Thursday, 31 March 2011


I love them, but they can be dangerous. I recall last year a poor lady was killed when she was taken off the back of her boat by a falling tree.

We have quite a few trees on the Hunts lock moorings. Since we were moved up (by BW) we were under a Silver Birch. This allowed the local wildlife including what must have been a large Ostrich who routinely unloaded onto our boat roof.

A few weeks ago I took a photo and sent it to the moorings officer as I was concerned over the lean the silver Birch had towards my boat.

She was very proactive and said she would get the vegetation contractor to have a look. When I arrived at my boat on Friday after a little trip out on the bike I found this.....

I also found an email on my phone from the Mooring officer saying they were going to look at it today (Friday) They actually took it down with my boat in situ... I'm glad by all accounts I was not there to see it. What was not there when I got there was most of the tree. My neighbour said there was a steady flow of wheelbarrows removing the sections!!

The boat did have a good covering of sawdust even after the workers has cleaned the roof using the chainsaw exhausts! I prefer this to bird poo as it came off with a soft brush.

The base of the tree did have some rot in it so it was on its way. I'm pleased its gone. I intend planting an apple tree on the mooring for those boaters that follow me in the years to come.

I did manage a few of the larger rolls so I might have to being my electric chainsaw to the boat later in the year to get me some winter fuel.

I'll think of the Ostrich whilst burning the logs !


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Batteries part II

Rachel was over in North Wales last weekend so I was home alone !!

I did an emergency dash to Leeds to return number 2 sons Xbox that has been repaired and we had a lovely walk around Roundhay park on the outskirts of Leeds. This was a really nice wooded walk. I then topped his larder up before heading direct to the boat from Leeds.

I was a nice afternoon and I pottered. I had to run the engine to get some hot water and put some charge in the batteries as they were at 40% on the SmartGauge. I got them to 60 % and shut off and lit the fire lit the oil lamp drank some whiskey and some beer ate then fell asleep. That relaxed easy sleep, helped by the alcohol!

In the morning with the central heating pump running intermittently overnight (it is on a pipe stat) and a couple of hours watching the tv (sorry Maffi) the batteries were at 9% !! I gave up on them and by the time I left the boat they were Fubarr'd

Yesterday after doing a bit of research, thanks to those who left comments on Batteries part I I nipped over to Midland chandlers and brought 3 x 11oah sealed Lucas batteries for , hold on let me sit down, £270. Good deed of the day was done after the assistant rang up the wrong total (£40 less) and I corrected him (is that a good bad or sad thing to do?)

So I have a job to do this weekend before we head off to the Ashby.

I fully expect the alternator to die next.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Supermoon - doing a Denny

Did a Denny last night. It was supermoon time click here for more info

This is the best I could do - mainly as I left it too late and watched a film and only went out at about 11.30 to let Leia have a wee.

It was not without incident either.

I decided I wanted a portrait shot and whilst adjusting the tripod the fixing snapped !!

So this pic was taken with my camera on the bottom lock gate beam.

Then as I was walking over the bottom lock gates to go back to the boat..... plop in went the broken tripod ! It went in at a location that makes it impossible to get out. A few boats have come by already and non in the weedhatch removing a mangled tripod - it was a fold up type and cheap so I recon it will settle in the mud and not be seen for a few more years.

Amateur or what !

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

More money into the boat

... over the winter I have had to top up the central heating header tank. I was naively hoping this was because of evaporation, daft really as it has held well over the last winter.

I have been topping up with a strong mix (pink) of antifreeze. Within the bilge I have a bucket that collects the water that drips from the pressure valve and last time I checked it had a pink tinge. I therefore deduced that there must be a leak on the heater coil from the back boiler. I will isolate the coil vial the two valves to stop us having to shower and wash the pots in a weak mixture of antifreeze but it does mean more expense to replace the hot water tank - can spell califorier !!

Seems eBay gives the best new options but I need to get the right size and volume. One thing I hope to get an improvement on how long the water stays hot for as at the moment it is only warm in the mornings. In the blurb on the new cylinders they say 24 hours. Plus if it fits I might go for a larger volume so we can at some stage fit a bath .


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

It'll be the Ashby

We have agreed we need a nice leisurely introduction to our 2011 cruising. We did part of the Ashby in May 2009 and as we never quite made it to the end we want to do the complete canal this time.

It will be in a few weeks to allow the weather to improve a little more plus the clocks need to spring forward to give us (me) some end of day cruising fishing time.

The Ashby for us is a great week out and back cruise - about 5 hours cruising a day and not too many locks. The locks we do hit will be in reasonable groups to enable some very sociable cruising.

Can't wait !!


Monday, 14 March 2011

Nipple check

......sorry couldn't resist that one. You may recall I had the rudder bearing and casing replaced on Waterlily but Stuart the engineer who did it could not replace the grease nipple back into the bearing as the threads were different.

We agreed he would send it on to me for me to fit. A reminder went out and he apologised as it was still in his van and he said he would drop by and fit it.

We are hoping to be aboard this weekend so I will be able to do my nipple check and get some grease in to the new bearing casing.

For sure this warm sunshine is a real pressure to get aboard.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spare a few bob .....

You may be aware of one of my other passions - motorcycling. I was out on the bike yesterday scrubbing in a pair of new tyres (£275 !) So why am I telling you this.

I have just read Maffies latest blog and I echo the comments about our service men and women. The are real heroes. I hate it when sportsmen and women are given this title.

A friend of mine is doing the Lands End to John O'Grotes run on his motorbike in support of the Afgan Heroes. Its a good cause and one I have supported. If you have a few spare pounds please follow the link below and give Les your support. He is an ex serviceman doing his bit for some real heroes.

Many thanks


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

OK Battery advice time...?

Our batteries are at that stage where I think it will be more economical replacing them that running the engine longer to put charge back into them. Since the recent harsh winter they seem to loose charge much more quickly.

So what to go for...

We have 3 x 110amp at the moment wet type. Talking to Sue and Vic on NB No Problem they have sealed batteries. I like the idea of that - no maintenance is my style, more time for fishing.

So please could you give me advice - do I go for 2 x 135
3 x 110 and any recommendations on make and where to go for them best price?

Lots of advice needed!


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Blogging codes

QR codes are the way to communicate on the canal ?

Download this little app from here

Then point your Smartphone at the image below and see what you get?

I am going to stick my square in the window of my boat and then anyone can instantly get access to my blog while on the cut....(if it takes off)

Trust me it will take off you will see this type of marketing/communication everywhere.