I can't day dream as right now I don't have the time. OK so I am writing this before I leave work but I have been here getting close to 10 hours already...
I always get post boat blues after being on board and we had such a great long weekend, cruising in the autumn is so exceptionally good, anyone who has done it knows why and if you haven't don't bother starting now ;-)
Anyhow tonight I am going to drink wine and dream of not working and being busy like Bruce & Heth and no doubt all you other lucky (or brave) live-a-boards/retirees. I do not wish to seem disrespectful, especially as both are making homes in my neck of the woods, but I'd like your type of busy right now.
Take care and please don't take this post too seriously, I won't and will be back at work in the morning !!
PS I ended my weekend cruise yesterday with a quick rod and reel experience, a little bread saw me lift our a really great Chubb from about 6 inched from 'Don't Panic's' counter. It never ceases to amaze me the quality of the fish in the T&M. But Dave needs to know about the bailiffs at Willington....
Last night the weather men could not make up their minds on the weather for the midlands. So it was when we woke to a perfect morning one way was sun the other was mist. We had both as we cruised to the east to Stenson in glorious sun then winded and headed back to the mist.....
Our mooring last night
Looking back to the gloom as we head towards Stenson
We stopped off at Mercia to get a few supplies, we shopped at the trading post to support them rather than stop in Willington itself. We saw Sanity again in her new spot then drooled over a 90k Hudson. I took to the galley to prepare pasta as Rachel cruised us out of Willington.
As we passed Shobnall I saw Granny Buttons in the services but no sign of Andrew, Rachel alerted me to him as I was walking on with Leia and we had a brief chat, always good to see and talk to Andrew.
Now we are at Branston water parks fire lit food cooking beer being consumed....
Took a trip out to Willington today and met....... one boat, a Shakespeare hire boat just before we moored up. That's just short of 6 hours of cruising and only one boat , it was great, we passed Batron turns full of boats and no doubt Mercia is the same all safely moored up so we can enjoy the canal to ourselves. Having moored up just before it got dark about 2 hours later we were passed by three boats, cruising in complete darkness. The last obviously winded in Willington as he was the same boat shining a powerful torch into the margins - what he was looking for I'm not sure.
The water is so clear as there is no traffic, we saw four pike, the last one was well over 15 pounds and about two foot long, a real canal monster. We also saw a kingfisher as well as a cormorant ( don't they stay underwater a long time)
Just a great cruise so thank you to all those boaters who stayed put, plus BW for the Stenson stoppage ;-)
Ps if you can donate tonight to Children in need please do so, let's show we still have a sense of balance in this country supporting those who need our help, however tight finances are.
It was a really dull morning So the house got cleaned the loft sorted and food shopping done then we took a nice walk from Willington to Finden and back. The sun was out now and there were quite a few like minded souls doing the same thing.
There was one boat moving between the stoppages and it sounded just great in the dusk .....
...not the canals, as we know they are going to be a charity. This is about hospital care... clicky here
It is the final straw I feel in the drive for profit over performance. Sure they will turn it around but it will come at the cost to the patient, and profit will be taken. I fully object to poorly run public services, I am in the semi public service now (Education) but with correct management and focus services can be provided that deliver value for money. If it goes private there has to be an element of profit that should otherwise have been used for the care of the patient.
My overriding concern is as this government put our last key service to the market it will eventually be run by foreign companies that certainly have the profit imperative.
Ultimately I feel ashamed my generation has squandered an opportunity to do better and my children will reap the harvest of austerity that is sure to come. I feel we will have a decade or even a generation of which there will be little reward other than hard work and pressure to survive financially and therefore socially.
Not much of a legacy really is it?
PS I did say it was not all about canals in my title ;-)
We were aboard the weekend of the 16th October and took a walk up to Kings Bromley with a picnic. Picnicing in the middle of October seems a little surreal but so is the weather.
The ground was bone dry - dusty even as can be seen in this pic....
The walk from Kings Bromly to Woodend Lock is a real favorite. These are our treasured weekend moorings as they are so peaceful, little pedestrian traffic makes it from Fradley this far so even more tranquility.
Ok, sorry it is a little inappropriate title but I could not resist it.
This was a problem tree to me and I blogged about it here....clicky
My intention was to cut the rolls down I acquired and I recently took the chainsaw to them to make this nice looking pile...
They are now undercover drying some more ready to burn over winter. It will allow me to burn wood during the day and then use my coal for overnight warmth.
I feel better that the tree is going to be put to good use. It also has justified my purchase some time ago of the electric chainsaw. I'd prefer a petrol model but this one sorted some large logs working with the genny.
I was walking Leia this morning when I heard the thumping engine sound of a boat going into Common lock. It soon became apparent it was Chertsey making a dash (long dash) from the tidal Trent to Stretton via an engine repair and the Fradley stoppages tomorrow, Monday.
I introduced myself and had a chat with Hairy Neil and Paul who were the crew for the trip. It seems they has got involved with beer at pubs in Barton Under Needwood culminating in a late night at the Waterfront at Barton Turns marina.
They were remarkably fresh for their 1.30am bedtime ! I took Leia back to the boat setting Hunts for them, then got my windlass and helped lock them through Fradley.
So Sarah, the have cleared Fradley by about 7 hours as they left Shadehouse at 10am its a clear run to Stretton for the pairing with the butty.
It was good to see and hear such a fine boat..... temped you bet !
Chertsey passing Hunts lock waiting for Keepers
Out of Shadehouse with all the stoppage equipment sitting waiting until tomorrow....just in time, well done Neil and Paul
There has been a rash of solar panel installs along our moorings. I had been mulling over the benefits for some while. I can understand a liveaboards opting for them but for a casual use boat like ours??
One thing that was getting to me was having to run the engine before we left so the batteries were topped up, normally after our last night aboard. This just seemed to waste diesel as well as the lovely tank of hot water ! So I got to thinking how good it would be if we could walk away from Waterlily after a nights use of power and come back next time to a fully charged up bank of batteries, almost magic.
So I talked to my fellow moorers, talked to Shobnall and did my Internet research. I came close to buying from Andy at Shobnall but was a little put off over his answer to my question regarding MPPT v's PWM controllers. As I intended to have this panel for some time I wanted to get the most from it. I also read that PWM controllers were not giving the smartgauge 100%. I don't pretend to understand much of the jargon but I was sold on the fact the MPPT types get more out of the panel and into the batteries - simple decision then.
I opted for a 135w Kyocera panel and a sunsaver MPPT from Midsummer They were very efficient in the delivery and did not charge extra for the longer cables I ordered.
I did not want to drill my roof..... and was not too bothered at this time about angling the panel. I did want to be able to remove it for maintenance so I opted for taxi sign magnets from EBay (guaranteed upot to 70mph ??). Perfect fitting and I have it protected from theft with a very able cable lock drilled to the plank holder.
I did the install myself in a couple of hours. I left it just completed and was really pleased to come back 24 hours later to 100% on the smartgauge. It is great when a plan comes together.
In fact we have been on board three or four times now and not run the engine. Last time we lit the stove and had tepid water as well. I expect we will run the engine for its own good and to give us hot water but once we have a tank full I am hoping the stove will keep the water hot via the new calorifier I fitted a few weeks back.
A few bad pics as it was getting dusky when I took them. One thing I am impressed with it how little light there needs to be for a charge to go into the batteries. The controller has quite a few useful settings to support the batteries and it also has an RJ11 socket that allows me to collect 30 days of data off the controller as well as dynamic data if needed. Needless to say I have done the connections adn will post some stuff later on its performance.
I know we have only had Waterlily painted just over a year, but whatever you do the paint will fade/wear/get damaged. I am a fund saver type person so rather than get hit with another magnificent bill in about six years time I am going to start a fund for the next repaint. It is tempting fate as who knows what will happen in the next six or so years, but sods law says if I do not then six years will come by very quickly and Waterlily will look tatty again.
The added benefit is I can relax and not worry too much about the odd dink and scrape. There are plenty of boats that do not move in case they get marked I'm sure. I am at that time in my life the benefit of use it much more than the effort of maintenance - my motorbike is testament to that !
So say £75 a month going forward will be salted away under a mattress or even in a bank somewhere for 'the future'