Monday 20th July
Arrived about lunchtime, relieved to see Grace still afloat. First thing, checked the cabin bilge – It’s dry, that’s GOOD news. Then checked the engine bilge - not such good news as there is quite a bit of water in there. The cockpit drains must have overflowed. Terry has a cunning plan to fix that.
Fitted some LED bulbs in place of the 10W halogen bulbs. This should cut our lighting electricity use to 10%, but are they bright enough?
We moved the boat over to the water point to make loading the 7’ long futon aboard safer. Fed the bits in OK, and put it together which is a bit tight. Well, it fits but it’s BIG and looms rather, but it will do for now. The green swivel chair has to go – our friend Tim will be pleased to have it back home!
While it was port-side-to, Terry put some more of 'Captain Tooley’s creeping crack cure' round portholes, in another attempt to seal the leaks. Left the engine running to get some hot water. Then moved the boat back to the pontoon and hooked up the mains.
Chris started fitting the new knobs and handles to the cupboards and drawers – a great improvement. Meanwhile I mopped out the engine bilge and set up the new mag mount for the TV aerial. We're pleased it’s quick and easy to deploy, and stores out of the way OK. Much better than the previous system.
Tuesday 21st July
RAIN ! It’s persisting down and one porthole is leaking still - Terry is not happy!
Set to fitting hour meter at top of electric cupboard and for once the job went smoothly. Encouraged by this, Terry set to putting yet more pipe insulation in the rear cupboards. Meanwhile Chris sorted the curtains (the hold-backs were not at all consistent or symmetrical, and most of them had to be re-positioned) and fitted more knobs and handles.
Ran engine for ½ hr and the new hour meter works - YES! - and fired up the boiler with the rads off to try to get some hot water. Got enough for a shower but it was cold by the morning. Terry suspects that the calorifier is back siphoning through the engine, as the pipes stay warm for ages after the engine stops.
Started to de-rust the front port locker – this is going to be an epic, the MORONS that built this boat put the drain holes about 6mm up from the bottom so they don’t drain!
Wednesday 22nd July
The rain has stopped but its cold and blowing a gale - this is supposed to be a barbecue summer - another met office myth.
I went back to de-rusting the locker and had a go at grinding the drain hole to lower it. Well this is going to take a while, as there is a rubbing strip on the outside so I’m trying to chew through 12mm of steel. I need a grinder with attitude and all I have is my drill and a ½” wheel - oh well, back to the grind. Got all the rust out and sprayed Exit Rust inside the locker liberally.
Then I rewired the tunnel light to enable me to fit the new folding table in the cratch. It fits very nicely and I’m looking forward to relaxed meals and or drinks out there if the weather ever improves enough that is. Fitted ball catches to the front doors - that should stop them blowing open.
Meanwhile, Chris was out shopping, and when she got back put up a caddy in the bathroom.
Thursday 23rd July
John arrived to fix the water tank filler - an “easy” job that turned into a bit of an epic as he had trouble finding a suitable size bit of flexible pipe to join them. But he got there in the end, and now it’s like it should have been done in the first place.
Meanwhile I topped up the batteries and cut notches in the cockpit drains to stop the cross member overflowing (I hope). Then I primed the de-rusted locker ready for blacking the next day. Also had another nibble at the drain hole, but didn’t make much impact on it.
The gas ran out – only lasted 10 days, and as that only included ¾ hr using the boiler it seems a bit short. Ran the water tank down to ¼ full before sterilising it with a bottle of Milton. Now the water pongs a bit of chlorine, so we ran it through and took the tank down as low as we dare, before refilling it. Took 29 bricks out from the port swim and replaced them with 30” of railway line. The trim is about right now.
Finally the wind dropped, and as it was a nice evening we took a cruise all the way to the Brownsover arm – about an hour away. On our return showers came through, and we saw a spectacular double rainbow worth getting soaked for.
Friday 24th July
While Chris washed the sheets, I took the bed apart to get at the pipe work underneath. Fitted even more pipe insulation, but didn’t set the accumulator up on this occasion due to the lack of air pump. Blacked the locker, had lunch, and then set off for York and granddaughter Josie's 6th birthday celebrations.
We got lots done, and the boat is starting to feel like home.
Grace pages established 2009, updated 2013