Tuesday, 17 January 2012

It never rains... it pours!

The Golden Cloud - 17/01/12

In this life it seems like it never rains, it pours! (especially in rural Wales!)

This last few days has been great on the boat as I now feel like I've got the boat in a state I can live in no matter what! I've had many friends over, which has been fantastic to both see them and get them over to show off my boat!

Alterations recently to the boat have been to put a second tarpaulin canopy over the boat which has successfully kept the frost off and taken away some of the chill, I've also installed full sized gas!

Now talking of chill, it definitely poured on that front the other night! But with a sense of "I can't pull out now" I kept buggering on!

The coldest night so far was forecast and I thought it had been bloody cold the night before. First I was set to begin with proper full sized gas out the cannister.... But the regulator I had from the old bottles doesn't fit the new ones.... and as it was Sunday night no way to get one to fit! I was running low on water, but I couldn't top up my water bottles as the mains had been turned off to save it freezing. I came back to the boat and tried to start a fire.... the wood, paper and cardboard was all too damp to start the fire, I was struggling to get the matches to light as well. So I thought OK I'll get into bed early with a hot water bottle (now on at £ land well recommended I've got 3!). However as this was the moment where my portable gas stove ran out of gas, I couldn't have a hot water bottle! I had 3 sources of heat and nothing would start, it was minus degree's onboard, and any place I could buy a source of heat was closed for the next 16 hours. 

The boss at work had earlier in the day offered me to stay over at the hotel that night.... One half of me was gagging to go, the other side said MAN UP.

Then my friend Marc offered a centrally heated place to stay... this was so tempting... but if I ran tonight I know i'd run every cold night!

So I tried to work out why the stove wouldn't light, while I ate my pickle sandwiches (no stove or cooker = no hot food). It seemed from looking at the stove and out the chimney that the smoke wasn't rising out the top if the chimney... Read up on Yahoo-Answers, and found that in cold weather you need to get a woodburner really hot or the cold air holds the hot air in the chimney and chokes the fire.

So I set a firelighter (I know there not eco friendly, but I borrowed a tiny piece of a corner of one, and its probably more ecofriendly than my carbon footprint at the crematorium if i'd froze!) with as much dry kindling as I could find, at the bottom of the chimney and got the fire roaring! Cut a long story short did the trick! And a slow cooked omlette on the semi-hot stove later I was warm satisfied and off to sleep.

But last night I finally sorted out the gas bottle, and so I was finally cooking on gas (needless to say although I was cooking on Gas the stove was burning well for once!)

So with the boat up and running, today my parents are coming up to drop off my fishing rods etc. So I had a quick tidy up this morning of the boat... see what you think!

 Looking down the cabin, (from bottom right clockwise) Freezer, Stove, desk and seat, woodburner, bed.
Woodburner with 2 hours of wood cutting round it

I think it looks really cosy!

Another pours not rain, is condensation onboard. This cold snap mixed with drying a lot of damp logs round the fire means the boat is like a rainforest at the moment! humidity gauge is reading 80% + fingers crossed it warms up and the logs dry out sooner rather than later!

And I must thank Russ, Matt, Tom, Ben, and Laura for coming over the other day was really nice! and the Boat Plant, Beer, and Cider they gave me are all doing well! (the beer especially!)

Also thanks to boatyard Keith for giving me the corner of fire lighter that saw me through the cold winter night!

And not forgetting my audience for 1051 page views so far, spanning 10 country's as far apart as the US and Vietnam!

Right I've got plenty to do as always so speak soon!

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