Friday, 31 December 2010

My free icemaker

I was expecting the worst next time I would visit the boat as I hadn't been there for about 2 and a half months. The reason was firstly, I that I had a knee operation which went well and secondly it's freezing cold so I did not dare ride my bike there, even if I could start it. Meanwhile, it snowed heavily and rained a little bit so I expected lots of water inside apart from any engine issues (I did not "winterise" it..).

And that's exactly what I saw when I open the hatch. Only there was the added surprise of a thick layer of ice on top of the water. Free ice on a boat! Great! And the smell was terrible, everything was bloody damp. Luckily the battery was good enough to run the bilge pump and a couple of lights. I doubt that it can start the engine though but I didn't try as it's seawater cooled and the boat is on the hard at the moment.

The bilge pump was literally running for ages as the water was well above the floorboords (perhaps 7"). Meanwhile I started peeling off the tape I had used when antifouling, which I forgot to do then and it was now a pain to peel off. That took a while.

I repositioned the mast which had previously been taken down and was placed in a bit of awkward position and for the next couple of hours tried to cover the boat using a canvas cover that came with the boat and a tarpaulin I bought. It was quite an effort and I 'm not sure I did a great job as the covers could not reach the entire length of the boat plus the boat is quite high from the ground so not easy to do it from the ground. Anyway, I'm not going into further details, it's now 31 Dec and got to run off to some friends to welcome 2011. I'm glad I did the few little jobs I had to and will be more determined in the new year to finally do some sailing on Ting-a-Ling.

Happy new year.

Monday, 6 December 2010

A crazy idea

Some things have changed in my life recently or are about to change. I know I should be doing some work on the boat, but since I'm not doing it, I can make plans and dream about my new life. One of the candidate plans is going back to my homeland, Greece, after more than 11 years in the UK. Now this return, I want to be special and I originally thought I'd cycle back to Greece from London when the time comes. But now that I have the boat, I can sail back! I am slightly concerned though if I have to take the long route round Spain and via Gibraltar. There are more options, mainly through the French canals. But I also just discovered this route here: - North Sea to Black Sea!

Here are a few more links: get feed

Sunday, 5 December 2010

While I wait

I have no news regarding the boat. It is now on the hard at Prior's Boatyard at Burham-on-Crouch awaiting some TLC. But what with the injured knee, operation, chilly weather and lack of a decent means of transport (by decent I just mean of the enclosed form..) it's been difficult to get there and I'm worried that it's just rotting away.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is to share a link to a TV series I found on 4oD. Since I'm not doing any real boat work I can at least be a couch sailor and I really enjoy watching and reading anything that has to do with sailing. The series is called Classic Ships and consists of 6 episodes, starting from a review of the Roayl Yacht Britannia which was commissioned in 1893 and sparked the big yacht racing. I haven't watched all episodes yet but the first one is definitely worth watching.

Here it is:

I've also found this series called "Yachting and Sailing", again on 4oD. This is mostly dealing with yacht racing for both amateurs and professionals. Here it is: get feed