Missions to Gordale

Messing About on the River...

Here is a group of pictures of the more enjoyable aspects of cruising my new narrow boat down the River Great Ouse from Bedford's Priory Marina to Westview Marina at Earith where she was due to come out of the water for hull blacking. She has now been out of the water and had her hull blacked, had her water tank cleaned, fixed and painted, had a new engine and gearbox fitted and is currently back in the water at the far end of the marina amidst lots of surface weeds which make it look as if she is on the grass.

In these pictures you can see how a simple looking job gets a lot more complicated. I wanted to put in a new shower, basin and toilet that I had acquired. However, when I got to the shower I was horrified to find that the floor below was completely soaking and rotten, very bad smell, and someone had even put a chipboard floor under the toilet and washbasin. I could have just covered it up and pretended it was not there but I didn't want that stuff on my boat. I set about removing all the flooring and walls in the area and started back in from scratch. I cleared out all the ballast and the sludge, chipped of the rust from the inside of the hull and dried the areas. I bought new ply, acquired some free bricks for ballast [there were several missing and broken] and Janice washed all the old bricks. I began putting it all back together after some judicious bitumen application to the stern bulkhead.

Next time we went down I got on with refitting and putting in the new floor and shower suite. I used 3/4" waterproof marine ply for the flooring with some rather nice dark laminate flooring to give it a nice finish. The walls went back up and the plumbing for the shower and wash hand basin went back in. I put up a new mirrored cabinet over the toilet, tiled the shower walls and fitted new drain pipes for the shower and wash hand basin. Then it was just a case of reconnecting the shower drain pump and we had a fully working system again. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the tiling but I'll grab those next time when I put the finishing touches to it all. The new flooring looks really nice and the Thetford toilet with its electric flush is a welcome change from the Porta-Potti style thing we had before. It's also got a spare tank which makes the emptying requirements a bit less desperate - just out with the full one and pop in the empty one, then empty the full one the next day.

A Small Job Got Bigger

Here are a few videos of my time with the boat. The first one is about us doing some work and an examination of the hull and water tank. The second is of a seal we encountered on our pontoon one morning. Its parents were across on another pontoon and all of them stayed there so everyone could have a good look. The third is a family of swans who come to clear up the weeds in the marina. The fourth is a restaurant we tried out in St. Ives, with Bollywood music videos on the widescreen telly.