Friday, 18 February 2011

A hull gets ready

There was nothing, then there was a crane. Then a lorry with a boat shell turned up. Now, as we listen to Josie whine and grizzle at the noise, we're warching a hull be scooped up and settled in the water. This is one of the fun things about mooring in a boat yard!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Dredger and Digger

Dredging sludge

Here's the sludge, largely clay, splodged on the bank near the planks which were used to stop the digger rolling down the hill.  Since we've moored in Hillmorton, the marina basin has always needed to be dredged.  We have blogged about it a number of times, and it is what we refer to frequently when we mean how nice it is to be floating.  Until last summer when we were out and our little slip was dredged to let a more traditional boat use the space for temporary moorings, we have been sitting on the bottom of the basin when moored in Hillmorton.  

Yesterday the work began and today it continues apace.  Each boat is moved from its slip to the middle of the basin with its bow secured with a line to the end of a jetty.  Each slip in turn is dredged out with the digger for as far and as deep as the digger can reach.  The waste is put into a dumper truck which takes the waste up the hill.  It is amazing to watch the skill of the drivers of each machine.  The finesse and sheer creativity is amazing, from using the digger scoop to gently push stakes in the ground to hold the planks to the digger deftly pushing the digger up a steep slope.  It truly is a wonder to watch people who are skilled at their craft.

So how does digging a deep trench dredge the whole marina?  Yes, the basin is lined with clay, but usually, the top layer is in solution so that the water always looks murky. It was fascinating in the freeze, when the water didn't move, to see through the ice to the very shallow canal bottom!  So the sludge slops about.  Each time it does, it settles in the deepest place it can which means now, the new deep ditch around the outside of the basin.  Each time the centre of the basin slops about as boats move in the basin or water is pushed in as boats pass in the canal, the sludge fills up the edges.  So within a matter of months, the whole basin will be at least a foot lower than it is now.  SO SO much easier for everyone!  

Sadly, though, it will stop the entertainment factor of watching our neighbours and all the assorted marina staff and neighbouring crew trying to push a boat off the mud to go for a cruise...

The dredging!

Finally, the dredging is happening.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Apologies to Piston Broke, Maffi and Bones

It was only today that I realised our blog had comments! Our apologies to those who must have thought we were ignoring them.  Bones and Maffi, we've chatted since then.

Dear Piston Broke, the recipe is:
2 cups SR flour
1 tbsp milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sultanas

Mix as usual, bake 12-15 mins.

Josie full, luxury bird nest lining

Ah, our Josie provides well for the local upper crust birds!

Finding apps

Here's Pete on a sleepy Saturday morning, post bacon butties, looking for phone blog apps. Now that we have it working, it is a doddle! We can go straight to the blog from the photograph, taken of course, by said phone. Wooo.  In the old days:

-Take pic with digital camera
-Fire up laptop with engine running to ensure uninterrupted wigglies
-Insert dongle, wait for coverage
-Take SD card from camera, insert into laptop, pick up embroidery whilst waiting for photoshop to load
-Open and resize phot for web
-Hope dongle connected, open blog
-Open new post, start upload
-Hope all still communicating

Now, take pic from phone.
-Open pic.
-Launch blog from pic
-Upload, blog

No-brainer, really.

Mobile blogging

Well, here we are.  Mobile. Took an hour or so of working through all the blog settings until Pete decided to go straight to the phone and dowmload a blogger app. So here we are! Hopefully, this will mean more posts, but no promises! We'll all watch this space.

We are going more mobile


Friday, 11 February 2011

Still Here!

Hello all,

Somehow, we've not been able to blog in the last few months. Some odd thing on the settings has meant that after filling in the Title, we've not been able to fill in text. However, it must be said that except to say that we're still here, we wouldn't have said much anyway! A few notes:

1 We've been using computers for so long (sorry *yawn*), that to turn on a computer always feels like work. We blogged frequently in the first few months and then a little more slowly, as no matter how like work it felt, we were all - you readers and us travellers - excited about this venture. But now, turning on a desk top or laptop feels like Monday to Friday tasks, certainly not an evening or weekend (!). We write this from a Friday afternoon whilst work is done, but it is still not pumpkin time, as a friend calls our close of work.

2 We're three years in now and Bella is home. Our home may float and still be unusual to many, but for us, it's just home. So we don't feel the same need to tell so much about it (we get coal, we empty elsan cassettes, we unfreeze the water pipe in the big freeze, etc). We just get on with it. So it feels a little silly to keep repeating the living aboard stuff.

3 Three years in, we also realise that we don't have to travel all the time to prove why we made this choice. It's made now and it's perfect for us, and so perfect that we feel a little silly explaining how close to heaven it is for us even more than it ever was. So this winter, in light of being frozen in both previous winters, we decided to stay put at our home mooring in Hillmorton and not travel. We live on a boat and don't have to keep travelling to have that make sense. We made the right move this year in light of the shockingly abnormal cold weather and we rather enjoyed watching all the snow without worrying where our basic supplies would come from.

4 We will be travelling, have no fear!! And when we do, we'll let you know. We're planning to travel with a friend around Easter and then make other moves. But the lovely thing is that all we have to do is untie and go. Plans aren't as important as we thought they were.

5 Rounding off where we began, we've both got smart phones now. So the blogging will get easier and more enjoyable when we don't have to turn on the computers and plug in the dongles. Technology has changed hugely in the last three years and we are certainly the winners for it. We used to be on such 'slow band' in Hillmorton that we had to store up certain kinds of work and to go to a coffee shop's wifi. Now we're on 'fat band' here and most places and our phones have replaced much of what we ever used to do on larger computers.

So that's us for now! Happy New Year!