... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Ducking hell

I can hardly be disappointed at most of my favourite blogs not being updated very often when I can't even do my own, can I?

And in truth, it's that time of year, at last, when there should be something to write about. Last weekend we went to Alvecote to check on Chertsey for the first time in months.  Shed's been moved onto the far end of a long pontoon, which is great, because it means we have access all along one side. The cloths had blown about a little bit, and one string had come loose and was trailing in the water, but the translucents underneath were sound so no water had got in. The trouble is that the weather has been so awful. We're hoping for an improvement next weekend, so that we can completely redo the cloths. The plan is to take them all off (so it needs to be dry and not windy) then remove the deckboard and stands, lay the mast down, and drop the planks ready for our late May trip up the Erewash. We'll take the opportunity to replace the three year old translucent sheet, which is disintegrating where it's been exposed to UV, dropping pretty glittery flakes over everything. We'll deply the boxes Jim made to raise the planks in the middle to give a bit of a slope for the rain to run off (and enough headroom for me, at least, to stand up in the middle) - I'm hoping we can put the new translucents, folded, across the gap, to give us light inside. At my insistence, Jim is also cutting some wood to length to make 'dead men' to pick up the cross planks under the boxes - I just don't like the idea of all that weight and tension on the cross planks alone, especially as they're at least fifty years old and I want to keep them.

Other than that there's a lot of cleaning and routine maintenance to be done before - or looking ever more likely, during - the trip, and the bilge pump to replace.

Having been relieved to find that everything was OK after leaving the boat for months over the winter, Jim was horrified to find on his arrival yesterday that ducks had found their way inside - through a gap in the cloths at the front - crapped everywhere, and then, thankfully, found their way out again. So that was an extra job he would rather not have had.

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