Diary - Feb 18th 2017

Lena diary - 18th Feb 2017

Sunday 6pm - dank, drizzley and cold easterly. First time down to boat since Dec. Things over Christmas and committments to my sister who has Altzheimers sort of get in the way - sad - but there - who knows what is in store in this life ? - its a lottery !

Arrived Sat late afternoon - boat ok, intact. Signs of few months shut up - makes me clean things ! - small black mould spots pop up where there is any grease.

Generally - if the engine bilge is dry the boat stays very dry. Some rain is getting in at the back of the bridgedeck at the base of the cabin hatches ? This tends to drip down into the engine bilge. Not much - a teacup at most - but its the difference between a dry boat and a 'dryish' boat !

Trouble is she settles on the berth mud stern up a bit - so water accumulates around there.

Just 6pm - more or less dark with the thick cloud. Have brought a guitar with me ( learning to play some classical guitar - just made a few guitars. Surprisingly little room on a small boat to play guitar ! )

Generally I pass my time reading Hans Christian Anderrsen fairly stories and radio 3 on a cheap radio - or old music on the mp3 old phone ( old as in 1650 not 1950 ! ) - while marooned in a sea of mud. Not exactly the glamourous yachting lifetyle of white beaches, blues seas and scantily clad ladies sipping pimms.

Some elderly women walk their dogs - but even the dogs seem to have seen better days !

Done little to the boat except clean the brdgedeck of green slime. Scraped off the starboard engine bed ready for some rust treatment. I have measured up for new bed steels - cheap enough to buy - but - big but - if I have any problems with the mounts lifting it - they are big bucks ( like 100 a corner Yanmar - if aftermarket, still around £45 each and I would have to buy four ) They look ok - and three of the main bolts are moving fine and would free - the last can be released at the engine angle connection. But I have no way of really knowing their condition until they are out ?

Also - with the engine out - I may find other issues with what the steels are bolted to ? ( the original hardwood beams glassed into the hull )

So it could get a little involved - for now another year I think. I would be nice to have the engine out - just for a good clean up and inspection of the lower timing casing etc - and it gives me the chance to properly re-paint the engine bilge area - and get to the lower transom rudder mount ! Thats the only original fixing on the boat that has not been re-fixed. Although it is bronze - and - bronze bolts.

I do play my guitar - best I could find for position was sitting on the engine step - I could then see my music on the table. A guitar is very awkward when sitting in a slightly different position ! Nice though - I like old music and much stuff for classical guitar is a healthy 1550 or something - good stuff. The Spanish stuff is also quite addictive - there is a sound there thats good.

Just too cold really at the moment for unheated boats and dark evenings. Bed at 11 listening to music - just to warm up.

Batteries good though ( new service last year ) - solar panel doing its job. My converted strip lights are a boon - caravan shop had strip of led @ 12v - you can snip them to any length you need in multiples of three. 2m length did all my lights - 15 in each strip - 6 in the dome bulb lights - stalk - did the lot one evening. The opaque lenses work nicer then the clear. The strips pull about 0.25 amps - which is way better than 8w flouro - and the domes with just 6 leds are way lower - and mugh brighter than the original 10w. I just never used the domes before. Cost - £2.40 a metre - total £5.80. You do not need the flyleads - they are not good connection ( press on ) They solder nicely on the copper strip.

Uphill yard and moorings is beginning to resemble the setting for some late night horror film - getting a little run down - many disused boats dragged up onto unkempt, drying, grasssed up berths - quite a few ownwers died last year ( well they are all pretty old - maybe the channel sailing was wearing em out a bit ? ) Although - at last fixed they have fixed the boat hoist - so I could get a lift out if I needed to. Was tempted - maybe when my quarterly rent is up end March - needs it really.

The whole yard is for sale - or it was last year. Probably go for its caravan aspect which is being developed tidily. No changes yet though it would seem.

Maybe a new concern might want to lease off the boating side. If the rent was right - and one could live in the yard building - it would appeal for someone who was just keen on boats and needed a small income. Its no goldmine for any investment. Even fifity moorings or hard standings is only 50 grand a year - some lifts out and use of slipway. You would need to be doing something profitable in the boatyard workshops to make ends meet and any rental costs.

It would really - really - suit WBYC as a club headquarters. They control all the mooring on the river as it is - and have some input into the saltings common land. Their place on the beach is useless really - except as a rather unique bar !
At least this year I qualify for offical penisioner club fees - £60 quid less ( until they manage to change the rules ! - they keep trying, too manys oldies voting it down !

Geoff - Feb 2017.

Started all this in 2002 - still here ! Have sailed 1400 miles though, to a lot of those places I used to dream about !

25-26 Feb 2017

Sat - arrive late night. Uphill very qqiet - a few motorhomers, a few brave ducks and me !

Just chaged gas supplies to propane - same bottle size - deposit will swap ok. So new bottle now is propane and have new reg to fit and new hose ( lets not skimp things ! ) - for when the current runs out.

I have another spare bottle - so may swap that and use the butane up at home on the big blowtorch.

(that would be better propeane as well - hotter )

Sunday job was to remove mainsail - for a clean - and I have new webbing to sew on - that properly fits the buckles ! ( 30mm ) Its been driving me mad for three years ( googdkarma now - tape that fits the buckle )

Take teh seagull off he rail and nearly lose it in the mud - bracket snapped in two ! So thats off for modification - needs a ss plate through the middle plus new ply.

Also scrubbed the cockpit teak slatting - had the mainsheet off for a 'washing machine treat'

( the joys of being single ) Must see if they list Vanish Rope Oxy action at Tescos ?

Still cold and wet - and the boat seems damper than normal ? A weekend when its cold does nothing to dry the boat - quite the reverse really - extra condensation, sleeping cooking etc - no time to dry.

Need to stay Sunday as I'm off to Martock to visit a local specilaist woodyard Mon - Weston is half the trip.

Wild night here - 7pm dark have a HW - adjust the springs.

Still considering lazy jacks ? I actually have them made up - they are in a bag below marked 'very lazy jacks' . Not fitted the blocks to the spreaders yet. It all gets involved if wanting a stackpack set up.

I was just going to have the jacks - then when dropped, sail tie it - drop the lines and use the old cover as is ?

Would be fairly simple to make a stack pack.

It was cold dark and rainy night - I like that staying aboard the pontoons - wind and rain are friendly companions, when dry - and not knowing who might be afoot ? Light summer nights, warm and no breath of wind - eveything is so silent you hear the slightest thing - and wonder what it might be.

Probably a fox farting three miles away - Uphill is so quiet !

March 11th 2017

Down to lena again late Sat, have some water this weekend - 12.6 tide. Still unsettled and cold - NE, cloudy and little sun.


Did a bit - treated the engine bed that's rusted, scraped and Flag purple gunge !

Had the elbow off the exhaust - since i had a new gasket - to check for corrosion. Ok - thankfully. No worse than when I had the head off three years back.

Washed own the topsides - by which tine I had damp trousers, cold feet and getting dark !

I'm sure they don't do this in Cannes marina.

Still - a pleasant evening in store of aberdeen angus burgers fried in a little chilli, fresh ginger and soy - with my own choc cake and whipped cream. And I have a guitar with me so I will try murdering a little Gasper Sanz. At least he's older than my boat !

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