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.

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