Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Le Drip!

Well Thursday saw the boat back in the water! The yard had done their usual job of making her fast to the pontoon and I had “ bits of string” everywhere. I have purpose made mooring warps which when they would have cast off her taking her around to be lifted and placed on the hard and I would have thought that they could have replaced them without too much trouble, its pretty fool proof (or is it?)

We went down to the boat on Friday to get her ready for the season, Given that she is fresh in the water I checked out the bilges and all seemed OK! So we spent the day in a fairly relaxed mode and in the evening we checked out the new restaurants and shops in the Marina. After a great meal we returned to the boat and the Weather was closing in. By 22.00 it was raining hard and Time to retire. The Dehumidifier system had done a great job and the boat was completely dry and not “damp” at all. I looked forward to a good nights sleep back on the boat.

At 04.00 I was awakened by a barely discernable drip, drip, drip, I lay there listening for a few seconds to the rain, but the drip concerned me as it was coming from the lower half of the boat ( below or close to the waterline). I quietly got out of bed (so as not to wake my wife, Fat chance!) and clasping a flashlight I went to investigate. I checked out the heads first and climbed all around the bilge and found no water or the sign of any ingress. I moved systematically into the Galley and removed all the food stocks and pots and pans from the lower cupboards and had a good old rummage, I was “getting warm” as the drip was very loud now but after a further exploration of the bilge under the Galley there was still no water leak to be found.

My wife who was by now well awake and had been cajoling me grumpily to come back to bed, now standing by my side, could hear the drip and was helping me, armed with the flashlight she had stopped her cajoling Initially she couldn’t hear the drip and was surprised that I had heard it at all as I have damaged hearing from several diving accidents. I guess one knows the sounds of a vessel and gets attuned and this was one I didn’t want too hear, especially as she had just been put back in the water, any dripping usually denotes the water ingress from a skin fitting or pipe about to “blow off” all mostly leading to the boats eventual sinking.

I could hear the rain and thought that there may be a point at which it was dripping on to the coach roof but a quick check through the wheelhouse windows showed that there wasn’t and the drip was coming from the lower half of the boat anyway. The only other thing now was to check out the outside of the boat and this I did with flashlight in hand I left the wheelhouse door, out into the rain,and went along the starboard side looking down at the waterline and I found that a fender had been tied to the safety lines of the vessel (which gives it a good length of line on which to swing on) which with the motion of the boat this was what it was doing, whilst gently touching the hull every second. Here was my “drip”!!!!! some what disgruntled I returned to the wheel house door only to find it locked. Given that I was completely “as the day I was born” (does this man have no modesty!!! this could be a problem not for me but for the other marina users, should I still be on deck when the sun came up. Notwithstanding Hyperthermia for me) I was worried as my wife is a deep sleeper and had obviously gone back to bed leaving me locked out on deck, I was now getting really worried when all of a sudden a laughing face appeared at the Venetian blinds and requested that I say please before she would open the door, Bitch!!!:o))

Having finally been let it, Yes I did eventually say please! We giggled like two year olds at my folly and went to sleep.

At 10.30 we were still asleep and we,after showers and rising late for us, headed straight for the greasy spoon for a “belly buster” breakfast. I finished the tiling to the Microwave installation over the hob in the galley and ran the power feed to its new plug. I have to say I think it looks really good, all I have to do now is grout the tiles when the adhesive is dry.

Later in the day whilst in town shopping for “some bits” I received a phone call to say that we were to be invaded and that Gnasher and family were in the area! did we fancy some lunch? We duly met up with them on the sea front and my daughter in law like the stunt driver from “Starsky and Hutch” (surely you remember them? No! Oh you don`t!!!!!) gathered us up and performed a perfect handbrake turn to send us back to the marina for lunch.

I got to walk Gnasher around to dispel his boredom, while the family waited for a table at the pizzaria . Gnasher and I, Having been told eventually to “Bugger off” by the hotel porter, from continuously using the Hotels automatic doors, Elliot found it great fun (after I showed him how to do it) to run at the doors and when they opened run away just in time before they hit him from behind. He didn’t do so well the first time but he is a quick learner and I had grabbed him in time so he didn’t get knocked over. We were bored with that anyway and the porter wasn’t too happy so we continued our walk past the pizzaria and stood with our noses up againts the glass pulling faces at our family standing waiting inside. Elliot spotted a little cairn terrier whose gay owner was mincing past and made an attempt to stroke it. The owner, delighted that anybody should take interest in his pet, made towards us! I said “it bites” and he replied Oh no! its good with children! I replied “He does I`m not worried about the dog”. Oh! he said and minced away muttering “come Fido lets get you as far away from that horrible little child as possible” Elliot looked up at me and smiled that Jaws type grin of his and we continued on.

Our walk saw us back in time to sit down to eat but I couldn’t help noticing the finger and nose marks on the windows strange how they were at two levels?

Their visit made our day and having spent one more night on the boat we tidied up and returned home, all boated up for now! and bursting to get back soon. The first trip of this season will be the Isle of Whight and the second is Dunkirk for the veterans re union (both sides) with a few day trips in between and some deliveries, hopefully.

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