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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Leeds back to Stanley Ferry, a bath and a cuddle from friends...

Ignoring that last "photo" posting,   Having ended the guest cruising season and then getting blocked in Leeds by the River Aire doing her thing, I decided it was as good a time as any to collapse in a heap take advantage of some emotional and practical support that has been frequently offered by friends.

You see, the thing about being a 'Ginger Super Hero'  (me), is that I'm not very good at  accepting I'm just as frail emotionally and have physical limitations (despite what my stupid self sufficient brain tries to tell me) as everyone else is  accepting help when it's offered...   Since I've been doing this on my own - I've been very fortunate to have the support of good, kind and high value friends... by value I don't mean wealth in the fiscal side of things, I mean truly valuable people...folk with morality, virtue, big open hearts and also the ability to see through my attempt at a brave face sometimes.

 Month after month I'd been declining assistance... with my usual, "thanks but I'm quite capable of doing everything on my own" response - which, having now proven was the case (for the most part), I decided now to accept the offer of a soak in a bath (with a large G & T), supper prepared for me and a much needed emotional cuddle....  It did feel odd being away from the boat for so long (and by that I mean longer than the usual trip to the shops/wander around a new town) but it was lovely to have an evening of being looked after.

Feeling rejuvenated somewhat, I decided to begin my list of winter maintenance jobs... BY begin, I mean WRITING the list...

There are lots of things that I need to do but (being a bit of a forward planner) I thought I'd start with things I'm going to need help with first... my thinking being that if you are going to ask someone to help, you should give them as much notice as possible and not put any time pressures on them.  With that in mind, I sent my friend a message to see if she might be prepared to make a 2nd set of cushion covers for the dinette seating... you may remember, I had a brave (but rubbish) attempt myself a few years ago on the first set - which she unpicked, and then did "properly" ... at the time giving us a giggle when she'd asked "Why didn't you stop at one?" lol...  my attempt truly was rubbish....  Anyway - the fabric I'd bought at the time, whilst the colour was right, wasn't very hard wearing...  SO  this time, I've had a wander around Leeds Indoor Market and found some lovely "tougher" burgundy (I'm avoiding the use of the word purple) stuff that I hope will be just the ticket.  I've no idea WHAT it actually is, but it feels a bit like "bus-seat" stuff.  Fingers crossed it's not awful to work with.  I bought 2 metres more than I thought I needed  - to take into account 'ginger measuring variations' 😛
Before bed I took a quick walk to river lock only to find it still flashing red... un deterred, I set my alarm for silly oclock in the hope I'd be able to get on my way the next morning.

AS it happened, by 6.30am, the water level was just into the Amber so I decided to give it an hour to see whether it was going down or up and then set off downstream... worse case being, once I got to Knostrop I could always take cover again.

The sun came out and stopping briefly at the service point on the river (the pump out machine had been left on pause so I managed to empty the black water tank for free)  I began a lovely (if cold) trip down the river.

As is now often the case when I'm single handing, I put on a life-jacket...  clambering up and down slimy ladders and slippy lock landings feels a lot more dangerous when there is no one around to "help" in the event of a slip.  IT's a pain as the "big one" rubs on the back of my neck all day but I figured being unconscious in the water the RIGHT Way up with a bit of a blister is more use than being comfortable but dead!

By the time I'd gotten down through Knostrop, Fishponds, Woodlesford and on to Lemonroyd on my own, another boat appeared out of the the marina there and shared the big lock with me - it being very handy NOT having to climb up and down the ladder there.... although when exciting the lock (which had been on flashing amber when we went in) I noticed the water was BACK in the red again...  too late - SO , pressing on down stream, mindful the turn might be interesting at Castleford,  the journey seemed to fly by - helped by the flow of  the Aire.  

AS predicted, when I arrived at the meeting of the rivers  it did feel like a bit of a handbrake turn to get onto the Calder... followed by "Scooby Do" legs/propeller to make progress upstream.  NO matter, Ellis's engine is up to it and within about 30 mins, I found myself approaching Woodnook lock (my exit off the river)  - only to note the Calder was by now about 3 inches into the red.    

I'd not made bad timing though  and when I eventually tied up on the visitor moorings at Stanley Ferry, it had taken me just 5 hours and 15 mins... not bad for a solo journey...  the "record" thus far being 4 hours 30 with crew...

I must admit though, I was relieved to be "home"... 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

FOR the winter, I have 2 options mooring wise: IN the back corned of the Marina (so as not to block it off for the rest of the shorter boats) OR on the Diesel point (practically on the Stanley Ferry Aqueduct.  You see, they've stopped selling diesel now (although there isn't a sign up to that effect) ...  both have their merits / drawbacks .  My initial thinking is that I'll "try" the diesel point because it's on the mainline (so I can come and go easily on the boat if I do any short trips/2 night specials to Leeds Xmas Markets or whatever).

With this in mind, I spotted "the space they'd allocated for me" and figured I'd reverse  back and see how it felt.  Hmm - it turned out the "space" was 1 foot shorter than Ellis is long - and (not wanting to bugger around /brass off boats tied up there), I admitted defeat and came back to the visitor moorings to await the marina office opening on Tuesday.

I took a walk around to the back corner of the marina and here is the other space I could be in... 

It would be handier for coal,diesel, shopping etc but It would be a bugger to get inand out of... especially with a bit of wind (which Stanley Ferry always seems to have)..

ANYWAY - Next day, the moorings chap moved a boat out of the way and I'm now "fitted in" to someone elses space as it happenes... I'm "space sitting" whilst a boat currently out of the water is worked on... probably for 2 months - at which point I can either go into the corner or further to the right on the aqueduct. 
It's ok for now - getting on and off is bloody dangerous in the dark  a bit of a scramble, but I'm plugged into the shoreline (only a 10amp feed so I have to be careful not to use the toaster and kettle at the same time)  but I can use the immersion heater to get hot water without running the engine or webasto so I'm happy enough.

ONE down side though is the water pressure on the tap on the old toll house is a bit higher than I'm used to... ergo, some ginger idiot over filled the tank (again) which necessitated removal of the inspection hatch under the rear steps in order to mop out the cabin bilge from the tank vent.  

I'm SO pleased I fitted that cabin bilge alarm ...  I never got around to fitting the bilge pump to go with it, but tbh, as it's set so low, the pump wouldn't be able to get the water out anyway unless it was MUCH deeper... I'm happy to know a tiny bit is in there and deal with it there and then before waiting for it to get too deep.

NOTE TO SELF - keep an eye on the tank when filling to stop it happening for the (umpteenth) time again.

BACK on dry land, deliveries have begun in the form of new phenolic board to re-make the bow seats - the current "painted ply" not having survived too well.  I've got some epoxy resin coming too so i can seal the edges - MEANWHILE, I'm using the summer house as a work shop and will bring things to the boat when they are ready to be fitted rather than falling over them for the next few months.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

Why not just extend the tank vent overboard, that way you can over fill the tank and flush it overboard.