We have forgotten so much about the boat and how to set it up in the 18 months since we left nb Waka Huia in the good hands of the folk at Debdale Wharf Marina!
Although we thought we had all of the important information stored carefully in our brains or recorded on paper or in the computer, we got here and found there were gaps in all of those storage facilities. Double and triple AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
And the boat was already pretty full and we have brought more stuff to try and squeeze in. I sense a trip to charity shops coming up before we give back the rental car on Wednesday ...
Our old buddy, Mel, was waiting for us patiently. And although my sister Dee and her husband Murray will no doubt say we are guilty of pet abuse, you can all rest assured he was in fine form and what’s more, he had kept the boat safe from almost all intruders – apart from the brave little spiders that had managed to come on board in spite of the conkers we had stuffed behind the curtains.
So to the embarrassing but short list of things we had forgotten:
· How/where to turn the water pump back on – that confusion was momentary, to be fair, and not necessary as the DWM people had done it, and filled the tank – which we discovered after David had belayed miles of hose to the tap a couple of jetties away from where we are moored …
· The ignition – where the hell should the key go? It was obvious that years of hiring from Black Prince where the ignition is on the same side as the throttle had left more of an imprint on the memory than 2 seasons of boating on Waka Huia – we were both hunting on the port side, even though the instrument panel is on the starboard side. Doh!!
· How to restore power to the freezer (answer: connect up the wires David and Barry disconnected before we left in Oct 2015)
But worst of all, and so bad that I had nearly erased it from my memory, was how to put the pram cover back together! Somehow or another, we managed to mess it up without giving either of us grounds for divorce. But it was a bloody close run thing.
Back in October 2015, I had (well, I think it was me) put red tape on the port side poles and the port side of the curved poles that join up with the starboard ones. And I’d put 1, 2 and 3 pieces of tape on showing the order of them. And I’d noted in the calendar for May 2016 (and then transferred that reminder to May 2017 when we didn’t come over last year) that red denoted port (of course it does – what colour is port, after all?).
· What I didn’t note was whether the one band denoted forward or stern.
· And what neither of us could remember was whether the single pole was forward or at the stern end.
· And what I didn’t check, as we started putting the framing back together was whether the holes for the lugs to slot into actually matched up with said lugs. No they didn’t, dammit, So all change with much teeth gritting!
· At last we thought we had it right.
So then it was on with the cover. Which of course was another mission of huge proportions. It’s like putting up an old heavy canvas tent. We managed to drop the frame on each other’s heads at different times, and I did some quiet swearing, and neither of those actions got the damn thing sensibly in place and fitting well.
We did stop for a soothing cup of tea, and while that was brewing (well, while the kettle was coming to the boil – making tea on board is much slower than using an electric kettle, so there is plenty of time to do the washing up, the vacuuming, make a batch of scones, , … And if the kettle is slow, the washing machine on a fast wash allows time to travel to London and back. Heaven knows what it would be like on a longer wash, and I am not planning to find out, thank you very much!) we hunted for a photo of the pram cover to see if we could confirm the positions we had put the poles in is correct.
I found a photo on the blog and we did have them in the right place, so off I went out on my own to see if I could make it all work without jeopardising my marriage or resorting to biffing the pram cover into the cut to make somebody else’s day by having it wrap around their prop (see, Jaq, I am considerate really …) I thought it made sense to slacken off the straps – why didn’t I think of that sooner? I also thought it made sense, given I am such a short arse, to drape the cover over the frame with it lying on the roof, instead of being up in position – why didn’t I think of that sooner?
Yes! At last!! Success!!! So out came David to help get it all finished off and erected properly. And apart from feeling embarrassed at how inept we looked to the other boaters around us in the marina, we were very pleased to have sorted it. We are such numpties! I can just imagine my dad or our son Tim looking at us struggling and wondering what on earth we thought we were doing having a boat when we are both so non-DIY.
My first task after that was done was to enter a detailed description of the pole differentiation and the process. I haven’t quite gone to the lengths of drawing up a process flow diagram, but it may come to that …