Saturday was a glorious day. Crisp and bright, just the weather for walk into Crick to refresh the supply cupboard. On peering out of the porthole I could see that it must have got fairly cold overnight as the picture shows.
In case it is not clear the ice, fortunately is the water in the marina and not on the inside of the glass. As I set off for Crick the ground underfoot and the canal were both frozen, but the warmth from the sun soon meant I was removing gloves and undoing my jacket. I had wrapped up a bit too much.
The sky remained crystal clear all day and into the night which bode well for the observing of the Geminids meteor shower which was due to reach its maximum at 0200. I went outside at 2300 with Oscar to have a peak and we spent a chilly 15 minutes watching the shooting stars, roughly one a minute. The area around the marina is quite dark so it is good for stargazing, even with the seasonal light pollution.
The above photos were taken on an iPhone within moments of each other but with different exposure settings.
Finally an update on the progress of the dehumidifier. So far it has taken about ten pints of water out of the air on the boat. So it is definitely doing a good job. Today, Sunday, the Christmas decorations are going up. I won’t however be competing with some of the more established marina inhabitants.
It has been a while since our last post so here is a run through of what we have been doing. Since replacing our chimney with the stainless steel double skinned one, purchased from The Little Chimney Company, I am pleased to say that we have no more rusty residue leaking onto our roof and the tar residue has been reduced substantially.
About three weeks ago we took a trip back to Welford Junction as the mooring there has a nice straight edge to it. This was so we could touch up the blacking (bitumen coating) on the the hull sides, covering some of the battle scars that occurred during our maiden voyage from Tamworth. In the end it was easier to apply the coating with a roller, so each side was fully treated and the boat looks splendid once again.
We then returned to the marina for a short spell prior to my attendance on a river canal recue engine maintenance course and our planned trip to Market Harborough.
The course was run over two days at Alvechurch Marina. It was very informative and I had plenty of opportunity to take their Beta Marine engine apart before playing on mine. Our first oil change and service is due in about 30 engine running hours, and I feel fairly confident in performing this task now.
We had booked a berth at Union Wharf in Market Harborough where we were to meet friends on 10/12. We set off in bright sunshine on 3/12 however prior to reaching Welford, our planned first stop, we had received a call meaning the trip had to be cancelled due to a family emergency back home. Hopefully we can reschedule Market Harborough for sometime in February.
The following day I returned the boat to Yelvertoft singlehandedly, due being deserted by the crew, who had returned to Essex. During our very short trip we had encountered the Canal and River Trust dredging teams near to bridge 28. It is good to see the work being done, and it certainly needs it in places, but one of our favoured mooring spots now looks like a battlefield.
Back in the marina Oscar and I have settled into the routine of getting up slightly later each day, followed by brunch and then a brisk walk. I have also had a couple of projects to do, the main being dealing with condensation. This has not been too bad but if left it could cause problems in the future. We have resolved this by the purchase of a small dehumidifier. It is amazing how much water it sucks out of the air. The model we opted for is the Meaco DD8L. This is recommended for boat use and is fairly compact which is good news on a narrowboat.
As Christmas is approaching I have started to think about putting up the decorations. My advent calendar has been up since the 1st, each smaller box contains a caramel chocolate.
So after some rummaging through the Christmas decorations bag Oscar decided to get in on the act.
Finally, last week we heard the sad news that our boatbuilder, Steve Hudson had passed away suddenly. This was a big shock as I had only spoken with him a couple of weeks earlier. We had got to know Steve well over the past couple of years during the build of our boat. He was a genuinely decent man who will be missed.
That’s all for now, so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.