas - but Mark says he can't smell it, mmm.. anyway have kept it turned off at the bottle & asked Spike to take a look - he did find a leak in the valve which he sorted out & all seemed fine but several hours later I'm sure I can still smell gas again so it's turned off & tea ( stew) is cooking slowly atop the stove.
Alan ( Great Western) will be here tomorrow & as he is a boat safety scheme examiner I shall seek his opinion.

No new pics to post so here's a couple from last spring/summer just to remind us that it's not always so cold & wintery....

Fishlake Church

Somewhere near Epworth

Monday, 9 February 2009

A spot of birdwatching

Indoor birdwatching on a winter afternoon.

"Can you bring the crow back please, the hedgehog is a bit boring"

Sunday, 8 February 2009

A bright start ....

When living in Hull the view of spectacular sunrises & sunsets was usually obscured by buildings so one of the pleasures of living in the marina has been enjoying them with a view only blocked by trees which often adds something to the display.
We have become almost blase about yet another red/pink sky but this mornings 7.30am display over the frozen marina was certainly worthy of a photograph.

We have started another job on the'to do' list today by making the underbed space more accessable - the base under the bed is made of slats, good for ventilation of the mattress, which I turn weekly & that is fine with no damp but we had spotted some mildew areas in the 'dead' corners underneath.

Access was difficult as the slats were well & truly screwed down so we removed most of the slats & once easier to get at, cleaned & treated mildew areas with bleach solution. The situation wasn't helped by having several bags of sand down there which the builder had used as ballast & the exterior of the bags were wet. They have now been removed & will be replaced by concrete slabs.

We have put the slats back for now but with not quite so many screws! We are comtemplating fastening the slats onto a strip of fabric tape which would be screwed down at strategic points & by removing these screws the slats could be rolled up - sounds complicated I know but this was how our 'old' bed base was constructed in house days & worked just fine. With easier access it should be easier to keep a check for any damp.

I followed Bones's saga of fitting a bed that raised on gas struts with interest & think it's a brilliant idea but think it a tad complicated for our level of skill!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Winters icy grip

We may not have had the volume of snow that has fallen further south but what little that was left is hanging around as it & the ground is frozen hard.

On my morning walk I was able to use the footpaths across the fields as the usually gloopy mud was rock hard.

A still life almost, no ducks or swans about this morning on the frozen canal.

Breaking the ice to get to the pumpout, not something we need to worry about with the thetford.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Wielding axes & noisy dragons

One of our neighbours Alan, works for the environment agency & he manages to bring us some wood now & again. He turned up with a trailer full last night so today Ian, Chris, Phil & myself have been busy with a chain saw ( not me!) & axes reducing the trailer load into fire sized logs for us all-we save our coal bags for the logs & everyone got at least 1/2 a dozen bags full so not a bad days work.

Phil & Chris wielding axes

A few bags ready for stowing aboard

I was filthy when I had finished & a bit achy from the physical graft so have just enjoyed a hot shower & am now sat sort of glowing in front of nice log fire!

We seem to have escaped much of the bad weather that has afflicted much of the UK, I was in Manchester at the w/e & there was some light falls but nothing much really although on the train journey home through Derbyshire it was like a Christmas card - looked beautiful but not so much fun if you need to move around. We had a heavy fall night before last but it was gone by mid afternoon. But if we do get some at least we have plenty of wood to see us through!

Whilst in Manchester I was able to help Eric celebrate his 13th ( a teenager already!) birthday, he chose to have a Chinese meal at a restaurant in the Chinese quarter & of course it was the Chinese new year so our meal was interrupted by a visit from this chap.....

...very noisy with drums, bells & whistles & much enjoyed by the kids.

We are hoping to get out of the marina next w/e, Mark has promised me no overtime so 3 days off! The plan is to get off Friday afternoon & prob stay overnight near Barnby Dun then make our way to Sprotborough for Saturday night then slow journey back Sunday/monday. All weather etc permitting of course but it's a plan......