Thursday, 4 February 2016

A proper axe

We went to stay with my old friends Rhys yr Ambiwlans (Rhys the ambulance) and Tarn in their old farmhouse near LLanychaer, West Wales

There was plenty of good old Welsh 'liquid sunshine' (rain) and wind on this exposed hill.

When we were leaving they kindly gave me a lovely old ex- Green Goddess Gilpin axe, I took it in my workshop, cleaned, de-burred and sharpened it.

Time to black Christina again

We had wanted to get Christina out for blacking last summer, but the slipway was fully booked

So, we finally got a chance to risk the weather and try to black her in late January-early February, this can be a big problem if you choose a week that's wet or very cold (condensation on the hull often means you can't do anything until after lunch)

The badly welded rubbing strake was being buckled out by the jacking action of the rust behind it, so we cut out all the bad sections.

And welded in new D bar

Bad welds on the box section on the bow had resulted in the box section being full of water.

A new piece of D bar welded in

Repaired sections

Glenda applying black to the elum (large wooden rudder on the butty)

New curved tunnel bands being added below the rubbing strake

After several coats of bitumin and six new anodes, I'm also re-lengthening the forward tunnel bands

Imposing view of the bow

The slipway, viewed from near the pump-out pontoon

Autumn glory at Woodford

Lovely colours at the Friends of the river Nene's Woodford mooring

John & Rita had headed back to the marina, we stopped, moored and went visiting ex neighbours and picking blackberries.

Meeting up with the Friends of the river Nene

We had arranged to meet up with the Friends of the river Nene at their new Pear Tree Farm moorings (upstream from Wadenhoe). On arrival we breasted up in the bywash.

As there were a lot of boats already moored bankside

They had made fantastic progress clearing the riverside mooring

Glenda spotted something large wedged under Freyja's bow and we decided to try to pull it out using the hydraulic crane on out tugdeck.

Apologies for the fuzzy pics, I was pumping the crane at the time!

It involved craning it up a bit and then lashing it to a tree, then getting a fresh bite with the crane

Heave Ho and up she rises!

Safely on the bank at last, this could have ripped the bottom out of a cruiser.

Next we cleared the bywash bank and an area for camping

Time for a breather

By the evening we had these beautiful moorings to ourselves

Idyllic, or what?

FotrN have provided these firepits at all their moorings, handy for burning rubbish, as there are no bins on the river.