Saturday, 30 May 2009

Day 8: Ailing back to port we must rename the boat

What a gorgeous day to be on the move, we set off back to the marina just before lunch. With three locks and a swing bridge to do, the first two were absolutely knackering, Dave had to help, because I nearly killed myself shutting the last lock gate!

It was then that I realised a week of partying had taken it’s toll, I was seriously dehydrated and on the verge of passing out! I know, I know, self-induced so no pity please, (physical burnout?)

Anyway we had plenty of time, so we moored up again for an hour, had some cheese on toast and lots of ice cold water from our “part-time” freezer, ah that’s better.

Our second attempt to meander reluctantly back to the marina was a bit more successful, we passed through the swing bridge and the last lock with little effort. Thereby proving the scientific theory that food and water get converted into energy pretty dam quick if necessary.

So moving swiftly on (before this turns into a human biology report) we arrived back about 5pm, and connecting up to shore power was priority number one. The inverter whirred into life and charged the batteries up to a steady 14V (Phew).

As reluctant as we were to have come to the end of our little excursion. We were both happy about having power to all our electrical friends back ON. It was such a relief to be able to switch a light on without doing any complicated calculations first. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to whip round with that hoover anytime soon!

It can stay in its cupboard and suffer in total disgrace for a while longer, sod the fluff balls that are rolling around the boat like giant tumble weeds in a Spaghetti Western. I’ll have to summon up courage from above and beyond before attempting to vacuum this desert.

Once we’d moored up, plugged up and filled up with water we went to the local pub for (another) meal, I mean we’re still on holiday right? While we were there I reminded Dave never to say he’s pleased with any new kit we might get for the boat again.

Only hours before everything went pear shaped he’d said these exact words: “Well I’m really pleased with our new setup, and how amazingly well it works."
Well at least we could laugh about it – the wine helped a lot…
As for TT herself, well I think I’m going to rename her, put an N in the middle and you’ve got:

“Toil n’ Trouble.” Rename? Bad luck? Nah, it couldn’t get any worse...

Weird as this may seem Diane and Steve are currently trying to sift through a myriad of different problems (on a much grander scale) with “Toil n’ Trouble 2.” They even have a “To Do” list. Good job we can all have a laugh about it eh? (And believe me WE DO). I mean some of these quirky problems border on being truly bizarre, but the timing of these failures is something else.  

At least (for us) with the major stuff it seems to be one thing at a time, for example the current THING isn’t with the new inverter / charger, or the batteries, it’s what they’re connected up to --- the alternator... 

Reminds me of a trail of breadcrumbs, each one bigger than the last, this doesn’t necessarily refer to cost, it’s more about importance. See we’ll get the alternator fixed, then the next crumb on this particular trail is the engine itself. [Of course one has to ask oneself if the darn boat really needs one anyway? I mean we can’t go anywhere without a major disaster occurring]

It may sound like I’ve been a bit melodramatic about this latest setback (what, me?). But last summer we were bounding up and down the canals, and an estuary with a temperamental boiler that wasn’t working proper. AND THERE WAS MORE, the old inverter expired not long after the boiler did. (RIP).

We were out at the time (obviously) and had to throw away ALL our food when we got back. So when we went across the Ribble Estuary for the Preston Riversway Festival, it was vital we go a few days early so we could get one of the moorings with electric hook up. Otherwise we’d have been coming back on the next tide.

So when I think about the crippled state the boat was in this time last year, looking on the positive side, this year’s palaver is but a drop in the ocean (or the canal), whichever.  
Since then we’ve learned the hard way that:

B O A T stands for “Bring Out Another Thousand”
But nay, despite everything we both still love our TT, whatever she gets called and whatever mutiny goes on, we will NOT be defeated.
One last thing before I bore you to sleep, a couple of days after the alternator had decided it wasn’t going to alternate properly. I remember pulling TT in with the middle rope (against the wind) shouting:
“C’mon you big bugger for crying out loud work with me,” and Dave said “Aww, don’t talk to her like that, you’ll upset her!”
[Oops, too late]

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