Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Back on-board

Breakfast for the boys before we left - pikelets!
One batch of pikelets is just enough!

After a long wet drive down from St John’s Town of Dalry on Tuesday we arrived at the boat in Barby Moorings in the late afternoon. We had diverted to Desborough to look for our friends Mick and Julia, owners of the beautiful traditional style nb Arch Stanton. We had seen them on our last day of boating last year, had run down the towpath after them, got their address and phone number and then lost it somewhere between the boat and the new house. Dammit!

Mick and Julia weren’t home at the address David had tracked down through various avenues on the Net, but we left a note for them. Hopefully they will be home before too long and get in touch with us! If any readers see the nb Arch Stanton out and about, can you please tell Mick and Julia we desperately want to hear from them and give them my number (07474 247 857).

So back at the boat, it had to be moved from being breasted up with a few other boats to being on a pontoon so we could decant the contents of the rental car into it.

My first brain fade was in not knowing where the ignition keyhole was … The many years of hiring Black Prince boats was foremost in my mind, but Waka Huia’s ignition and electrical workings are not in the same position … David had to show me. My excuse is that I was tired from 6 hours of driving and still suffering from jet lag. But really my mind just went blank.

The engine started first go and then stopped after a few seconds. That was remedied by Penny who did what I should have done first up - pumped fuel around the system - and we had another go. Bingo! We then extricated ourselves from the ties that bind, reversed out, turned around and made it to the pontoon without touching another boat – I was dead pleased, esp as I’d started off not knowing where to place the key … A bit of redemption there.

We had thought, given Ed was due the following morning to give me engine maintenance tuition, that it would be a good idea to reconstruct the pram cover. So while I was unloading the car and toting stuff to the boat, David was assembling the pieces. Cross purposes – I had meant we should do it AFTER we emptied the car.

As I was running on empty, we decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and in the interests of not killing each other, the pram cover should be left until we’d had a good night’s sleep. Excellent decision!

Suitcases in the saloon, bed made, food stowed away, ham salad for dinner with chardonnay and muscato and it was good night from her and good night from him shortly thereafter. I was whacked!

We did wake early but that was fine as we’d retired before it was dark. In the middle of the night I had woken and thought about the pram cover and how it fitted together, and thought how sensible we had been not to tackle it on arrival – if I couldn’t remember where the key went, I also could not remember at that time how that damned thing fitted together either! But in the dark of the night, with my mind cleared of extraneous concerns, it came back.

Even so, it took 1.75 hours to get it back up, and even now I have tied the straps that I couldn’t get the through the cinches. I’ll do them today, standing on my stool so I can reach comfortably and see better, and I’ll use a sharpish knife to encourage them … So a fairly long task made longer by the fact that we hadn’t realised that the pieces were not entirely symmetrical and there are differences between the port and starboard fittings, namely the lugs and their corresponding lugholes that needed to be in the right place for the curved struts to slot into. I have to confess that one of them is not slotted in to a lughole – I lost the will to live over swapping the fittings over as it couldn’t be turned by hand in its cup – I had already dropped David’s favourite screwdriver into the cut, never to be seen again – I got the distinct impression that he expected me to climb in and retrieve it, but, as Marta would say, that’s not going to happen. NOTE TO SELF: MARK THE POLES WITH P&S AS APPROPRIATE SO WE PUT THEM ON THE CORRECT SIDE FIRST UP NEXT TIME.

After brekkie – yes, all that effort took place before we had eaten (well, to be strictly honest, we’d had a banana each) – we started to unpack the wardrobes of the bedding that I had vacuum packed in October to help prevent it getting damp, so we could get the clothing stored. But when I opened two of the forward lockers under the sofa to store said bedding, I saw water on the base. David was called to investigate and discovered the source of the water that had plagued us all last season at the inspection hatch at the stern in the galley – there was a leak in the isolation tap on the pipe from the water tank.  

So Ed’s list was growing. But by the time he arrived, the saloon was impenetrable from the rear – I do wish I had taken photos. The suitcases and half of the sofa were covered in sofa cushions and tat (battery drill, drill bits, children’s games, boat manual case, etc) from the lockers. David had mopped up the water and had the fan heater in one locker drying it off. I continued to sort the bedding into single (re-vacuum packed for storage in the lockers later) and double (folded and stored in a plastic tub under our bed). Then I de-vacuumed packed the clothing I had left on-board, and realised that, apart from the going out stuff, I hadn’t needed to bring anything! I counted 12 short sleeved tops already in situ, 5 long sleeved tops, 4 pairs of shorts and two pairs of jeans, lots of socks and underwear plus plenty of footwear! So a lot of what I trundled over here last week and sweated over the packing of and weighing and 3D jigsaw puzzling has been put back in the suitcase and stowed under the bed to be left to lie quietly until October rolls around. I then started on David’s stuff, and found the same thing. NOTE TO SELF: MAKE A BLOODY INVENTORY BEFORE LEAVING IN OCTOBER!!!

The leaking fitting was replaced, the water filter removed (there is one under the sink so two is a bit of overkill), and after an interval to let the paste dry (paste? On plumbing bits? I ask you!) the tank was refilled for the second time – we know that the tank has been flushed good and proper now. NOTE TO SELF: TANK NEEDS TO BE FULLY DRAINED THIS WINTER AS THESE FITTINGS MAY FREEZE AND SPLIT.

There is more about yesterday, but I will post it separately shortly – right now I need to get some brekkie.


Lesley Bateman said...

Grrrrrr ginger nuts, cough......

Marilyn McDonald said...

I saved you from yourself, ODS, you know that really!

Next year though, given I will not be bringing clothing over again, I am sure we will have plenty of room for gingernuts!