Monday, 18 December 2017

The chaps

I haven't seen them in nearly a month.
They are going to go ballistic.

Scandinavian Shininess

hellig hestekræfter.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Survey says..

No overplating necessary.
Anodes doing their job.
Good for another 10 years.

Sides newly blacked. Midships anodes fitted. Baseplate ground down to metal, primed and painted with black epoxy. 10 days. in December. ha!

Goodbye old friend. You took us to many new and exciting places. For the most part, you were ultra reliable. We knew you'd had a hard life prior to helping us, but it was fun getting to know how you worked. And I'll never forget the moments me, you and the spanners spent together. Thankyou for all of the precious memories.

the worst part. 14 inch clearance. could not turn over. no wish to ever see the baseplate again. the huge rusty dust clouds were a novelty, at first. but, eventually, painting over your head really stresses your elbow tendons. on the plus side, i do now have biceps like popeye.

The lads, having a nice snuggle. Bryn is used to house living, and immediately claimed his spot on the couch. Olly also seems to have taken to it remarkably well.

oh yeah, and it snowed too.. which was fun..

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Water Pump

We've had to push the poor little beast quite hard this year.

The bearing on the coolant pump is shot and has become wobbly. Water/Rust/Antifreeze is dribbling out and being centrifugally spun around inside the engine bay by the fanbelt. Which is also squealing like a sonofabitch. Not an entirely fabulous situation.

Spares are on order, and morale is still good.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Eynsham and Back

Olly @ Godstow

Took ourselves up to Eynsham meadows to avoid the bank holiday madness. Had a lovely few days just pootling about. Back in Wallingford to meet an old friend of ours, and then heading downstream again. Things are noticably quieter on the river, now that the schools have gone back. Which makes for some very relaxing days.

Friday, 25 August 2017


Sheena is back with us. Yay!

Abingdon was very nice. We've enjoyed our 5 days of the town's generous hospitality and will be departing tomorrow. I also found the "swarm of angry bees" that the council was looking for. Turns out, they were hornets. I know this because I had one attached to the top of my Skull. It was Bryn's fault for winding them up. We then had to go the long way around (5 miles via culham) to get back home.

Sheena: let me look
Me: no, you will poke it with your finger.
Sheena: I won't.
Me: oh, alright then.
Sheena: (pokes it with finger). Is that it?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

I get the feeling..

..that the mooring situation isn't going to end well, at the Wallingford fishing holes.

Yesterday, I heard a jolly boat say "that far king dogma is still there". Which I found quite amusing. People don't realise how far their voice carries over their engine noise. But, i have also overheard these grumblings from non boating towpath walkers :-

"It's like a new age village down there".
"They've taken over the whole bank with their junk".
"I may buy a boat and just dump it here too".

People are clearly not happy.

In addition to this, the riverbank has collapsed at half a dozen places, under the weight of willow roots pressing down on it. There are now submerged stakes hiding a few inches under the water, pointing out at 45 degrees.

The lads have had a great time here. Long walks and plenty of ball chucks. The cooler weather has been perfect for them. But I will also be glad to shove off tomorrow. Not a very happy vibe here at the moment. Though the chance to unwind after three days of rope tugging, boat heaving and rudder juddering has been most welcome.

Tune of the day...

Friday, 18 August 2017


Me @ Spade Oak
Me @ Spade Oak

Fast becoming like Reading. Full of gits who do not move their boats. They've deliberately clustered themselves close to town too, making it a long old trudge to the shops for folk who just want to top up on supplies, and actually, you know.... cruise. 6 hour journey and nowhere to moor? Great. Thanks guys.

I was fortunate today, in that I got the very last space in town, way up in the fishing holes. A narrowboat that had burnt me off on the way had "moored like a twat" right in the middle of the town wall. LOL. Awfully considerate that. Cheers.

So now I'm behind a dutch barge that runs it's generator all day. I'm considering stopping a couple of nights, because the castle grounds are great for the lads to run around in. Also, the words "fat" and "chance" spring to mind, when contemplating finding somewhere to moor in Abingdon for the weekend. Ha, I love summer. So relaxing.

The journey itself was fine. Dogma behaved beautifully and it was a joy to push her up the river. Big reward of the day was being able to watch Kingfishers diving for their lunch.

Tune of the Day..
** Cheers for the pic, Sue. You caught me looking happy. LOL.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sonning to Beale Park

Took just over 4 hours. Which translated to 3 classic punk albums and a bit of locking. Nothing popped, rattled or fell off. And I didn't have to change the fan belt. Did not make a tit of myself bouncing off any lock walls, and did not fall in. All in all, an excellent journey.

Reading was dissapointing. Still absolutely nowhere to moor there (even if I had the 100 english pounds necessary). Sad to report, the same old scrotes (who have been buggering things up for other boaters for years).... are still there. there are a ton of yoghurt pots with sheds on them taking up all the little gaps now too. Cheers guys. Thanks very much.

Pangborne meadow was stuffed with happy picnic people. Beale park was busy too, but not where we normally moor up. I guess people panic, and tend to cluster around the entrance more. The lads can run round and enjoy a nice jump in the river later, though it is too hot to take them out at the moment.

Festival season is also upon us. Sheena and I had a laugh at the "inflatable yurts and gypsy caravans" I saw in Henley. LOL. that will be 140 english pounds please (and a tenner for your tofu burger).

Tune of the Day...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The whiff of Fanbelt and Diesel

seven hours today. set off at 10am from Temple lock (fortified with "Oats so simple", instead of normal and preferred triple espresso). stopped in Henley briefly so that the engine could cool down a little and Olly could have some ball chucks. a couple of places on the Sonning reach called out with the Siren song, but I continued with my resolve to get through Sonning lock before calling it a day. Guess what? That was stuffed, too. I am tucked up in bushes, wrong way round, with the plank deployed. Some kind of lunacy seems to have infected people, because there were joggers everywhere.

I am hoping to get to Beale park tomorrow, where we can all have a much deserved chill out and run around like idiots.

had a very weird conversation with the owner of Nb "la Luna", who claimed that he knew the boat. and that it was moored on the river Lee. that is the third time I've heard this now. first time, three years ago. but now, twice this month. the first people said the lettering was exactly the same. the bloke (wb 'sixpence') who introduced himself at the Bounty pub, said he'd met me at Milton Keynes. also, the boatpeople in Reading think i'm a paramedic called John, for some reason. it is all very odd.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

It's been a while

Diogenes the Cynic

I feel like I should say something. It's rude to just bugger off, without offering up any kind of explanation or satisfactory ending to the story. Happy or otherwise. For anyone still interested, things are fine. We got walloped with a whole lot of death. A big chunk of love torn out of our lives. So, we've had that to deal with. Which, I have come to understand, isn't unusual for people of our age.

Our boat still floats. And that massive 23hp Bukh engine is still pushing us along nicely. This year, our insurers are requesting that we have her out for a hull survey. I suspect some minor plating will be necessary, but we are not currently in any danger of breaching our hull. When she's out of the water, I'll probably have to redo a lot of the jobs that this blog started out with. But this time, as least I will know what I'm doing.

Today, I had a nice lunch with Sue and Vic at Spade Oak, then saw Andy and Sue at Marlow lock. I thought...."I used to enjoy writing the boat blog. Happy Days."... so here I am...

Cruising singlehanded upriver, in the height of summer, with two labradors. Wehey! Sheena will hopefully be re-joining us at Abingdon.

The mission is to get up to Oxford cruisers for a boat safety examination, without blowing the head gasket on the 6-8 hour non stop stretches that are now necessary. Seeing no boats at all on the Tesco moorings at Reading is going to be a shock. Even though I'm prepared for it.