Sunday, 29 June 2008

Lazy Day

Well we were all a bit knackered today! After tea, we went for a walk round Preston marina, up to the lock with Alan and Chris. Going into (and out of it) last night is all a blur to me!
Later on we went for a couple of drinks at a nearby pub.
Here's some photos of our two boats inside the lock that I forgot to post yesterday…
Gates opening...

Going into Preston marina...
 Moored up together, it’s a tight squeeze and we'll be stuck like this for the next ten days! We managed to get electric hook up though, else we’d have been in a right old pickle…

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Nervous Voyage!

Departure time was 10.30am this morning for our trip to Preston Marina, we've set off a week early so we could get a good spot with electric hook up.
Another couple, (moored next to us at the marina) came in their boat just to Tarleton. It was like a flippin’ convoy. Then we all had a nice little buffet Chris had kindly prepared while we waited for “Harry the lock” to give us the green light.
About to set off, me sporting the latest in fashionable marine wear…!
The weather was kind, and another friend from the marina came with us for the crossing, to point out hazards and what to steer clear of etc. So here's some photos of our first trip down a river (the Douglas), across the Ribble estuary, round 5 mile perch, onto another river (the Ribble) into the Preston docks. PHEW!!!
On the Rufford branch going past a boat yard with the lock coming into view that takes you onto the River Douglas...
Going into the lock...
Onto the river Douglas…
Cardboard cut out cows at the side of the river? They were the real deal (well I thought I saw one of them move anyway). So we decided they had to either be waiting for a bus, or for us to make a mistake so they could have a good laugh...
Out onto the estuary. Never knew our boat could go so fast! I mean we were talking REAL WAVES here! Undeterred I took the tiller for a while before and after 5 mile perch, talk about flexing the muscles...
Five mile perch, now it's important to remember to go round the left of it, BUT NOT TO ACTUALLY TURN LEFT. Else you end up out at sea...
Headed towards Preston down the River Ribble...

These last three photos are a bit dark because it was coming up to 9.30pm by then. This one's us entering the MASSIVE lock at Preston dock...
Headed for our moorings, as you can see, there were a few narrowboats there already...

After we'd moored up got settled in. Jack took Dave and Alan back to St Mary’s, so they could all collect their cars and bring them here (handy that!)
I stayed with Chris after they'd gone and we had a good natter about our experiences of today.
Later on when they got back, they brought fish n’ chips with them, don't think any of us realised how hungry we were till then…!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Ship Shape And Bristol Fashion?

Worked hard today getting TT ready for tomorrow, and the trip to Preston Dock. We originally thought we were setting off today. But when Alan checked with "Harry The Lock" our crossing had to be between 6-7pm tomorrow (Saturday). All thanks to low tides being in charge this weekend. (Has to be nine metres for a widebeamer).
Call this a woman thing, but I gave TT a good clean up this afternoon, whilst being wary of not putting my back out again. It was a fine balance, but it worked, (even helped to strengthen it a bit more I think). ¨
Dave came home from work and started going through the checklist of things to do. Or "boat prep for sea-worthiness while several major tech items don´t work" as I called it.

This is the anchor we've borrowed, by gum that's big! Good enough for the QE2 I think, Alan brought it round in a wheelbarrow.

Monday, 23 June 2008

The New Roof

Here's a photo of the newly painted roof, the ducks haven't been near since, (phew) and what a lovely job David...

Alan has been trying to arrange our crossing of the River Douglas with "Harry the Lock" for next weekend, (on our way to the Riversway Festival). There's low tides for most of that time, not good news, looks like we'll have to moor up at Tarleton on Friday and be patient.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Confused Ducks

Dave decided to "tackle the roof" today because it had some scratches on it that needed sorting. They were only tiny, but he had to sand them out into circles and then use primer. So it looked a bit like TT had measles afterwards.
HOWEVER the two rather portly ducks pictured below thought differently. From the air the primer must've looked like bits of bread. So they landed on the roof and started pecking and poking at Dave's handiwork, fortunately it was dry by then.

They weren't deterred by his gentle arm waving "shoo" dance either, so he tried a gentle prod with one of the poles instead. Aha! We thought it had done the trick when they flew off, but they promptly returned about two minutes later.
We decided to give up and just take photos of them, Dave said he didn't mind as long as "they don't shit on the roof." Needless to say there was a nice little package sat there later on. I told him they must've heard him.

Quack Quack…

Monday, 9 June 2008

Preston Riversway Boat Festival Plan

Made some plans with Alan and Chris for our trip to Preston Riversway Boat Festival in a couple of weeks. We're setting off a week early to get good moorings with electric hook up, but shush, don't tell anybody else.

We need a plan because our inverter isn't working, AGAIN. And we have no boiler, but that´s a whole other story…

We won´t let this crippled boat put us off...

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Faulty Inverter Meets Fawlty Towers

Something I didn't mention in my posts about our recent voyage was a "minor" problem that occurred after we moored up. Apart from the fact that we haven’t had a boiler that works for months, when we went out the inverter packed up too. What the hell next...???

The inverter worked for about 90 minutes after we'd moored up on Thursday evening, then made a VERY LOUD whining noise that signals low power (and makes you fall off your chair).

Dave had just packed up his many items of fishing tackle and it was a case of "Now what?" We tried running the engine for half an hour, which of course was a no-brainer because it had been running all day on the journey.

So we put it out of our minds (in the same compartment as the boiler) and ended up playing scrabble at the back of the boat under the glow of triple AAA powered lights.

Forwards to today: We’ve spent a lot of time doing research online trying to learn more about inverters. But the more we looked into it, the more it turned into a "Tardis" of a problem, there were more possible causes of such a problem than we ever expected.

In conclusion we contacted a guy who's supposed to be THE best. After all that´s still not happening with the boiler. We listen to advice from friends now rather than marina managers... I mean Dave's an engineer himself, and can usually work stuff like this out. But "could be this" and "could be that" IS TOO VAGUE.

After that we gave up with it for now. This poor crippled boat, and poor us having to deal with it. Takes a LOT to make us both feel so fed up...

On a brighter note we booked a weekend at a hotel in Torquay online, so we could go to our grand-daughter's christening in July. A mere four hours later we found one, why so long? We were booking for some other family members too, which made it more complex. PLUS they've chosen the same weekend as a Lifeboat Men's Convention. So everywhere's booked up!
Then we noticed a hotel that just looked like Fawlty Towers. (Hello Basil). So we booked it because we'd got past caring by that time, it seemed to have character and charm. If I remember rightly the proprietor had a rather unfortunate name. [Just don't mention the Germans..]