Wednesday, 2 January 2019

New year

It was a quiet new years eve for us only broken by the fireworks that woke us up at midnight!

We needed clear heads for the first day of 2019 to take part in the new years day dip, a phenomenon that is played out on beaches  the world over.

A bracing start to the new year, there are many places warmer than the Med to take the plunge and a considerable amount a lot cooler.

I used to be towel man as I watched Sue taking a swim in the Irish sea on this day year after year - I could never be tempted to bare skin in those frigid temperatures.

Here in Mojacar  in honour of our mate Elaine McBride who this annual event is named, around 100 dippers took the plunge to raise money for good causes. Organised by Brad the unofficial mayor of this parish and his wife Ann. Well done to them both.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Valve clearance on a Vetus M4.17

It was time in FL's maintenance schedule to check/adjust the valve clearances. 

Rocker cover removed

Turning the crank to get piston one to Top Dead Centre

TDC achieved when the pulley timing mark aligned with block timing mark.

Inlet and exhaust valve can them be adjusted too 0.25mm
 Pistons 3, 4 & then 2 valves are adjusted after turning the crank 180 degrees after each pair of valves are adjusted.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Elan Valley

We  had a trip out to Llandrindod Wells a Victorian Spa market town in the centre of Wales. Where  Roly & Bev who showed us around 'their patch' which included the Elan Valley.

The Metropole Hotel 

Sea serpent sculpture in Llandrindod Lake Park.

The Elan valley has a total of 6 dams that make reservoirs to keep the population of Birmingham, 76 miles away from going thirsty, pipes and aqueducts were used to transport the water by the victorian engineers without the need for any pumps along the way. 


It's always a pleasure to watch red kites floating across the sky's while cruising the southern waterways.
Here in Mid Wales there is the opportunity to see up to 600 turn up to the feeding station at Rhayader.

En route to the reservoirs we saw squadrons of the birds on their way for their daily feast at Gigrin farm

Refreshment in the Llanerch Inn after a days exploring.
Back on the boat we watched the autumn rugby internationals . New Zealand beat England by a point after a dubious decision by the South African TMO ( probably evening up the Owen Farrell tackle decision that didn't go SA's way last week).

Sue is away to look after her mum for a while, which leaves me free to get on with some boaty jobs.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Shugborough ...

..mansion is a National Trust property we haven't visited before, we did stroll the grounds a few years ago before it became part of the NT's portfolio. 

It's only a short walk from our mooring at Great Haywood  crossing over the Trent via the Grade 1 listed  Essex packhorse bridge.

We are usually more interested in what goes on downstairs (we know our place) than the grand upstairs rooms, which were paid for in part by George Ansons naval exploits plundering Spanish Treasure ships in 1740's.

Front entrance


Folly built as a ruin.



The Aston silver

The Kitchen

The Laundry

Iron heater

Servants  hall.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Trick or Treat

That is another season of cruising nearly over, it is strange that it seems to of flashed by and on the other hand it seems like an age since we were in Stratford on Avon.

We have been back in the marina for the last week, while there I have been catching up with some maintenance tasks, the engine boards have been painted, inside hatch doors and rear doors varnished. I also changed the two engine alternator belts, the one below was in a sorry state. 

I bought new ones from the local car parts shop for £6.99 each, Midland Chandlers wanted a whopping £18.50 for each one.

This activity has been intermingled with some time out with friends.

We are now back out on the canal chugging along the T&M towards Tixall for a few days, it's cold enough for hats gloves and thermals - for this crew at least  - who have not been in temps hovering around zero for a couple of years. Which has reminded me that it is time to renew the antifreeze in FL's cooling system.

Early morning bovines

This could almost be canal art for Halloween 

Trick or treat!