Monday, 25 January 2010

On the move again

The first boat to pass us passed several days ago. The ice has completely gone now. We are now going to move down to the end of the canal for the next month until we are due at Ashby Canal Centre for the bottom to be blacked. Then out into the main line. It's good to compare the disco boat passing at half past seven in the evening when everyone is eating and chatting with the return journey when everyone is drunk and shouting. We have also been down to the water point to fill and empty the relevant containers.

The boat behind me is one of those boats so hated by many as he is a continuous moorer. He is also the owner of another narrowboat that is currently being fitted out. I've seen photos of his other boat over the years but it's not in it's original state hence the fact that he is refitting it.

I first saw a picture of it on reading one of the canal magazines. It was one of four that was owned by the Royal Navy as recruiting props in the mid seventies. All four boats were made to look like Royal Naval ships or submarines. His was the one that was the frigate. I always wondered what happened to them as did others judging by the letters in the magazines. I've tried to find a photo of the boats in their original state but have been unable to.

We will be putting the flooring down next month as it should be easier to keep clean than the ply that is already there. I'll also put the holes in the hull for the washing machine and kitchen sink drains (no, we don't even have a kitchen sink yet) when we are out of the water at the end of next month. Lisa also wants t&g in the bedroom. Back to the seventies methinks. And I'm having t&g in the back cabin. Copycat.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Smug git. That's me.

The ice around the boat used to crack and  groan when we moved about the boat but hasn't done so now for about a week. We are well and truly fastened to the frozen canal. There used to be a unfrozen gap around the hull and the width of the gap depended on the air/water temperature. There hasn't been a gap for several days. We will be here for the foreseeable future like everybody else. At least a week. We have access to our car so water, Elsan, fuel, groceries and going to the pub are not a problem.

Very pleasant
I do a water run every day and the tank is just under full all the time. We have a months fuel and coal and the boat is perpetually warm, hot even. It's tee shirts inside at all times and the temperature would have to sink to minus thirty before we may have to think about jumpers. We don't want to sound smug but that's how we feel. Hell, it's only the coldest winter since 1963. It'll have to do a lot better than that if it wants to catch us out. By the way, 1963 was the death knell of the last of the working boats as they were frozen in for three months and the goods normally carried by them were transferred to the roads and never came back.

Note the water containers up front
We have all become constant moorers whether we wish to obay the rules or not. Not even bridge hoppers any more but fully fledged scum. This should sort the men from the boys, sheep from the goats and the wheat from the chafe. All those with the high tech facilities on-board had better hope that they keep working. Low tech will always work, high tech may not. Good luck.

We are so pleased not to be tied to the electricity grid, gas pipeline and water mains. Generating our own, or at least, responsible for emptieng and collecting our basic services. This is most certainly the life for us.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Iced in again (just like everybody else)

It's got beyond a joke now. This is the third week we have been iced in here with a short break of four days when we could move (so it's not really three weeks at all). Many of the liveaboards have migrated to the few water points in the area after the last freeze. We were not so bright. I go and get two containers of water every day and this keeps the water tank more or less filled.  nbAtlas came through the day before yesterday but I wasn't around to see it. It's a deep draughted boat but I'm not sure what difference that makes, whether it's easier to punch through or not. It's now stopped at the Sutton Cheney water point. Possibly desperate not to get caught out.

I'm busy trying to empty all out stuff from my workshop/back cabin as this was where it was all placed for the holidays and for the benefit of our visitors. I need to start generating income again. Tomorrow I have to disassemble and rebuild our double bed several inches less wide and several inches higher to allow our storage boxes to fit underneath and to allow a better clearway down the side. All my spare timber has been cut up for fuel for our stoves. This wasn't really my choice as I like to keep spare timber around for odd jobs but I will just have to buy it as I need it as I don't have the space for spare.

It was quite cold last night. Indeed, so cold we had to turn the Rayburn up a quarter of a turn. I don't hear anyone saying the Rayburn is too warm for a boat at the minute. I'm sure there are some who are really quite envious although, I'm also sure that they won't be admitting it. Open that hatch, it's far too hot in here.

Lisa is now back to work but Terri is now here for a couple of days enjoying the benefit of her own room. She has been on the same materess since she was born and it is very comfortable. The bed itself started as a bunk bed but was cut down to a single and finally cut down again to fit in the boat.