Sunday, 29 March 2015

Nice to meet up with Sue and Vic (NB No Problem)

Sue and Vic on narrowboat No Problem had said they were coming back onto the Nene, but then they had to wait for White Mills lock to re-open, when it did finally re-open the winds whipped up, making navigation a tad hairy.
But finally, it was nice to meet them when we popped down to see them at Denford and enjoyed a 'sniff of the Antipodean bar manager's apron' at The Cock in Denford ;o)
N.B. No Problem moored at Denford, we reccommend that you visit their popular blog :-

Moving Carl & Nicky's boat

Carl & Nicky wanted to move their narrowboat down to Willy Watts Marina, but their cat had done a runner and they couldn't catch it, their engine wasn't working so Clive would have towed them down, but they didn't want to leave without their cat.
They finally caught the little blighter and Clive was unavailable, so they asked if I could tow them, Andy off NB Jabberwocky came along to help.
Strange, having a boat, that is not Christina, breasted up.

Andy and Nicky at Ringstead lower lock.

Polling their boat, down through the boats moored each side, to their new mooring.

The strange thing was my moustache turned green! I wonder if it had anything to do with it being St. Paddy's Day?

A funny thing happened over breakfast!

It was not too bad a morning so I sat on the picnic bench on our pontoon with my porridge and coffee, a duck jumped up onto the planter on Christina's stern and started flicking dirt and bits of herb in my direction, I said "Oi! You cheeky bitch!" 

Then she laid an egg ;o) I left that egg (marked it) and the next day, sure enough, there was another, so I had a fresh egg for brekkie, as long as you leave some and then take some, she'll keep laying, I've left her with three now and had a half a dozen to eat, soon I'll let her sit for a few weeks, only using my side sheets as an entrance so she can hatch her babies undisturbed ;o) 
 What a clever duck!

The new oak top planks are blooming heavy!

I decided to replace the uneven, cracked and partially rotten top (scaffold) planks with wider and thicker green oak planks, They were very heavy to lift into place and John Tuck and Houston Bone were pressed into helping me.
Old top planks and sheets removed.

It was a bit of a struggle-cum-balancing act to get the larger of the two planks up onto Christina, thanks Houston!

The rear block needs to be cut to follow the line of the sheets and the top planks need cutting to length and dovetailing, no mean feat with chunks of oak this big.

A family visit ;o)

My daughter Nia (named after the golden-haired Princess in the Welsh folk story 'Blodeuwedd') visited us with her boyfriend Corey.
Against Glenda's advise, I insisted that we take both boats out for the weekend, it was a tad windy.
Corey, Nia & Glenda fill Ringstead lower lock. As we passed Willy Watts marina, two boaters started shouting to us, but I couldn't hear because of the exhaust, I slowed down and they shouted "Are you a fuelboat?" I turned the revs back up, but too late, as a gust took us towards the bank ;o( We polled off into the centre of the river but this took us towards the overhanging branches on the other side! Glenda was not impressed!
Our next trial came as we approached the Friends of the river Nene's new mooring at Woodford, Glenda squeezed past me to take the centre rope, just as a strong gust caught us as we approached the last bend, taking us into the bank again (our sheets act like sails) Every time I polled off and ran down the gunwales the wind would gust and we were stuck again, in the end Glenda started to poll from the bank, while I poled from the bow and Nia steered. We got them around past an overhanging tree and a cow fence that juts out. But just as we fine tuned our position, Glenda's poll slipped and she fell twixt the boat and the bank into a very cold river, Doghouse time for Chop! :o(

Looking deceptively calm and sunny.

This is a lovely mooring and will, hopefully, be easier once we get a chance to remove a few chunks of rock or concrete that are submerged near the bank. We repaired to the local hostelry 'The Dukes' where Glenda quaffed a few calming glasses of the red stuff, and Nia and Corey played pool and bar skittles

Freyja has a new green oak framed tugdeck.

After removing all of the rotten softwood frame and soggy rockwool type insulation, I set to making a green oak frame which I then insulated it using ecotherm insulation, a big headache was re-routing the pipes to the cabin ventilation. Next I added a pair of doors which close behind the bed and panelled it all in marine and hardwood faced ply.
The first three main green oak members, metal supports were added to the rear and across the centre. I've fitted one of the two doors that close behind the bed and the cabin ventilation pipes now go straight towards the bow, instead of bending up to exit through the tugdeck floor.
The cross-members, forward bulkhead and insulation being fitted. It was very labour intensive, as everytime I wanted to adjust one of the many interlocking parts, I had to remove everything. I must have done that hundred's of times!The lower section in the bulkhead is ready for a sloping section to be fitted to allow my bike to sit, tilted down, in the bow.
One day, someone may find this little scribbling ;o)
The sloping cut-out which allows my old B.S.A. tofit down into the tugdeck, allowing the wide handlebars to clear the tarpaulins.
I've re-fitted the old floorboards for the time being, I'll fit the nice new oak boards when the weather improves. I will also make up a panel that will fit into the cut-out so that we'll get our tugdeck back when we are not carrying the B.S.A.