Tuesday 31 March 2015

Flowing water

We'd set aside these two days for de-winterising Erin Mae. It wasn't our fault (I don't think!) that the sky was throwing out rain and sleet and hail, and the wind, up at strong gale force, was trying to tear the curtains of the pram cover from their stitched moorings.

Re-commissioning the water system after the winter break was straightforward, partly because of the notes I'd made as Anglo-Welsh Keith had winterised it in November. So we had flowing water inside as well as outside and all the noises seemed normal. I now feel confident about looking after the whole process myself, which will save a good number of pennies next winter. The only issue will be thinking how to empty the calorifier (the hot water tank). When Keith did it, he took off the pressure-release valve, poked a hose down inside and sucked out the water with a convenient spare water-pump he happened to have. I don't have such a stock to draw from, so may have to call upon Messrs Heath and Robinson to offer advice when the time comes.

Meanwhile the gale was separating some of the Velcro fastenings of the curtains on the pram cover, which were then thrashing around in the middle of the night. I had to get out of bed, out of the back of the boat, and fasten them in their rolled-up positions. This morning's inspection showed a slight tear in the fabric where the strain had been strongest, so I may have to go back to Wilson's for advice on sorting that out.

Last of all, I did the measurements for setting up the solar panel we're hoping to install. More power equals a larger panel, and I needed to check that the one we have in mind will leave room for me to walk around it when I'm on the roof as we negotiate locks. I also needed to decide on the position of the charge controller and measure up the cable lengths.

The appalling weather meant we decided to come home again as soon as these jobs were done. Neither of us fancied another night under those conditions. But it's nice to be starting the process of getting Erin Mae ready for some cruising.