Monday, 26 September 2016

A ship's lantern for Christina.

While mooching around the Kettering Steam Rally, I found a sorry looking ship's lantern. on my third visit to the stall, I cracked, coughed up £20.

After an initial clean.
As I cleaned, it became obvious that the lamp was not made of tin, but copper with brass fittings.

The copper and brass start to shine through.

I fixed a temporary bracket to get an idea of how the lantern would look in place.
 The plan is to put a soft LED light inside it, so that in tunnels it will light the stern of Freyja without blinding me or casting a distracting shadow. Then by switching on the workshop lights, the workshop skylight will illumunate the tunnel ceiling.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Improvements to our horn.

As some of you may remember, I bought an ex-New Jersey fire station horn online, from a Welsh speaking Turk!
It had a brass trumpet that had been painted black, I had one heck of a job to get that black paint off so that I could polish the brass.
I finally managed to remove the paint, but when I re-assembled it, it sounded pathetic!
I had a modern Arghoohah horn with a red plastic trumpet that had languished on a shelf for yonks, could it be a match made in heaven?
A few 'adjustments' to the mounting holes and I managed to graft the brass trumpet onto the modern workings of the new horn. On a few outings out on the river, the horn worked very well, scaring the life out of Glenda and her friends, even when I'd warned them!
But, it looked naff! I hatched a plan to hide the modern bit in a military brass shell case. Martin, our neighbour found one for me at a steam fair.

Our former fire station horn trumpet married to a modified military shell casing.
Once polished, it'll look the puppy's pebbles!

A lovely shock!

I was about to get ready for bed when there was a tap, tap, tap on Freyja's stern. I went to see who it was. There were two people on the pontoon next to our boats. 
"Hi, can I help you?"
" Dad, it's Jac and Nia!"
I was completely thrown! I couldn't quite grasp how my two youngest came to be so far from Wales.
Glenda had been in on it, but managed to keep it a secret. 

My daughter Nia, Glenda and Jac my youngest son.
We visited LyndZ's Stand up paddle boarding festival, which was held on the Friends of the river Nene's Woodford mooring.
A traffic jam on the Nene!
Goat's milk ice creams on sale.

Just one boat moored, the cruiser Jenny.

LyndZ steering her  over-sized stand up paddleboard, which can carry eight people.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Small steps in the new engine saga.

Paul Redshaw came to measure our engine 'ole prior to making our engine mountings. 
We've established that we need to shorten the propshaft by four inches and that we'll need to get a new, slightly larger, lefthand propellor with more pitch which will suit the lower-revving Sabb.
If this takes more than a few weeks, we'll probably miss the chance to take Freyja out for a test cruise due to the state of the river and E.A. closures.
We'll also have to work out a neat solution for our new gearchange, fit an improved speedwheel, and replace some of our gauges.
It's a slow slog, but we're looking forward to the day when we finally boof, boof, boof our way out onto the river.

Hoots mon, there's a mouse, loose about our (floating) house!

When the festival season finished, I returned from the No6 Festival in Portmeirion, north Wales. on returning to the boats, we realised that we were not alone!
We wondered how he was climbing up onto the tugdeck! (spoof photo! Not our mouse!)
There was scratching and munching noises coming from behind the bedroom panels and Glenda thought she heard it on or near the tugdeck. I pulled up the decking and Glenda left a few tasty snacks.
Next day, it had taken the bait, we definitely had a wee beastie!
So, with heavy heart, I bought a trap and some mouse poison.
First, we tried putting the trap on the tugdeck, the sneaky little bugger munched the bait three times without springing the trap.
So I baited another trap, this time it was a humane trap, this I put in the bilge under the cabin floor. Our little lodger now had a life or death choice!
We found that it had been chomping on a large packet of porridge oats, so everything munchable had to be moved and sealed and then stashed in the butty.
We decided to make things a little more difficult for the blighter. We used a sticky bit of Snickers bar with added chocolate and oats, but somehow he managed to tuck in and survived to squeak the tale (tail?) in the morning.
Oh, Oh! It looked like it was time to add the poison!
But, just then CLACK! He (or she) had gone back for a final fatal lick.
R.I.P. little mouse, a burial at sea followed (well, burial at lake actually).
Our wiring etc. has, hopefully, survived intact.