Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Sunken boats

I really don't like seeing them. They look so sad, they must have given so much joy and now they seem so lonely, deserted and abandoned.

So why then did this boat have the most polished mushrooms I have seen for a long time......?? There must be a story to it.

It really was fine cruising weather, sun and little wind. We saw few boats for saying it was half term, so we felt we had the cut to ourselves. I took a video for the record of this mini cruise.

Rachel's dad came along and did some locking and some tiller work. He has not been on the boat for a while and did very well. He is very enthusiastic about the boat and we enjoy having him aboard.

We have a good list of people who want to come on the boat, starting tomorrow when our friend Charlotte who we visited in the 'fall' will be joining us for a pootle to Alrewas and back.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

I'll show you mine if you show me yours......

That'll be the bilge cheeky.

Since owning a part share in Sylph I have been interested in bilges.(sad or what) I did not realise until we had Waterlily that dry bilges are attainable. Sylph was always sloshing about and it was made worse when we had a leak in the bathroom plumbing that filled the cabin bilge with water. Sylph was so bad we had a cabin bilge pump fitted with a float switch that every now and then pumped for what seemed like ages. The floor at the back of the boat eventually had to be replaced as the water was rotted the floor !

Comet (our first boat) did not have any drainage channels on the cruiser back deck so when it rained the water went straight into the engine bay - horrible.

This is Waterlily's bilge. The previous owner put a small container under the stern gland to catch the drips while cruising and also another container for the grease that falls. You will also see a bucket with a bilge pump in it (top right of the picture) this catches the drips from the expansion pipe (I think) on the hot water cylinder. Every now and then I just pump the bucket empty. I suppose I really should fit a bilge pump with a float switch just in case the stern gland fails while we are off the boat - however I think this is unlikeley and unless the pumping water was spotted before the battery ran out it would make little difference.

Its quite simple and makes for a clean bilge - which I like. So lets see yours then ?


Friday, 20 February 2009

Top buy recommendation.....if you like TV on your boat

Last time I was on Waterlily I spent a very productive morning sorting out the aeriel (putting up a permanent ariel and getting the wiring sorted)
I got the satellite working but it is still a faff. When we were buying food in Sainsburys before this trip I took a gamble on a £22 freeview box - branded as Red.

I plugged it in last night and even though I had not touched the aeriel for best signal it went through its set up and found lots and lots of tv channels all excellent quality. It must have a signal booster built into it.

I was very impressed this small bit of kit. It will replace the satellite for sure so if anyone out there wants an little used satellite set up for the boat (or home) drop me a mail before the system goes on ebay.


Me batteries

Ok, full on boat post this - no motorbikes or cars or health issues.

Its really for my records as I have been recording the battery status since fitting my smartgauge battery monitory gizmo


On arrival at the boat..

Hours meter 141 hours

66% charged
Leisure battery bank was at 12.45v
Starter battery was at 12.5v

At the end of the day cruising

Battery monitor was on 144 hours

92% charged
Leisure battery bank was at 12.85v
Starter battery was at 13.3v

After a nigh watching tv with a few light on and the water pump and central heating pump running the position was

57% charged
Leisure battery bank was at 12.4v
Starter battery was at 12.7v

The Smartgauge has intelligent circuitry so that it learns the state of the batteries (% charged) over a few charge and discharge cycles so the % charged should be getting more reliable.

More boaty posts to come.......


Thursday, 19 February 2009

To Waterlily and beyond.....well Hopwas actually

A small amount of excitement exists as I sit in bed typing this as we are off to Waterlily for a small cruise into the weekend. As I have blogged about before we are going off down the Coventry today but we have stuff to do before we start the cruise.

The new (old) car has to be collected and taxed but we are waiting for the cover note from the insurance company..... so we can't head off before that. When we get to cruise on Waterlily we need water and a pump out so that'll delay our progress.

The original plan was to cruise on down onto the Birmingham and Fazely canal (new to us) and wind at Curdworth (sp) bottom locks and then pick up my father in law at Hopwas for a cruise back on Friday/Saturday. I have managed to leave the Ncholsons on board so actual route planning will take place aboard after we have filled up and emptied......

Still nice to get aboard.


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Waterlily 1 Nev 0

When I took Waterlily out with a couple of friends last year..... clicky, I sustained an injury.

This is quite unusual as I am careful when aboard. However whilst standing on the gunwale at the back I lent over the side to reach the book and slipped which made me pivot my body on my rib cage. At the time I felt something go and then got the pain I've had before with a cracked rib. If you have had a cracked rib before you will know the treatment is to just suffer the discomfort until it mends.

This was my chosen action but the discomfort was not easing as I expected it to. So a visit to the docs yesterday and he diagnosed dislocated cartilage - how hard am I?? Four months living with this (not that bad really) So hopefully the tablets I have been given will do the trick just in time for the serious cruising season.

So - take care out there, it would be a shame to miss the perfect summer I have ordered.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Relegation or what

I had a spurt of blogging last week and rose up to number 20 on the UK boaters blogging list. I turn my back to do some automotive wheeling and dealing and get demoted to number 38.
Its a fair cop - it is after all a boaters list so if I'm not blogging or blogging with limited boaty content you will vote with your feet. I should say, with very little sincerity, like others have posted, do not really care that I am falling in the rankings, its about boating blogging and I do it for myself -I don't have a lot of friends ;-( anyway !! So there ;-))

An update on the swap shop
So, I sold this....

And brought this.........

And sold one of these......

And brought this........

Not bad at all for a few days work, and I fitted the new rad in the bathroom in between.
Now a boat picture........

This is what started it all - a mid week break on a 40 footer called Nutcracker on the Llangollen canal. We were captivated by the whole experience and five years later we owned our own boat. More pics to follow

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Route planning, a busy week and a Geordie Valentines gft

Last minute holiday decisions are sometimes the best. I was not planning to take the half term week off but Rachel was. Over breakfast last weekend we decided we needed to refurbish the bathroom (house - we did the boat last summer) So a trip to the DIY shed later we had the materials sourced and a plan to get some work done in half term week. In fact the decision should have been made based on the other stuff we had on,

Selling my bike
Invitation to the Derby Manchester United FA cup tie
Our wedding anniversary (yesterday) - that's why we are the feb14.org........
Uni visit to Manchester for our youngest
Hospital appointment for Rachel
Visit from my father in law from Wales
Buying a bike (maybe)
Our eldest 21st birthday

Getting time on Waterlily.........................

The plan is to get away later in the week and then pick up the father in law at some point during our short cruise - so Mr Nicholson is my friend again - defiantly the Coventry this time .

My bike went north east yesterday.... two nice lads drove down and took it away. When we were doing the paperwork the lad who was buying it asked what the date was.... I advised it was valentines day and he was doing alright spending the biggest proportion of the day in a van traveling to buy a motorbike. He was ok with it as he had stopped off at a garage on the way and brought twelve red roses - well six actually and six tulips as the garage had run out of roses - them Geordies now how to treat their women !!


Monday, 9 February 2009

Ebay excitement (I really need to get out more)

You may have read I am having a moment about Motorcycles I am at the point of selling my much loved but little ridden Ducati Monster motorbike on Ebay, clicky me

Anyhow its getting to the point of mild excitement as the auction ends on Monday evening and as I type this (Friday PM to be published Monday lunchtime as per my mentor Granny Buttons does - it so it must be right) there have been 927 visits and 57 'watches'

This is important stuff, if she goes I might have half a boat painting fund or a good deposit on my next ride......


Edited at 6pm - 83 watches and 1333 visitors..........

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Angry Nev - I hope not

Maffie blogged about getting angry recently and a few people have replied - me being one of them Maffi's Boat: On being angry

Now I am a little worried about angry people who live on the cut. When I clock off off the last time hopefully I want to spend a good deal of time on my boat. I was rather hoping that when I get on my boat the angryness I exhibit and feel will go..... but then I read about angry canal people.... oh dear.

Now I reconcile my worries by way of thinking about what could make me angry on the cut, gates being left open, speeding boats, generators, dog poo and pinching locks?? (not in any order) And then I think of the godzillions of things that make me angry - working full time and all the associated 'arse' sorry to use that word but that is the best way of describing some of the stuff that goes on......

So it has to be a better type of angry, I just hope when my time comes to get on the cut more I can remember that the things on the cut that will make me angry pale into insignificance to what went before.....but I suspect we act based on the present not what went on in the past. So I could be angry Nev on the cut as well as angry Nev ashore.

Maybe I should start an angry list now so I could refer to it for comparison when afloat..., no that would just remind me of all the stuff that made me angry on the land.
Better to just be happy - like Bones seems to be, she never seems to exhibit anger?
Or I could rely on my old mate beer. Beer makes me happy then sleepy and not angry. Yep Mr Pedigree and friends will help me get through this !!

I'm off to carry out some research............................................................

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Treat yourself to a good read... I will

I may have commented that I do not read many books, I spend too much time on the internet. I recently read Jim's Starcross Blog about his 'day or reckoning' - good title He had recorded his cruising and compared it to previous years. We can't do that directly:
  1. We don't keep a detailed cruising log
  2. We have not had Waterlily two years yet

But I got to start looking back and was amazed how much I'd wrote and how enjoyable (to me) the blog was with all of its best cruising pictures. So over the weekend (most probably Sunday if the weather is pants) I'll give my blog a good read bottom to top. I think this will be a fine antidote for the poor weather with dash of anticipation for the cruising to come.....


Edited to explain I was not suggesting you read my blog, read your own or any other boaty blog ...........

Friday, 6 February 2009

Someone did not like this guy

Just a small addition to my post about the boater who died at Willington on the T&M

It appears the Derby Evening Telegraph paper copy was correct about his boat being broken into.... this is from Narrowboat World - I would post a link but I can't link to their story direct.

"Last night (Wednesday), the man's boat was broken into and his vehicle quite extensively vandalised on the nearby car park, David King tells us, who believes the boat has now been removed to the nearby Mercia Marina.
There was a great deal of bad feeling about this boater by locals, and many complaints about his noisy generator and dogs."

He must have tested someone patience or someone had very little patience.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

A walk with a view

I'm sorry I can't give you a lovely snow shot of Waterlily on her moorings.... I really want to be on the boat while this weather is with us.

I shouldn't be too unhappy as I get to walk Leia in Darley park every morning. This always has been my favourite park in Derby and I live across the road from it. Early mornings there are very few people use it so I get it to myself in the main. Here is a panorama picture taken from my camera yesterday morning. The sun was just coming up. At the bottom of the slope is the river Derwent. It has just flowed past Darley abbey mills on its way to the Silk mill in Derby.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A little story re the sad event at Willington on the T&M

On reading more info about the sad incident on the T&M yesterday I realized I met the bloke who died while on our July trip.

He was next boat ready to go down Stenson Lock. He asked if i was ok to lock us both down as he had a bad back - in the end we went down with another boat as he seemed more interested in chatting to other boaters than going down the lock. The boat we did go down with were very scathing about this individual. he was quite well known on the section of canal for a variety of reasons - none now worthy of mention.

I can see how the story of the boat being burgled came about as I recall his boat was 'individual' My strongest memory was of him with a very young pup (american pit bull I think) and his large Alsatian. He was telling me and another boater no one would give him trouble when the pup grew up......just goes to show how short and precious life is.


Dead boater's boat is burgled - Willington on the T&M

This is a really sad and tragic story

Boater is found dead in the canal

In the printed edition of the Derby Evening telegraph they report the boat was subsequently ransacked by thieves - this is missing from the web version. The paper copy also reads the boat had been in Willington since September - I really don't like newspapers.

Its a timely reminder to those living their life on the cut to take extra care - especially those single handers.

I want to meet you not read about you posthumously .

Take extra care


A £92 screw

Nope - not another trip to Amsterdam or Prague. It was a nice rusty number 8 stuck just far enough towards the sidewall on the rear offside tyre on my Smart - that'll be £92 quid sir - lovely !!

Plus my misfortune fits into the toast falling and landing on the butter (or jam) side down approach - meaning the tyre was the one that has only got about 1,000 miles on it whilst the two front are getting close to replacement - smashing.

Mmmmm now its got me thinking what £92 quid would buy me in Amsterdam or Prague ........................................

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

I made a decision

You may have read this post Especially the bit about decisions. Just to let you know I made one on Friday night and put my motorbike up on ebay for sale. Have a look here .....Clicky

I'd like you to have a look as it will increase the hit count and make it look like there are lots of people interested. In fact there are over 40 watches at the moment so I am hopeful that it will sell past the reserve.

I still have an eye on a replacement but also the final price might be halfway to a paint job on Waterlily.... so new bike or paint job - what do you recon? Help me make that decision,


Monday, 2 February 2009

So I talk to myself, that's ok isn't it?

It occurred to me earlier this week while I was having a conversation with Leia (that's my dog not my wife) I do talk to myself more and more. You know I feel quite relaxed about it - no, in fact I enjoy doing it.

I do have a feeling that as I get older talking to myself with become quite an enjoyable passtime. If for no other reason than on the rare occasion to date someone has caught me doing it, their reactions are worth the words to myself.

Having Leia about does help, it makes me feel that I am actually talking to someone (she it a one rather than a thing) Anyhow I say talk to yourself more and sod anyone who gives you a wide berth - Ahh that's it, the real benefit, people keep away - top tip that, chatter to yourself as you are mooring up and you will have the place to yourself the next day. I might just try random shouting in the near future..... ;-)