Thursday, December 25, 2008

I blame Santa Claus

I have been on board the narrowboat Abigail Jenna for 3½ days. The total number of jobs I have been able to complete seems to be just one.

Not to be caught out I had carried out some research through the canal discussions on the internet on the subject of washing machines. I didn’t want to get one that wouldn’t work onboard. I had already noticed that the electric kettles were all more powerful than I wanted to use. Luckily the travel kettle I had purchased for the OU summer schools worked fine.

The washer turned up on Monday as promised just as I arrived at the marina. Oops. Rather larger than I expected as I had bought the same model as one already in use on a boat. It was huge. Well it was bigger than the hole that it was supposed to fit in. Never mind it wont take long to alter that. BUT where are the tools? Home! Fetch the tools. So that is Monday gone and nothing done.

Tuesday. Need to go to the bank today so that rots up doing any work to get the washing machine in. At the moment it is sat in the steering position under cover. Still I can pick up a few more odds and ends.

Wednesday. The 240v went off line last night. Still the batteries have only been on board a few days and the engine hasn’t been run to fully charge them. Run the engine then to charge up – easy – problem solved. Except the engine won’t start. No power. Have to use the jump leads to start it from the car battery. Where are the jump leads? Home.

Mustn’t waste all the time. I can fill up the fresh water tank while I think of what to do next. Hmmmmm. Although I had brought the tap connectors with me I didn’t have the right one from the tap. Get one when I get some leads.

Items needed purchased and back on board. Water going into the tank so on to the engine. Climb into the compartment and fit jump leads. Nothing. Check all the switches are on. Nothing had a word with friendly neighbouring boater who knew the engine. And he noticed the isolator was out. Put it in and switched on. Nothing. Couldn’t easily get at the engine compartment as the washing machine is sat on the hatch but eventually he found a blown fuse. Hooray. Engine starts first time and batteries charging. While the engine is running use the tools to alter the washer position and an hour later the machine is in.

Thursday. It must have been Santa Claus fault. Dash the cat is only now venturing forth and during yesterday evening must have gone out. At 0600 there was an almighty commotion outside. It seems that he must have been frightened by some reindeer passing over and commenced to fall into the canal. He managed to get out by himself and made a mad dash for the narrowboat and laid a trail a water throughout. I hadn’t realised just how much water a cat can hold.

Took the boat out and charged batteries and after stopping engines gave it a trial start just to make sure that it could do it.

Lets hope that things run somewhat more smoothly in future.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Afloat again

Monday was not the best day to have a trial run.

Abigail was out of the drydock by the time I arrived. All the checks had been made to make sure that the canal was staying outside and she was ready to go.

It is only a short run to the lock but even here there was a small problem as the ice did not really want to move and I found the boat moving sideways. After a quick reverse I lined up and broke up the ice before the lock was reached.

The lock at Thorne still has a problem with one of the paddles not dropping completely and water is coming in almost as fast as it is going out.

Alan's brother-in-law from Scotland was on board for a ride and stood in the bows getting frozen. He did look slightly worried as we entered the lock as the lock is listed as being 61 ft 8 in in length and the boat is 60 ft. I did manage to stop before hitting anything. It is believed that those at home won't believe that he has been narrow-boating but you can just see his head at the bows of the boat.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Third Time Lucky

As I have said before - Abigail Jenna does not like the cold canal water. As if to prove this point she developed a leaking stern gland which her present owner Alan decided to correct in the Stanilands Dry dock.

There are no two ways about it - she is going to go into the water and she will get used to it - or else. What the 'or else' is I don't know but that it is in reserve.

As few people have seen both Abigails together there was a thought that one of them did not exist. To correct this opinion here we have them both with Abz eating - as she was asked - eating the apple second and before the chocolate cake.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She didn’t want to get wet.

The great day arrived and I only just made it in time to see Abigail hoisted onto the trolley for the first small leg of her journey.

But she didn’t want to go. With an audience of boaters from the marina Kevin & John were gritting their teeth and were not treated to rounds of applause as they worked. Having been put safely onto the trolley she then managed to find a nice soft patch to sink into up to the axle. The crane was re-employed to lift her up while the hole was filled.

With a little to-ing and fro-ing she was lined up to the ramp and the canal. But she still wasn’t happy with getting wet. Taken to the edge of the ramp she should have slipped serenely into the water. Did she? Like heck she did. She had to have assistance from the onlookers to get her in.

Finally afloat I thought she looked rather good in the sun. I had complained :-) about the muddy footprints on the roof and it was intimated that at that moment it would not be a good time to mention it to John.

The trial run is on Saturday when Abigail Jenna will be helping to take nb Abigail Jenna for a trip. It’s a pity that the crane couldn’t have come today as it is Abz 8th birthday so Saturday will be part of a birthday treat for her.