Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekend again!

Time flies. It's hard to believe I'm half way through another weekend already! Spent last night being rocked to sleep good and proper in between bangs and crashes as things flew off or into the boat thanks to a howling gale outside. Although the wind is the greatest enemy in moving the boat, it is the greatest friend when tucked up in front of a roaring fire listening to the water lapping hard against the hull and swaying gently up and down and back and forth - add to this the gentle creaking of the mooring lines and the scene is complete!

The wind did, however, prevent me from going out so I took the opportunity to take Simba for a very long walk down the towpath to clear my head, (in fact he hasn't moved from the chair in front of the fire since!) and did some jobs which included the housework and re-stocking the coal as the forecast is cold for the week ahead, as well as mending a lock on the door between the back cabin and the engine room and wiring a flourescent tube into the 12 volt system for the cratch - a job I am very pleasd with.

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to do a lot of walking and thinking and things have arisen which have developed and consolidated some ambitions for the future. Ambitions are by definition ambitious and none less so are these but they do drive life forward and give individuals something to 'aim for' and I am an incredibly determined dog once I get a bone so watch this space....

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back to routine!

It's hard to believe that this time last week I was moored up in the middle of no-where walking the dog under a warm stary sky in a week of leisure! One day back and you feel as if you need a holiday. By 9.30 this morning I commented to someone that I had already massed 5 piles of 35 books and homework activities to mark from various classes!!

This evening my computer has been playing up. Every time I launched Skype video, the whole PC crashed in a dramatic fashion.I think that either the screen settings were set too high to cope or the camera was conflicting with my scanner. It seems sorted for the moment.

I have discovered I have one extra fuel filter I missed in my engine service that needs doing at some point. I also managed to get a sensible bracket and extending pole for the TV aerial over the weekend given that it blew over last week in the wind! The next project is to try and install a 12volt light in the cratch - the problem is, I have no permenant live feed there. I only have a feed from the headlight or horn, neither of which is any use as they only work when switched on from the back controls!! Watch this space.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Back home!

What a fantastic week! The weather was glorious most of the time and only one night did we get rain and wind. A really lovely trip down to Napton before turning and heading back home. One of the most relaxing and slow trips I have ever done. Managed to complete lots of uselful jobs during the week including a full engine service, rub-down and repainted the cratch floor and sorted out and had a tidy up in many places. Very little moving traffic so consequently we managed to find some lovely quiet and 'uninhabited' mooring spots to get jobs done and go for walks etc. Returned this morning in glorious sunshine and with no wind at all. In fact I am sitting here with both sides of the cratch rolled up, the side hatch wide open and all windos open on the boat! Spring is really on the way. The pansies on my roof are looking lovely and the miniature daffs. are pushing up through them ready to burst.

I have added three picture above from the trip. The top one, passing under the M6 at the top of nettle hill, the 2nd one passing through the lit up Newbold Tunnel and the 3rd one of the boat moored up just outside Brinklow witht he contents of the cratch on the towpath whilst the paint dries!

Ah well, back to the grind to raise money for the next trip!! Seven weeks and then I think I'm off solo for Easter towards the Shroppie, (any volunteers for a crew!?)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Farewell cruel world!

No don't worry - it's not what it seems, although sometimes, taking off and leaving the world behind can appear that way! I'm off. I've hoovered, dusted, polished, scrubbed, shopped and now I'm ready to go. See you all in a weeks time and please...... don't talk about me when I'm gone!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Almost there....

Two more days to go and then off down to Braunston and beyond! Big jobs for the half term holiday include full service on the engine, rub down and re-paint the floor of the front well deck, seal around the shower and various other internal leaks and generally relax!

I plan to go out on Saturday to service the boat with water, coal, fuel, pump-out etc and then head up the Ashby for the weekend, returning on Sunday to collect my father and then head off out the Ashby to Braunston. There will, therefore, be a week break while I'm away but I shall return when I get back and probably with a list of unlicenced boats to record intot he database! Speaking of this, it seems to have got almost universal support from the readres on the Canalworld forum - and has even provoked a response from Eugene Baston from BW, (welcome to my site Eugene if you read this!) Some of the emails I sent out to the various waterways publications have returned responses and may be included in future publications - watch this space.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Unlicensed craft database

I am hoping to create an online database of craft not displaying current BW licenses in order to gain a true picture of the problem and hopefully alert BW to the realistic scale of the problem. Please keep a record on cruise trips and add them to the site. The database can be found by hovering the mouse over the 'communicate' button on my site and then clicking on the 'unlicensed craft' button. I do urge people to contribute so that 'live' data can be gathered.

Getting ready for half term!

Although the sky is grey and overcast, there is little or no wind today. A tempting day to go out in the boat but I felt staying in a doing jobs was more worth while and as I'm off out in a weeks time for half term week - not going out this weekend will make next week all the more special! I have sanded down and re-varnished the front cratch and touched up some chips on the green coachwork. I have also washed the outside of the boat and completed the usual inside chores such as the fire, dusting, washing and hoovering. You tend to get very little done due to the stopping at frequent intervals to have a chat with various people - a great problem if you are in a hurry to complete a task but then who should be in a hurry on the waterways?

I did help Chell and Sally get out in their boat NB Chell's Dream. A tight squeeze as more and more longer boats move onto the pontoon behind. In fact we had less than a foot spare either end of her boat to maneuver it.

I notice that all the ducks are now paired up and the not only have the swans started getting aggressive again but they are spending a lot of time on the bank where they nest every year outside my window. I haven't actually seen them nesting yet - just standing there but I guess it won't be long now.

I was toying with the idea of polishing the boat, particularly the exposed starboard side where the elements have taken the shine clean off the coachwork, but to do so would entail a push over to the other side where I can reach the whole length of the boat, (as on her mooring, the back cabin overhangs the pontoon,) and then a turn around to do the other side - as it stands at the moment, I can't be bothered!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Canals and Rivers.

Many thanks to Richard Hill, the editor of Canals and Rivers magazine for kind permission to reproduce this picture and text from the February edition. The whole article can be found by buying the magazine and Khayamanzi was featured as part of an excellent article on digital photography.

Click on the image to see the full size version in a new window.