Today I started with excellent intentions of doing an oil change – how hard can it be? I thought to myself. Instructions in the engine manual said to warm the engine and then pump the oil out, then add more oil, put the lid on and off you trot. So, engine on, equipment at the ready: a milk bottle to pump the oil into, large plastic bowl to empty milk bottle into, paper towels by the score. Down into the engine bay I go, and start pumping (having turned off the engine, naturally). And after 2 minutes of getting about 5 drops (well, 2 or 3 tbsp) into the milk bottle and getting extremely hot next to a still hot engine, I called it quits.
We phoned and arranged an oil change at JD Marine in Braunston. A very good 20 quids’ worth we thought. We have decided that marine services people are good at oil changes – that’s part of their job. Our job is to keep the economy moving. I know, it's hardly the way that real boaters operate, but there has to be diversity, don't you agree?
So a walk to Midland Chandlers where we got 10% discount because the guy remembered us from our shopping at Mercia MC a few months a go. I have bought boat shampoo, polish and wax – all separate containers so none of this combination stuff. I am too scared to do that as I am unsure of the effects on the paint. Boats seem to be SO sensitive, unlike any car I’ve ever had. We are very infrequent washers of cars, so this habit of keeping a boat in spotless condition doesn’t come naturally to either of us. (I washed the boat yesterday, both sides, but only with warm water and a microfibre cloth, and dried with handtowels.) Penny at Barby yesterday thought boat cleaning would be a good venture for an enterprising bunch of Polish people – just like the fabulous car wash garages they have at various places around the UK. Imagine how clean the boats would be and how fast it would be done! We used a car cleaning service at Leatherhead a few years ago and it was amazing. At home in NZ, unless it’s a fundraiser where actual people do the job, the car washes on offer are the machines at service stations. Fun to drive through, but not necessarily hugely effective.
We have ascended the Braunston Locks with a lovely crew of four on Josephine II and we are now moored up before the tunnel. We were both too tired to contemplate the tunnel today so will be up bright and early to get through it. We are on a bit of a mission as we have been invited to dinner with Jaq and Les on nb Valerie, so we have to catch them up somewhere in the next few days!
Chardonnay and cider (elderflower and lime) o'clock. See ya!