Sunday, 31 March 2013

Ready steady, no go!

Well, on the boat we are. But no go until tomorrow. I have to drive from Kings Bromley to Peterborough and back because daughter no1 needs picking up from rowing training. Should be on our way towards Fradley by 12 noon I hope.

We have loaded her up but when we arrived we had our first problem. The water pump was not working. Why? Well after thinking about warming her up using a fan heater and putting on the Morso I worked out that it had been frozen, alls well now.

Marina was frozen in but it has now broken up with all the movement.

We are going around the Warwickshire clockwise which is unusual for me as I tend to go anti- clockwise under the impression that most people tend to go clockwise and by going anticlockwise I expect the queue to be shorter, nothing more logical and no evidence to prove my hypothesis.

Not sure where we will end up but I guess it will be passed Streethay.

Quick piccie of the marina back pound

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Prepping for our first major trip of the year

Well, the Warwickshire ring is still on, whatever the weather.  We have enough layers and knowledge about keeping the cold out so onwards.

I bought a face shield on ebay.

Safety Face Shield / Visor CLEAR TE212

This should ensure that the last bit of my body open to the elements can now be protected.  Because it is not sealed to my face, like a gas mask I hope the air circulation will stop it from steaming up and because it is not a helmet shield I can wear my thermo hat keeping my head snug.  With my fireman's inner and outer coat and other layers as well as my craghopper trousers I expect to be fully insulted!

But seriously, the weather will improve so I hope my kit will not need to be fully utilised.  Two weeks away will be more than enough for the Warwickshire ring so I expect us to be back with some time to spare.

Sadly, the work I wanted doing has not been done.  A tad annoyed, but its a customer market out there.

the main problem was a leak at the pipe leading to the skin tank.  I decided to take my plumbers putty, ptfe tape and an adjustable spanner to the boat and fix it myself, which I did in no time.  I am capable of fixing most stuff myself but I am too busy doing my day job and as I earn enough I can usually rely on others to do the work, especially if they are being paid for the effort.

So, next week we start out on Monday because Johanna is attending NRC annual training camp, this year in Peterborough.  That finishes Easter Monday after and early final training session in fours and eights.  I will go to the boat on Saturday to make sure we have everything sorted and my leak fixing remains fixed.

We will be taking our log supply so the stove should be fine.  I will also replace a gas bottle and buy some more coal.  that will keep the girls warm.

Work is going fine, very stressful at the moment as I am leading the change from a single IT contract to multiple contracts, meaning some complex work to ensure it all knits together.  Still, I have a good team so we will succeed!

Johanna is still doing great at school, on for A* in all GCSE subjects despite a fool of a maths and economics teacher.  Enough said.

I am a keen amateur photographer.  I own a Canon EOS 600D with an 18-135 lens, so not a biggy in the camera world but its enough for me at present.  I would like to own the Canon 6D but its body is about £1200 on its own and I will need new lenses because the 6D has a full frame sensor not cropped.  The difficulty is i want a good telephoto lens but if I move to full frame I may be better waiting until I make the change - then again if I do not change I could buy one now.  I have bought some expansion Tubes for my camera, these essentially enable macro photography without having to buy a new lens.  They work great, take a look!

Can you guess what it is?

And another

Still some learning to do as I need to be able to take multiple shots along the subject so I can use software to merge them, giving the eye the impression that all required elements are in focus.

The expansion tubes are from Amazon, made by Polaroid, much cheaper than Canon ones and they are probably made by the same manufacturer!  They only cost me £60.  I also bought a Manfrotto tripod, expensive but very useful.  Photography can be expensive but good kit helps to create good pictures.

That's it for now, expect a good few pictures from next Monday!  I intend to post using my laptop and my Three Iphone as a personal hotspot (mi-fi).

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Planning for the first major trip


So, we are all still here!

What has happened since my last post.  Not too much really. We have been to Lola a couple of times but not been out for sooo long.

This weekend we will be on her for the first time in  few weeks.  There will be some changes.  Hopefully the leak at the skin tank pipe will be rectified.  I could do this myself but the problem was caused during the ballast work by the engineers.  They also damaged some doors but I was half inclined to make changes to them anyway so I am not bothered there.  A new change will be the connection of the calorifier to the shoreline power, meaning hot water without running the engine, bliss!  No trip this weekend, its purely relaxing from some quite stressful weeks.  I also expect that the gas regulator has been replaced together with one or two minor repairs.

The first cruise will be the Warwickshire ring at Easter, possibly clockwise.  I am really looking forward to this trip as it will be the first through Birmingham.  Chances are we will head out Easter Monday because Johanna is training at Peterborough Rowing Trench.

My key interest on the trip is to relax, smile, walk Lola dog and be reminded about the beauty of England - whatever the weather.  I am a hardened Englishman, well used to the vagaries of British weather.  I have been on my boat through the most vicious of weather and remain undeterred, boating is me.

More when we get to Lola and hello all!