Friday, November 28, 2008

Look-out Canal Here We Come

Boatmans Cabin

I now have a day for the arrival of the crane. Next Tuesday is to be D-Day and the start of life for nb Abigail Jenna.

I picked up the transfers for the name panel from Raynards - Sign-makers of Caistor - and at £15 per side I thought very reasonable. It was in fact the same price as the lettering for Mozart 4 years ago.

This is going to be the week-end to collect together all the items that will be needed to have a narrow boat in the water. It will need ropes, boat hook and fenders, both for the sides and fore & aft. I already have a Sea Magnet which is very handy if you are prone to dropping the windlass into the lock.

I hope to be on hand when the boat hits the water armed with camera to record the moment. Although the sale will not be finalised until the successful trial run I think we can say that the likelihood of a failure seems remote. With this in mind I have started my Log Book. The Log book is one that I have designed and made using my bookbinding skills and which I hope will be a source of employment once afloat.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Picking the Name Plate Design

We are now just waiting for a crane to become available to put Abigail Jenna into the water. It is hoped that this will be done by the second week in December.

Over the past few weeks I have been deliberating on the new nameplate that I will need. After a number of trials I came up, with some help from Abz, with the example above.

I am still undecided as to whether the name should be further out of the frame but I think that this will be very much like the one that will be put onto the narrowboat.

One of the first trips that I shall make is from Blue Water at Thorne via River Trent to the Humber and thence through the lock at South Ferriby and up to Brigg. A couple of weeks here should be sufficient for me to load up the boat with all my goods and chattels before moving on to Lincoln and the Foss Dyke. This must be the oldest canal in the country and to call it a dyke is bit of an understatement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Abigail Jenna

Well this is it.

I am in the process of buying the nb Lady Piper. At the moment she is high and dry at Blue Water Marina. Whilst she is on dry land I am going to take the opportunity to change the name. Being ex-RN I feel (as do many others) it is unlucky to change a name whilst it is afloat.

Her new name is to be Abigail Jenna in honour of my grand-daughter who is, as you might guess, the very apple of my eye. Although I have been looking on-line for a number of months and found a few that were better equipped the advantage here was that it would not take me a week to get the boat to within striking distance of home to load up. That aside when I took ABZ out to look at boats I had already decided on Lady Piper and she duly told me off for "buying the first one you see". Serves me right for saying it to her so often when we are in shops.

Lady Piper is quite live-aboard-able but I will be making changes - as one does - to suit my new life style. I hope that living afloat will also give me chance to be a little bit more green - environmentally - by using solar panels and heating with fallen branches picked up as I travel.

As the boat changes I will record these with the camera and blog them periodically.

While I was searching for a narrowboat and had found Lady Piper I put the name into Google on the off chance that I would find some of her history. Well she did get a mention in a November 2006 on the Canal World Discussion Forum after she had arrived at Thorne. The feeling at the time was that it looked as though a bomb had gone off inside. As you can a lot of work has been undertaken to remove all the shrapnel and make her presentable.

Once she is in the water we can get to know each other.