Saturday, 11 June 2016

Radford Semele (Checking Chalkhill Blue II)

My Dad looking like the proud father of a new baby

Wednesday and Thursday were a bit traumatic, boat-maintenance-wise, as the bilge pump pipe split and a water pressure release valve gave way on the calorifier.  The calorifier is where the hot water is stored and is in the engine bay – the valve had started to drip so I knew I had to replace it but on Wednesday morning the drip had turned into a leak and was filling the bilge.   To make matters worse the bilge pump pipe had split so I couldn’t pump the water out with the bilge pump.  I was down in the engine bay and let out an expletive when I realised the extent of the issues; fortunately, Craig (our neighbour) was cycling past on his way to work and popped his head down to see what the issue was.  As he is a plumber, amongst other trades, he said he would get me a new valve and fit it when he came home from work.

I turned the pressure down on the water system to return the leak to a drip and got my trusty cordless drill with a water pump attachment and spent most of the morning in the engine bay pumping out the bilge. 

When Craig went to fit the new valve we found out that the old one was a male fitting and the one he bought was a female – that’s the sort of thing that only goes wrong for me usually.  To cut a long story short, it wasn’t until Thursday evening that everything was fixed.

On Thursday I received a warning email from C&RT saying that our boat had been seen moored in the same place for more than two weeks (the limit).   I explained that after the first fortnight I had moved to Warwick, turned round and was now facing in the opposite direction. 

C&RT agreed to remove the ‘warning’ from their records of the boat’s movements

Sitting in the cratch for a drink before dinner on Thursday evening we noticed one of the tomato plants had started producing fruit.  I know many of you with greenhouses will have probably started harvesting your first tomatoes but this was a nice surprise for us.

Our first tomato fruits this year

On Thursday Buddy and I had cycled into Leamington Spa (Leam as we now call it) so I could have my annual haircut.  I had found a hairdressers that would let Buddy sit next to me while I had the operation.

As well as the tomatoes, Karen’s parsley seeds had sprouted enough that I could use fresh parsley when I cooked later in the evening.

Relaxing with a drink before dinner (sporting my annual haircut)

On Friday I went up to Aintree to check on the progress of the new boat, picking up my father from Northwich station on the way.  The shell (steelwork) is now complete and is ready to be trucked to the boatyard in Northwich for painting and interior fit out.  The boat has been ready for a couple of weeks but the fork lift truck, that the boat builders use to manoeuvre boats out of the sheds to be craned onto lorries, has broken down.  Something is wrong hydraulically and the replacement part won't arrive until Tuesday at the earliest.  This means they have a backlog of finished boats and are starting to run out of space to continue building others.

The picture at the top shows our boat sandwiched between two other completed shells waiting for the truck to be repaired,

The left hand side from the front: portholes for our bedroom and the bathroom.  The saloon with a window, dinette with opening side doors and a window for the galley right at the back

The inside from the front doors

The stern which has a lot less space than the current Chalkhill Blue as the new boat is 13 feet shorter

As we have lived on the current boat for quite a while we knew exactly how to design the new boat.  For example we are having the dinette seating raised so that we can look directly out of the side hatches (that will have windows in them) onto the water whilst eating.  At present we sit low down so cannot see onto the water which is most frustrating.  We are also having side hatches rather than windows in the dinette so that they can be open in the summer to bring us even closer to the water.

The right hand side from the rear – galley window, dinette side doors, saloon window and bathroom and bedroom ports at the other end

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