I think in a some of my previous posts, I have explained that living on and owning a boat can be an expensive business if you do not know how to do some of the jobs yourself, so you need to be a carpenter, plumber, electrician and engineer because if you do not have a clue how to maintain your own boat it may well cost you a small fortune.
Last night this was bought home once again when at 6 pm Keith took Paddy for his evening walk and on his way out he switched the generator on to charge the batteries for the night, he had not been gone more than 5 minutes when the generator switched itself off. Strange I thought and so switched it back on again, within a minute or so it switched itself off, this rang alarm bells, that there was something most definitely wrong. Dinner was cooked but that was abandoned when Keith got back with Paddy, as we needed to investigate the problem with the generator, otherwise we would not have enough charge in the batteries to last over night. First of all we thought it maybe a fuel problem, so change one of the fuel filters on the built in generator, but that did not make any difference, then Keith suggested it maybe a water problem and maybe the impellor needed changing, so we took that apart, the impellor was looking as thought it was on its last legs, but once again it did not cure the problem, by this time it was getting on for 7.30 pm and with no chance of running the generator, I made the suggestion that we should pole the boat into the basin and connect up to the electric on the sanitary station, which we have done before when we get our coal deliveries. So there we were in the pitch dark, Keith poling the boat from the back counter and me bow hauling the boat backwards until the point came for me to step on to the bow before I ran out of ground. We actually made it into the basin easily and were soon on the sanitary station and all hooked up with lots of lovely power coming into the boat. With us both being hungry and confused as to the problem, we decided to call it a night and to have our now over cooked dinner, which I only ate half off because I was well past eating by this time and actually pretty frustrated that we had not found the problem with the generator.
I can say I did not have a particularly good nights sleep, mainly because I had the flippin generator on my mind, and with us both awake at 4am and then again at 6am, I got up made us a cup of tea and toast, whilst we lay in bed discussing our tactics for the day. We were up just after 7am, I walked Paddy and when we got back from the walk Keith and I started to strip the engine room down again to get to the generator, this time taking the shelf off above the generator to get to the oil and water tanks. The oil was fine, but the water tank was empty arghhhhhh, this was the problem we had no water, at first we thought it maybe due to a leaking pipe, but having filled the tank up it did not leak, so we can only think it evaporated away. Before we did anything else, we poled the boat out of the basin and back on to the towpath, because we did not want to run the generator in the basin, so we upped sticks and moved again. All moored up, Keith filled the water tank on the generator and switched the generator on at 8.45am, hey presto it was still running after 15 minutes, so it looks like we cured the problem ourselves. Whilst we were at it, we changed the oil filter and gave the generator an oil change, so now she is as good as new, I hope. Now if we had not been able to do that work ourselves, it would have cost us a lot of money, just in man hours alone, of course it is true to say the engineer may have realised before we did what the problem was, but even so we would have had to pay him for his time.
Having done all we needed to do it was then time to put the engine room back how it was before we started the strip down, this gave me the chance to tidy a few tools away and give the place a good clean, there is always a bright side to life. Whilst we were working on the generator and waiting for the old oil to seep out, I got on with filling the water tank and serving a regular customer, there is never a dull moment with living on a boat. In all it was actually a good mornings work, but I will have my fingers crossed for later on when we run the generator to charge the batteries for the night.
It is now lunch time and the plan for this afternoon is to put the gearbox back together, so watch this space to see how that goes.
On the breast infection front, it seems to have settled down and with only one day left on my antibiotics I am hoping it stays that way. I had a booked phone call with my GP to discuss my blood test results and all seems fine with those all the she did say my infection level was up which is explained because of my breast infection. In some respects I am glad to have been given a clean bill of health, but I still have no idea where I am in the Menopause, so I will have to grin and bare it I guess.