Thursday, 9 February 2012

So you thought it was cold!

The Golden Cloud - 09/02/12

I thought it was cold the other week, how wrong I was!

As per usual many things have changed since the last blog.

A minor alteration of 2 bus routes has meant my future at Ynyslas is in severe jeopardy. Something that for them wasn't a big change and for anyone else probably didn't make much difference has meant a total change of life plan.

A week ago the last bus to Ynyslas was 10.30pm leaving Aber. This meant I had ample time if I wanted it in the evening to go out for a drink with mates, go to seminars at uni, work abit late, have dinner at a friends, have a social life. This week the last bus is 5.40pm. Now if I want to work late, or have a social life, I have option a) sleep on the street, b) beg friends to stay over, or c) leave the bike at Borth station and cycle the final 3 miles in the dark and perhaps pissed. I really can't be planning a life around any of those options.

A further thing that it reduces massively is my opportunities to start a relationship with anyone, as you can't go on a date and be done by half 5! It also means that friends can't come over to see the boat and have dinner, or give me a hand doing it up!

So the conclusion was drawn that I had to either 1) get a car, 2) move to aber marina, or 3) move to aber harbour.


Now each has its positives. A car I can use to transport bulky items and gives me freedom. The marina I can walk onto the boat from nearby pub. The harbour is cheap and close to everything I need.

However, each also has negatives. A car even being relatively conservative would cost £3000 a year, and burns fossil fuels. The marina costs £2500. For the harbour I'd either have to walk across mud, or row to the boat!

Obviously the harbour is the best option, but it's got a major issue, the harbour master is never there! 

Anyway I came to the conclusion that ideally the harbour or marina are the best options. On discussing with my employers I found there is a possibility of sharing a mooring in the marina, while I have a large amount of work in the pipeline. As such, moving to the marina seems to be the way its going.

So to move to the marina I need to complete the following jobs.... 1) Paint the Hull of the Ship, 2) Get the Engine Running, 3) Get a Windturbine Rigged up, 4) Get the Mast up, 5) Get in the Water, 6) Sail to Aber.

The first job (and the only job I can complete myself) is the painting. So this morning after getting back to the boat last night, I set about this task.... Unfortunately once again this didn't go to plan.

First job, scrub down the hull... issue 1 hull covered in frost, issue 2 washing up liquid frozen, issue 3 sponge frozen, issue 4 when i've defrosted all the above with water that took an hour to boil on the stove, and start washing, the foam from the sponge freezes, then sponge refreezes.... Something tells me that preparing the boat for sea is going to take longer than I'd hoped!

Will update soon!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Self Preservation Society

The Golden Cloud - 04/02/12

The Self Preservation Society

You may all be wondering why I have not updated for a while, you'd think  the coldest week of the year would be a big talking point! Well it would be if I were cold!

The other night I had an indepth boat conversation with another Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences boat person who lives on a 47ft Ketch in Aberystwyth Harbour. He's a lecturer, and researches in Greenland based from said ketch!

His main comments during the conversation were that "I should be careful on the boat, as every man (or woman) has installed inside themselves a certian amount of passion for thier boat. If I were to spend too much time on her, or didn't get back enough good experiences, this passion will waste away and I'll soon be trying to sell a half converted boat!"

With these comments in mind I came into work last weekend, during my shift myself and the boss saw the weather forecast.... minus temperatures, east winds, and snow for the week....

And so just to give the night porter a week off you understand, I offered my services for working nights in exchange for a bed and a round of toast a day! Thankfully the boss accepted!

Thus the last few day's I've taken a welcome holiday from the boat as a Night Porter at the hotel, warm sleeps, hot showers, wifi... this is the life!  See how i'm living it up at ... http://www.richmondhotel.uk.com/index.php

With the wifi, I've made steps to insure I don't need the hotel. On Thursday I ordered the insulation for the boat, once installed I should be as snug as a bug in a rug.... mainly as it will probably be summer by the time I'm finished!

Another bonus of the hotel is I've been in easy access of Uni, and as a result I have obviously spent the week not at uni but in the field!

Fieldwork has been slow but beautiful. Days out with friends in stunning (frozen) scenery, by a river, on a van-road-trip, with hot spiced apple and/or cake breaks, and lots of playing with Icicles makes for an awesome week!

Sadly all good things come to an end and so as "the warm air wins" and Aber is drowned in a bath of cold rain, fieldwork is put on hold. But further good news is on the horizon as I see good friends from the not so distant past are headed towards Aber.

A week of frolicking, catching up, and hopefully insulation installation parties are on the way!

Chin up! Worse things happen at Sea!