About Me

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The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Always something to fix!

The fire is fixed and we blacked it and lit it to warm things up. Nice to see smoke rising from the chimney again.
Then I went to look at the engine.
The new spill rail is sparkling in the sunlight. I instructed Tooley's to change this in order to eliminate the diesel leak that has plagued us season after season.

I the switched on to find that there were no indicator lights or indications showing!

One more click of the switch and lights showed and then the starter turned. All seemed well for a couple of minutes and then there was a change of note from the engine and the generator failure light came on. I switched off immediately and checked the generator drive belts. All seemed fine so I tried again. The engine ran but the lights and indications did not respond.

Waggling the key a little bit made things work while the key was held almost in the right place! It appears that the ignition key switch has failed.

How far should I go?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

No Excuse

I went to the boatyard this morning and collected the repaired door for the fire.

The photo shows the new glass fitted and

the new bolt to replace the one they had to drill out.

So now we have no excuse: We need to re-fit it, light it up, warm ourselves up and go boating!

There is still ice on the canal! Brrrrrrr

Friday, 29 March 2013

Heat Sources

At this time of year we should be boating!

Last year we were sweltering in tropical heat and daytime temperatures of 21 degrees C. This year we have night time temperatures of minus 3 degrees C and a wind chill factor of -3 degrees if the temperature in the day creeps above freezing.

So we are not boating.

SONFLOWER has two sources of heat inside the cabin. The gas cooker and the solid fuel stove. The glass in the door of the stove broke and seized nuts have meant that we are without it while an engineer rectifies the problem: removing the nuts with heat and re-threading the holes as required. So we have no door on the fire. I think it is too risky to move the boat with an open fire on board. Lighting the oven for cabin heat isn't really on either.

I am not just a fair weather boater but no heat on the boat in weather like this is not my idea of fun!

The best heat source of all is the sun. But that source is letting us down at the moment. When the sun comes out for a lengthy period and the night time temperatures stay above freezing we will join the rest of you out on the water.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Visit to the Centre

I have just been to the Centre of Milton Keynes.

Not terribly interesting I hear you say people go to the centre of cities all the time. Yes, but this was with a purpose other than shopping!

I joined other interesting stakeholders to examine and work on the 357 responses that Canal and River Trust received in their recent SE MOORINGS CONSULTATION. 357 responses is quite a lot. C&RT told us that approx 8000 boats visit the SE waterways each year so that is a good proportion. In respect to "for or against" C&RT reported a 50-50 result!

There was a great deal of boating experience and opinion in the room this afternoon to examine proposals for Oxford, Banbury, Foxton and Thrupp. Another workshop is being held on Thursday to look at four locations on the GU south. Hopefully a sensible boating solution will be implemented to solve the "problem" of increasing boat numbers.

All agreed that the essence of visitor moorings management is enforcement of the rules, not new rules for the sake of it.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Wilts and Berks

We have just returned form a BCF gathering in Bradford-on-Avon where we had an interesting talk by a representative of The Wilts and Berks Trust

I was amazed that a non-boater could be so passionate and enthusiastic about restoring a canal that has been abandoned for over a hundred years and requires major re-routing in many places.

Good luck to them. The first part, a wide canal link from close to Semington Junction on the K & A to Melksham, might be opened in 2017!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

For Divers

For those of you who dive or for those of you that like to take to the water more intimately that I do, whether intentionally or accidentally, here is the product you have been waiting for.

A water proof MP3 player from Sony

Speaks for itself. The link leads to a video as well!