Sunday, 5 June 2011

Stagnant Sunday afternoon at Lime Farm

I hate that day, every year, when you open the boat up after the winter. Today was that day for us, and we churned up the M11 and A14 to the bowels of North Warwickshire to return North Star to her cruising splendour. A levels, staggering amounts of travel (Washington DC last week, New Orleans next week) and a thousand other engagements have prevented us cruising at all so far this spring.

We have been on tenterhooks (whatever they may be) since the snow in December when we were iced in at Ansty and didn't manage to drain the water tank until a week later. Will we have survived without damaging the pipework? We don't know. Actually we don't know how we will know either, as the water pump is behind a bulkhead and so very inaccessible.

We decide that the easiest test - and quite possibly the stupidest - is simply to fill the tank and see if the boat floods or sinks. It doesn't, but we remain unconvinced. How on earth do you check all the pipework? Answers on a postcard.

Quite remarkably, the batteries have retained 70% charge and the engine putters into life almost instantly. With the pleasant rumble of the BMC in the background, we busy ourselves with cleaning inside and out, listening to the cricket and a bit of Wogan. You know you're getting old when you can listen to Wogan without feeling old. If you see what I mean.

The afternoon was humid, stagnant and just about typical for June: the sound of squirrels, pigeons and robins chattering all around, the air warm and perfectly still. Maybe opening the boat up isn't as bad as it used to be either. Maybe that's also a sign of getting older.

1 comment:

  1. We have been on tenterhooks (whatever they may be)

    The hooks that fish hang from in a smoker.

    How on earth do you check all the pipework? Answers on a postcard.

    Turn on all taps and wait for water to flush through, taking out any air pockets. If the pump pressurises the pipework when the taps are turned off. Then stops running for more than 5 mins, without cutting in to re-pressurise, you know that the pipework is ok.

    If it leaks, then pump the tank dry. All taps left open before looking for the leak.