Wednesday 28 May 2014

Crick and Time Flies

Hi all
Sorry for not posting sooner.  Since last Wednesday we simply have not stopped.  I don't know why but I just have not had time to sit down an post until now.

So where to begin.  Friday started out nice and sunny.  After some overnight rain I dried off AmJyo again and set too polishing the Starboard cabin side.  

You guessed it, as I took the photo when I finished it started raining so I gave up and went below and did some cleaning chores inside.   It rained constantly for the rest of the day and was still coming down by morning.

After the rain Friday night getting Chris from Rugby station and parking the car in an already very muddy field was interesting to say the least and by time the crowds had arrived Saturday morning the fields were becoming reminiscent of a world war one battle zone with mud everywhere.   This continued throughout the many stalls causing the organisers to lay loads of straw down everywhere.   Having only trainers I purchased a pair of wellies and within an hour the stall holder had sold his entire stock of them.

The familiar wet sight Crick

Our mooring neighbours were getting into the spirit of the show and started to raise flags on their boats. One, Gary, raised his with a rendition of Dixie which had us all in hysterics.

Our neighbours Bill, Brian, Gary (in the hat) and his good lady
We managed to have a look round the show but to our dismay many of the stalls that sold items on our shopping list were absent though we did manage to buy a long boat pole to many comments about pole vaulting amongst others to dubious to mention.

Later in the afternoon whilst visiting the Fernwood stand ominous black clouds gathered

Minutes later the heavens opened up and  shortly after hailstones the size of garden peas battered the marina
, by now there was no one to be seen.

We finished the day off in a packed out beer tent listening to Toyah Willcox and a great evening was had with the lads from Fernwoods who built AmyJo.

Sunday was a much better day and the sun shone throughout.  Chris and I had promised Fernwoods to show interested customers around AmyJo so were kept pretty busy all day with a steady stream of people.  I have to say I was a bit dubious of this but to be fair all were respectful and took off their muddy boots and coats without being asked. It was clear some were just being nosey but the others were very interested in our experience asking lots of questions and it was nice to share advise we had been given when we were looking to have AmyJo built.

Monday passed in a flash but with the return of the wet weather.  We had several lovely surprise visits from bloggers and boat owners beginning with blogger, John (Halfie) and his wife, his blog can be found here (click).  It was a real pleasure to meet you and we're sorry we could not visit you on Jubilee, we simply ran out of time.

We also got to meet one of our twitter followers, @bsbnutter aka Mark and his wife.  We chatted for some time and it was good to meet them both.

Shortly after that Mike and Helen from nb Little Bear dropped by and we were keen to hear how they did on their recent cruise up the Llandgollen canal.  Seems like they had an interesting time and we enjoyed sharing post launch tales with them.

Later another knock and this time Adam and Adrian from nb Briar Rose (click) were stood at the door.  Thanks for visiting guys we really enjoyed our chat.

Last of all we had a real natter about boaty things when Tony and Sue from nb The old Masters dropped by.  Their boat is also a Fernwood boat and as we had met them the previous year being given a tour of their boat we reciprocated with a tour of AmyJo this time round. 

If I missed anyone out I do apologise.  We had so much fun chatting to all our visitors it made for a great time at show.

Thank you to all those who took the time to visit us and AmyJo we really enjoyed your company and it helped to make a fantastic time at the boat show for us.

With the show out of the way our thoughts are now turning to our trip up North to bring AmyJo to her home berth on the Shroppy and of course we be posting about that we hope.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Day 2 at Crick and rain stops play

Its all happening here at Crick today.  The Marquees are nearly all up and stall holders are setting out their wares.  Only 24 hours to go then its action stations.  More boats have been launched today and most of the show fleet are now in place and looking fantastic.

I was up and about at 8:30am this morning and glad to say the headache seems to be much better.  My plan was to wash and polish  outside AmyJo  today and then tomorrow spring clean inside.

All was going well and AmyJo had a good scrub to get all the duck do off her roof.  By lunchtime though ominous clouds were building and I just managed to polish the chromium when the heavens opened and rumbles of thunder could be heard in the distance so rain stopped all work and I sat in the cratch watching the lightning.  To coin a phrase used by Joe Lodge on Hadar (click) "it was certainly black over Bill's mums"

It rained for most of the afternoon but by tea time the sun made an appearance.  I had left my raincoat in the car so retrieved it and went for a wonder to see the show boats. Looks like there is going to be plenty to see but a word of warning.  Bring good shoes as the fields are likely to be a bit soggy underfoot.

Nutfield waiting to slot into her show berth

Raymond arrives and prepares to moor up

Next Nutfield Moors alongside Raymond

Canal boat magazine's latest review boat Posh Fox

And Achernar is here too, their blog is here (click)
Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and I can get the polish out but during the rain this afternoon I did manage to tidy the cratch and lay some new covering on the well deck.  What do you think?

Boules anyone?

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Not a good couple of Weeks

The last few weeks have not been good to me as Wednesday last I woke with a terrific headache.  Not a migraine but just as bad.  In fact it was causing me to feel nauseous when standing.  I took a few Parasetamol  but they did nothing to help.  I called in sick and went back to bed.

Chris woke me that evening when she returned from work but the headache was worse than ever so I tried Cocodamol but again, no effect.  This continued to Friday and as I was not getting any better Chris made me go to the doctors.  At first I refused as I’ve had this before but by now I was really feeling rough so relented.

The doc gave me a thorough check over but as it was clear I was not good referred me to the hospital.  By now I could barely stand without the pain of the headache increasing so was in agony by the time I got there.  Like most hospitals I spent the rest of the day waiting to be seen and when eventually my turn came I had blood samples taken, blood pressure read and an ECG all normal apart from elevated blood pressure. 

I was then told a CT scan was required and after waiting 5 hours was told they could not do it that day and was sent home to wait for a phone call.  I eventually got the scan at 11am on Sunday and revisited again on Monday to be told I had acute Sinusitus.  Was give a raft of pills and sent home.  I confess I was greatly relieved at this as whilst waiting all sort of scenarios ran through my mind.

My plan was to travel to AmyJo tonight but decided to leave earlier and so arrived at the marina this afternoon where apon I collapsed into the chair and slept for a couple of hours as I felt so tired. I later woke to the noise of the crane that had been launching the show boats all afternoon.


I later had a stroll round the marina to find Fernwoods show boat, Summerbourne, already on her berth but as it was late no one was around so I’ll have to see if they are about tomorrow


I got back to AmyJo and did not realise how much the walk had taken out of me.  I realised I am still not right even now.  Looking round the show over the weekend looks like it will be a slow affair for me I think.

I’m aboard now until after the show and Chris will join me after work travelling down on the train to Rugby.  I hope, weather permitting, to wash and polish AmyJo as she is now looking a tad dowdy and covered in bird droppings.  Not sure how much I’ll get done but intend to take it slow so as not to aggravate the headache that now has started to subside thanks to the tablets

Wednesday 14 May 2014

A Surprise for Joe and Chris gets a Lift

First of all can I apologise to Joe on nbYarwood (click).  Poor chap must have wondered what the hell was going on when this total stranger, a woman, knocked on Yarwood and introduced herself.  Not sure what he would have made of that!  It was just Chris and I'll get round to explaining shortly.

We don't have much time for boating during the week unfortunately as we are both at work, but days like today is one of the reasons Chris really loves her job and, per chance, her day today just happened to be about canals.  You see today, Chris and the teacher she works with, took their year zero (foundation) class to the Anderton Boat lift.  Its one of their experience visits they do throughout the term.

Carefully taken shot of the children so as to be compliant with child protection.
The children stood in awe as the lift was operated and then they all excitedly boarded the tour boat for a ride down the lift themselves (lucky Chris gets to do this every year).  Hence Chris gets a lift?  OK I know its corny but....

A boat approaches the caissons from the canal

whilst the tour boat comes up on the lift

The tour boat almost ready to take the children and accompanying adults.

Aboard the tour boat, children behind the camera and hopefully behaving.
We are regular readers of Joe and Lesley's blog so knew Yarwood was on the river Weaver.  It was whilst the children were having their morning snack in the grounds that Chris spotted the highly polished cabin sides of a boat that could only be Yarwood herself just a short distance away.

Taking the opportunity of a quite period whilst the children had their morning snack Chris left them with their teacher and introduced herself to a rather surprised Joe who was about to take Lloyd and Fletcher, their two black Labradors, for a walk.  They had a quick chat before Chris had to re-join the children.  Sorry to have missed you myself Joe and Lesley and we hope the children did not disturb the peace too much :-).

Chris may not be frazzled, as Joe put, it but now she is back home she is snoozing on the settee as I type so it must have been a pretty good day out for her and the kids.

Monday 5 May 2014

Back to Black and Shades of Grey

Whilst on our last cruise I lent over as AmyJo entered one of the Fosse locks to check her position as she entered and our small rubber duck aerial for the car radio in the back cabin dropped off and fell into the lock and sank. On our return I taped up the hole that was left until our return so as to keep any rain out.

This weekend we decided not to cruise but instead do one or two jobs that needed sorting as the forecast was favourable. First order was to replace the aerial with a new marine grade AM/FM one that I hope is a bit more robust.  In order to remove the old aerial cable I had to completely dismantle the engine instrument panel to gain access to the inside of the mounting hole.  The new aerial required a slightly larger hole so I had to enlarge it to fit the new base.  My 8 in 1 power tool set just earned its keep. 

The new aerial in place.

Having just finished putting everything back in place Sam Matt from Foxton Services arrived, as arranged, to give the engine it's 50 hour service. I can recommend Sam, he did a good job and was full of really useful advise.  One piece I really liked was to roll up a newspaper and stand it on end in the bilges.  It will soak up any water like a sponge.

Next on the list was the big one, tidy up the battle scars on AmyJo's bow flares and gunwales and rubbing bands where she had rubbed along the lock walls over our last few cruises.  

The gunwales were showing signs of wear and tear from the constant rubbing of the fenders and from when coming alongside I did not get it quite right now and again.  The bow flares were scratched on both sides and were starting to show signs of rust so something had to be done.  Besides with Crick show coming up in a few weeks we wanted AmyJo to look her best in case we had visitors.

First order on Saturday was to sand the scratches all down the Starboard side nearest the pontoon with a detail sander then prime them.  Fortunately the gentle wind was blowing across the marina and with slackened lines it held AmyJo off the pontoon enabling us to remove the fenders whilst we painted on the primer.  Poor AmyJo was now beginning to look a little like a battleship in camouflage down her Starboard flanks.

Sunday, with the weather fine and settled, we tackled the part I was really dreading as having read accounts by Tom on Waiouru and others I knew this would be no easy task to get a good result.  So after adding a little Owatrol oil to the Epithanes Multiforte, Chris and I both set too painting the gunwales, myself with a roller and Chris with a brush cutting in where the roller could not reach.

Not my best side for a photo I admit
Chris touching in the edges where the roller could not get to
Had to get my own back though Chris's looks prettier than mine
Not a bad job even if I do say so myself
I have to say it was easier than we thought and the result is not bad even if I do say so myself. We were done by lunch time so then the bow flares got our attention.  The Port side gunwales are nowhere near as bad for some reason so they will wait until next time we're aboard.

AmyJo's paintwork was sprayed on in the workshop and the finish is almost mirror perfect.  Getting the same result with brush and/or roller would be real challenge but we needed to try as the scratches could be left no longer.  By tea time the undercoat was on and drying nicely.  Glossing would have to wait until Monday as it would soon start to get damp.

Our berth neighbours reckon AmyJo's figurehead looks great!
And the end result, almost as good as new but not quite a smooth as the sprayed finish but as they say, a blind man would love to see it

Andy Munro has promised us some pots of the same paint to use as touch up but in the meantime I managed to get some Craftmaster paint mixed to the same RAL codes.  There is a very slight difference in shade but its barely discernible.  I'll give it a second coat with the touch up paint when we get it from Andy.