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My first ever blog - I mean first ever!

Posted by Ange, 24 July 2009 · 265 views

OK - I've steered clear of this for long enough - afraid of an unknown medium probably. Hey ho here goes - my first ever ever blog (and maybe no one will ever read it - I feel slightly presumptious to think that anyone will - but then it'll be a diary entry for me to look back on - not so bad)

We've been living aboard full time since 21st June and everyone wants to know how it's going. It's always too complex to answer. It's difficult to explain the complexities of life aboard a less than ideally equipped boat without sounding like I made a mistake. I'll explain the less than ideal areas in our life but first I must stress - I definitely haven't made a mistake - my eyes were wide open and I knew what I was getting into - definitely no regrets.

Our main problem at the moment is lack of water tank. We bought Iona from a broker near Manchester, had a very good survery during which he did tell us that he had no way of vouching for the water tank. We picked her up on my birthday (oh my god what a wonderful birthday present that was!) and spent two weeks moving her to the Coventry area where my brother could keep an eye on her while we winded up our land based lives. We did notice that the water tank did need refilling more than we expected but put that down to the amount of cleaning that was happening (she'd sat neglected for some months at the brokerage). When we we'd found a safe place to leave her for a fortnight and taken our belongings off, Dave must have had a hunch that something wasn't right and checked the back cabin under the bed. He found the back of the boat, almost up to the floor, was full of water. Our stainless steel water tank had steadily dripped all the water we'd poured into it into the back of the boat - I shudder to think what would have happened if Dave hadn't have looked - would she have sunk? Two or three hours of back breaking bailing out followed while the kitchen tap was on to empty the tank.

So - to fix the problem? Well - Dave couldn't detect where the leak was coming from so opted for the radical solution of taking out the stainless steel water tank and replacing it with a flexible tank (apparantly stainless steel tanks are suscepible to some sort of metal fatigue - they keep moving till they split) Dave crawled under the well deck with his scuba gear rigged up to catch air from the outside and set upon the water tank with his angle grinder - I was sat in the boat feeling like the most useless person on earth watching the sparks in that confined environment so scared that Dave would do himself an injury.

Tis done now though - the steel water tank is no more, the flexible tank is bought (if you want more details ask Dave). I have no clue really what needs to happen next, only that we brought some very heavy lumps of steel from Ashford to Bolton to use to provide some sort of reinforcement for our flexible tank.

At the moment we have an aqua roll that we fill up and two large drums that the pipe that feeds the taps takes its water from. Sorry - that is so rubbish - if Dave was here he could tell you the volume of the drums under the well deck. I know they run dry very often.

We don't have hot water either - the kettle provides that. I can't remember why that doesn't work either - I think it may be something to do with stuff being under water when the tank flooded - but maybe I'm thinking of why the shower doesn't work (strip washes at the sink after boiling the kettle!).

The fridge doesn't work either - we're moored near mum & dad at the moment and mum keeps giving us the blue frozen things in a cool bag - they're stopping our milk from going off.

And our batteries are shot to pieces, we need to get new ones. I can only plug things in when the engine is running.

That all sounds incredibly negative - but I am happy - I look out of my window and see a couple of swans with 6 cygnets go by and it just makes my day. When we move the boat just the routines of tying and untying ropes, working locks, talking to strangers, it's just another world. Old boys come up to us and talk about their memories of the old working boats - dog walkers stop and chat.

I need to learn more about the stuff that I keep laying on Dave's doorstep - it's not fair on him to leave him with it all. While I was writing this I understood my gap in knowledge - must be remedied.

Lots of thinking & learning to be done
(Never done a blog - does one normally sign off?)

Wow - did my first blog without talking about toilets - must do better next time!

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Thanks for all the replies - I only just found them! When I read the blog it says comments (0) so i thought no one had responded. Then I told it to send me and e-mail when someone did and hey presto I find 10 comments.
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