*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Friday, 13 May 2011

A Week in dry dock.

Hi Friends.

Well I am back like a bad penny. Did you miss me?

We have been in dry dock for blacking, so that is why I have not been blogging.
Here is an account of the past few days.

Monday dry dock day.

The day began at 7am with my phone alarm going off to “Hey Sexy Lady”. Just what you need to wake you up in the morning, especially when you look like the living dead. Having taken Paddy out for his walk, we had breakfast and started organising ourselves for dry docking at 9am. I made sure we had all the paint, brushes and pipe work for the outlets ready in the engine room. Keith got our gangplank out of the hold and we then waited for Les to call us in to the dry dock.

8.30am Les gave us the thumbs up that we could go into the dock, so Keith fired up Hadar and reversed her into place. With the boards in place, Les began to pump the dock out, which took an hour and half. Les then set up the pressure washer, which Keith was going to be in charge of. Whilst Keith got his wet gear on, Les gave the pressure washer to me and set me to work. Now I know why men feel powerful with a tool in their hands. It was fantastic seeing all the green algae coming off and some of the old blacking which had been knocked about through out the winter when we were breaking ice.

Keith took over from me once he was suitably dressed, so I got on with drying off around the back counter, so that I could undercoat the red and white areas. Before lunch I got a coat of red gloss on the bow and around the stern, so it was all going very well.

Whilst I did the painting, Keith helped Les to fit our brand new propeller. If it works half as well as it looks, we should be able to fly on the rivers now. To get the old propeller off, Les had to get his torch out to heat it up a little to make it come off, but he said that it was not as difficult as some he has done. So we now have a nice shiny new propeller thanks to the work of the guys at Crowthers.

For lunch I made us some Cheese and Onion Toasted sandwiches, which we have not had for quite a while. Keith went up to the shop to by us some crisps, whilst lunch was toasting, unfortunately Keith managed to drop one of his toasted sandwiches into the dry dock, so he only got to enjoy half of his lunch.

After lunch, I continued painting, whilst Keith took photographs, there was very little for him to do until we start the blacking.

Marmite is not at all impressed with being in dry dock; she has been all over the place since we came into the dock. Paddy is much more laid back and relaxed.

Tuesday. Blacking day.

The alarm went off at 7am again and we crawled out of bed. Having done all the morning stuff, we were both eager to get on with the job in hand. As we stepped off of the stern of the boat on to the gang plank it was clear we either had a leak, or the pump in the dock was not working, because water was creeping up the floor in the dock. Neil checked the pump and it had stopped working, so he set another one to work to clear the accumulation of water, whilst we waited for Les to come into work. Whilst we waited for the new pump to be fitted to the docks pump out machine, I painted the rubbing strakes with Black gloss around the back counter. Keith started to black the starboard side of the boat, whilst I was glossing. I then tackled the port side and we met at the bow, with the dock now dry again. Whilst Keith and I got on with the blacking, Les welded a new battery tray in under the boatman’s cabin floor for us, because the battery box we had glued to the floor had come adrift, so we thought we would have a proper tray fitted, as we are having our boat safety done this summer.

With the first coat of blacking done, I made us some lunch and a coffee, as we had not stopped all morning. After lunch I got on with painting another coat of red gloss on the bow and Keith painted another coat of White gloss around the back counter. I then painted the Red gloss around the back counter, so that is now finished.

We were all done by 2.30pm, which is pretty good going. With no more painting to be done, we got the fenders out and oiled them…..

“Oiled them” I hear you cry.

Yes we use our old engine oil to coat our fenders in, it gives them a waterproof coat for protection. Before coating the fenders I laid down some plastic to stand the fenders on, Keith then dribbled the oil over the fenders, whilst I used an old paintbrush to push the oil into the holes. The fenders were then left to soak up the remaining oil, they will be put back on the boat on Thursday morning, before we leave the dock.

With the days work all done, we sat outside and drank coffee, whilst watching the Ewes and Lambs in the field. Three times we saw Kingfishers flying to and fro, so I am thinking they may have a nest up the river.

It has been another successful day as far as the boat painting is concerned.

Wednesday Blacking Day 2.

Another early morning saw us paint the second coat of blacking and do all the other glossing work.

We were all done by lunchtime so went to the Wharf Inn for a lovely lunch and a much deserved Pint of Old Speckled Hen. During the evening we had a visit from Chris a good friend and whilst we stood chatting we got to watch Springtime at its best when a family of foxes came out to play.
In all there were 4 cubs all of a good size. They were quite happily playing with each other in the evening sunshine, whilst watching for their parents who came back with food. This then meant a squabble of who was getting fed first. We had our very own Spring Watch.
It was such a treat to stand and watch the foxes at play.

Thursday. Dry dock exit.

We got up early to put the fenders back on the boat and to tidy up any mess we had made. Les did not arrive at the yard till gone 9am so we were ready and waiting for him to let the water back into the dock. It certainly fills up much quicker than it empties. Luckily the wharf mooring we had left was still empty, so we moored up there again ready for our coal delivery on Friday.

Today being Friday, so we got the hold ready for our coal delivery which arrived at 11am. Keith and Paul took the coal from Chris on the lorry, they then passed it to me and I stacked it in the hold. When we had finished loading the 5 tonne into the hold, I made us all a drink and bought out the cake and biscuit boxes. Paul and Chris left us to fill the water tank, and whilst that was taking place, I made us some lunch, which we would eat on the move. We are now moored at Mountain Barn, we may stay here the weekend, we have not decided yet.

The whole week has been great one way or another. it is so nice to have the boat blacked and full of coal again. The new propeller is working well, so all is good in my world at the moment.

Chat soon xxx


  1. Good to have you back ...you've been missed ...x

  2. Hi Lorna. Thank you, it is nice to know someone missed me ;0).


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