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Bloat blog: Bits ‘n pieces

Posted by indigodream on 19 February, 2011

Friday 18th February

1. Engine Service – Wednesday 16th February

Every now and then Richard likes to get the engine serviced by a professional. This time he chose to use River Canal Rescue – we had been very impressed by their excellent  breakdown service when we were on Dragonfly so we joined when we got Indigo Dream and there are some member discounts for their other services. Limehouse Marina has a list of ‘authorised’ engineers who can work on pontoon-moored boats – we didn’t realise that the RCR chap was authorised so we’d made arrangements to move up to a convenient stop in Bow and have the work done there. But it turned out that the chap was authorised so we were able to get the work done at the mooring – bit of a ‘grrr’ moment as it took several phonecalls at cross-purposes to get this information – never mind,,,

Richard was a bit disappointed – I think he expected more from the service – he can do an eyeball survey etc himself and he’d hoped for more from the engineer. However, it was a reasonable price and the engineer gave some good advice, did do everything that needed to be done ref. the engine filters etc. but would not change the webasto filter. He could not do anything about the crack in our exhaust but introduced Richard to someone who could. The one filter we have never been able to source a compatible for is the engine filter but RCR had so Richard noted down the references:

Isuzu 42 Engine Fuel Filter:  Baldwin BF954 or Donaldson P553240 Fleetguard FF5030 – costs about £4 as opposed to the £13 of the Isuzu branded part.

Other bits of advice:

*      BilgeX for getting rid of bits of oil in the bilge.

*      Use a fuel additive, particularly now that we may end up with fuel containing biodiesel: Don’t use Fuelset, use Marine 16 was the RCR Engineer’s recommendation. We know that Andrew Phasey also markets a product, Soltron so we need to check that out.

2. Blacking

A quick browse of our Nicholson’s reveals a great choice of boatyards in the vicinity of Nottingham. Has anyone tried Sawley Marine? I’ve got a feeling that at least one boating blogger has used them but I can’t remember what they said!

3. Fens Waterways Link

I didn’t know about this! How exciting – it promises the enticing option of a ring cruise which doesn’t involve going over the Wash. I’m not sure how much of the link is open so I’ve emailed them for a brochure but you can check out the website here – http://www.fenswaterways.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

Having said that, we might consider a trip across the Wash anyway – there’s a convoy planned at the right sort of time for us, well, it’s not really, but with that adventure on offer then it’s not so far off that we couldn’t make it the right time :-), and if we end up sitting on some sand waiting for a tide then that gives a chance to have a good look at our blacking.

4. BCN Marathon Challenge HQ

With Greygal coming to visit this weekend, we’ve been setting up BCN Challenge HQ – we’ve retrieved our full size map of the BCN, have plotted the 2009 winner’s trail and and have been speculating on how their magnificent score can be beaten, or equalled, or caught sight of, for that matter! We’ve got crew this year, so maybe we can be a little more ambitious with locks than last time. Of course, we will want to consult with our other cabin slave valued crew member Graham from Matilda Rose. Do we just focus on the points or shall we try to take in the few places on the BCN that we haven’t seen yet ? Luckily they may not be mutually exclusive!

We haven’t received our BCN planning pack yet, so we’ve only got the points sheet from last time as a guide to the most lucrative routes. In the meantime, nb The Cat Who Walks By Himself produced this really clever planning map which tots up the locks/miles/points which is very helpful when going through the almost infinite options available.

5. Aurora borealis (nothing to do with boating!)

It should be obvious to regular readers that we are a bit geeky, so we were very excited by the news of increased solar activity. I do believe that 2011 is a sunspot ‘maximum’ (it’s an 11 year cycle). We’re so geeky that a few years ago we signed up for email alerts for when there is unusual solar activity that may results in aurorae. Why not join us in geek heaven – http://www.dcs.lancs.ac.uk/iono/aurorawatch/ It could be an exciting year on the solar calendar – just imagine mooring your boat on a remote spot on the Leeds ‘n Liverpool (or similar northern waterway) and seeing a magnificent auroral display in the clear night sky – it would quite take your mind off the lack of water in the canal 🙂

I think that’s it for now – we’re boating next weekend – hurrah! We’re taking a charity group from Limehouse to Paddington on Friday and had planned a return jolly on the Saturday. But it’s all weather dependent – – Paddington Basin is windy even on the stillest day and I don’t fancy the humiliation of being blown sideways round the basin by the 40 mph winds predicted for next weekend…..

4 Responses to “Bloat blog: Bits ‘n pieces”

  1. capt ahab said

    its decided – Wand’ring Bark is being entered in the BCN Challenge. See you there!

  2. indigodream said

    Looking forward to it – the only trouble is, with two of the most sociable bloggers crewing for us, plus us, if we bump into you we’ll end up chatting for 24 hours instead of cruising!

  3. Sue said

    Ah The Wash! Seriously considering a convoy next year (2012). I will need to take a fake tree for Lucy and Meg or they will cross their legs on the sand!

  4. indigodream said

    Hi Sue

    An artificial Xmas tree should do it – now that would be a photo!

    If/when we do the wash we’ll be leaving the dogs behind – we’d need a block and tackle to hoist them on and off the sand – they weight 5 stone apiece!

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