Monday, 27 May 2013

Great Haywood

Just a short pootle to Great Haywood where we moored just after the lock exit and beyond the two boats selling "antiques".  They did not see over bothered about selling and the weather was there to enjoy.  If you think about mooring just where we are remember the sun is a little late coming up because of the tree canopy.  Satellite doe not work either here, you need to be further on.  No tv did not bother us at all. Lovely and quiet here too, no geese waking us up at 4am either

Couple of pints in Clifford and lunch at the lock house restaurant, funny place don't expect to get what you order.  They asked for our order twice and still got it wrong, I suspect they had no lamb left so Kath got turkey!  Very funny though and worth going, just don't be too serious.

A sill man moored in the last bollard of the lock mooring,  at the top going down.  Made it difficult for many and he could have easily moved his boat 50 ft out of the way.

Shrugborough hall gardens not very inspiring and not even worth a tender.

Plenty of people around messing about in the river given the warm wether

Mega busy at colwich lock we got there 4th in line and another 8 boats collected behind us in short order.

We got through Colwich and on to the cutting passed Rugeley.  An American family had moored up just before the cutting.  We thought, strange but never mind.  Kath went ahead to reserve our passing turn.  I got the Walkie talkie message to say all clear.  As I passed the Americans (only adding context, not making a nationalistic reference) in a Shakespeare hire boat he shout hey we are in front.  I responded that he had spiked up and not sent anyone to check the other end of the cutting.  I slowed for him to get going but he was just interested in whining so I kept going after telling him to get a grip of his boat and man up.  He shut up and followed behind.  

A few piccies from the iPhone, I use these because the phone geo tags the shots, largely in reverse order from southog Rugeley to Shugborough.

An odd looking building I think.

There's a bird of prey in there somewhere.

Can you guess what it is?

Nice garden

Tixhall wide
Shugborough Hall

So, we are back home again after a really nice weekend.  Not sure about next trip, will have to check calendars as its Ely next weekend to an old friends. After that its Henley Women's Regatta on 19 th June with racing on the 21st.  So that gives me some time in between I hope.

Next big job is to consider future moorings.  I love it here but I need more time reliable mechanic services.  If I stay here any recommendations?  What's it like at Sawley for mechanics?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Off to Tixhall Wide

Off we pop to Tixhall at Great Haywood for the weekend and some photography too.  Lovely day so far, left Kings Bromley at 11:15 just coming into Rugeley now

Hopefully not too long at the locks, more later

Aha here at Tixhall, arrived 4pm, very busy, got the very last mooring point

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Aldi and the Satellite Suitcase plus a bit more on the painting

I was following the canal world forum and a discussion thread started which was in equipment:-

So off I went to the nearest Aldi, I have to admit its not my usual shop so I was intrigued to see a queue of about 20 people waiting to get in at 10 am this morning.  Surely not all for the Satellite system!

Actually, about 5 systems were purchased as I was going through the tills.  Cost?  £59.99.

Did it work?  Absolutely fine.

It comes in a suitcase, so quite portable.  I had to build the dish, attach the LNB and create a few cable with F Connectors - mental note to buy some weatherproof ones.   everything I needed was supplied, including about 10 metres of cable.  I cut a small bit off which was to create a temporary link from the LNB to the signal strength indicator, the longer cable going to the receiver.  took a wee while to find the satellite but once I did it was fine.  In came the signal, no bother.  I will look for other satellites when on the boat.  I must say I am rather impressed with it.  I will use a cheap tripod for the Mount which makes connection easier and more stable although it would fit to most anything really as it cones with plenty of connection options.

Why did I buy it?

Mainly signal quality and HD as well as European satellite access for sports programmes.

Am I pleased with my purchase?  Yes, very.

A little more on the painting.

The preparation was most important.  As we have narrow gunwhales, there is a lip under the gunwhale which is welded along the line, not continuous.  It is here that the rust was digging in so that is why I scraped the paintwork away to expose the metal/rust.  We then got the sanders out and created a nice contact surface for the paint application. This I then inspected and painted Vactan onto, where required.

Once the Vactan had dried we then painted under the gunwhale and on the gunwhale side.  My painting class from Phil Speight came in useful as I followed his advice on application, making sure my last brush stroke went down.  The Hammerite (about £60 for 5 litres) was to provide extra cover and also fit in with the existing above gunwhale paintwork.  Whilst the above bit also needs work, it can wait until next year.

It was a difficult job because of the need to lie down on the job.  Next time she is out for blacking (October 2013)  I will add another coat, not that it needed it as the hammerite finish is very good with just one application.  The main reason is to just keep on top of the scrapes that I will acquires during the summer.

Next trip out?

Probably not until 25th May I think as we have a trip out next weekend to Old John in Leicestershire (Google it) for a charity dog walk.  I am very much looking forward to a trip to Tixhall Wide so I can do some photography.  I went to Attenborough Nature Reserve yesterday (less than a mile from home) to do more lens testing.  The weather was appalling but I got some shots from the Kingfisher hide:-

Again, I am most impressed with the clarity and focus even though the light was appalling.  Average shot data whilst at the feeding point (I was using Aperture Priority (AV on a canon) so you will understand that it will vary) was:-

Focal length 400mm,
exposure 1/200 sec,
pattern metering,
no flash,
ISO 800,
auto white balance.

I have a long way to go but am getting there.  Next step is to move to manual and try some higher ISO too.  I like these few from about 80 taken, hope you do too.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Boat Painting

Boat painted from rubbing strake to the Gunwhale.

We cleared the paint to rust and the used Vactan on the rusty bits.  after it dried we then used Hammerite Straight to Rust which we have previously tested.

A few photos of the work

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My New Lens!

At last, I have my new Camera lens just in time for the bank holiday and some boating time.

The lens is a Canon 100-400mm lens.  This means its good at making stuff nearer and in focus.

A few test shots.  I forgot to take my normal glasses (the ones I usually wear are photochromic, light in the dark and dark in the light) and as a result the exposure is difficult to measure.

This is my normal lens at max 135mm zoom

And this is my new lens at 400, I sure you can see the difference, these two shots just make it easier to explain

Mr Lonely Swan

Time I got out of here!

Bugger, they are following me

Quite like this one, on the Trent next to the lock  entrance to the Nottingham and Beeston Canal, hence All's Well in the background.

So with just a few minutes to test, I am happy feet!

Saturday its wet and dry/sander time and then the Hammerite all around the gunwhales down to the rubbing strake.  It really needs an angle grinder but I am going to leave that to Richard Sherratt.  Not because I cannot do it, because I do not have an angle grinder nor the time - remember I work 50-60 hours per week and need to keep the house fit for use.

Well, just a short post.