Here we are,up in Mansfield,our home now till the end of August.Our last week in Dorset was pretty much uneventful,just a bit of pottering around that’s all.The highlight was a visit to Bucklers Hard,a maritime museum and 18th Century shipbuilding village.Some of the ships at Nelsons victory at Trafalgar were built here.We also went to see a few friends and family to say our farewells and offer them an invitation to visit when we finally get afloat.All of them were enthusiastic about meeting up again,so that is something else for us to look forward to.A great big thankyou to everyone we met in the last week,we hope we get to see all of you again in the not too distant future.
Here’s a couple of pictures taken at Bucklers Hard,on the left we have the view down through the centre of the village to the slipways and on the right is a brief description of the way that Oak trees were utilised to create the many different shaped pieces required to build a wooden sailing ship.Did you know,young Oak trees were tied so that they grew in such a way that they would provide pieces for a boat that wouldn’t be started till a century or more later.Now that is forward planning.
As everyone must be aware the weather has been awful,not just in Dorset,but nearly everywhere,familiar places have had a terrible time.We spent a week on the Rochdale canal a couple of years ago,and though it was hard going at times,we had a great time.We visited Hebden Bridge and Todmorden and it’s sad to see how bad things have been there during the recent wet weather.Three times they’ve had flooding so far,I know we needed some rain,after a couple of years of relatively dry weather,but enough is enough,please,give us a summer!!It’s hard to believe I guess,but only a couple of months ago,this year looked like being a bad one for water shortages,now look at it.
Anyway,we are settled into a caravan now,just outside Mansfield,about twenty miles from Kingfishers at Trent Lock,not so close that I would be there every day.We’ve finally emptied the car boot,it’s been full since we left Scotland on the 1st of June.Having no fixed abode has meant us lugging things around with us wherever we have gone.A lot of the things we hope to have on board Chyandour we have put into storage in Long Eaton at a great place that I would recommend to anyone.Check out http://www.bewebbe.co.uk if you are looking for storage around this area.They have four sites apparently.We are paying a little over a £1 a day for secure,clean storage with great facilities and very pleasant people to deal with.We’ve had our first little disappointment this week as well,in all the research into living afloat that we have done,we hadn’t been aware of the fact that you are only entitled to a free bus pass if you pay Council Tax.It is obvious if you think about it,and we agree that it is fair,but we’re just surprised it didn’t come up in our research.Oh well,just have to pay our own way,still be cheaper than running a car,and I understand Tesco’s etc.deliver if you give them a postcode.
We went over to see Chyandour on Monday to see how she is getting along and I still can’t emphasise enough how photographs just do not do justice to how well John and Mick are fitting her out.We had a good chat with them both and made a minor adjustment here and there to our requirements.We thought we were aware of the limitations of what can be achieved on a narrow boat when fitting it out,but there are still things we’ve overlooked.Thankfully John and Mick have the experience and can put us right as well as trying to achieve what they can for us.It’s easy to forget things like gunwales and tumblehome,water tank capacity and battery capacity.Living on a boat can be like living on the land but a) it needs a lot more space than we have on our 57ft x 6ft 10in narrow boat,and b) it takes a lot more money than we have.
I took some more pictures when we were there at the boatyard on Monday,most of them to remind me of where this bit is,and that bit has been put,so that in the future,I can find things,assuming that is,that I can find the pictures.Mick took a few pictures on Friday so I have nicked a couple of his again to try and give some idea of the progress so far.Please understand that these photographs have been taken while John & Mick have been working on Chyandour so they do look as though they are on a building site,which,in fact they are.
Ok,on the left we have Lisa just coming out of the bathroom as I took a photo’ of the corridor down the boat towards the stern and on the right is the panel that Mick has cut out to allow access to the central heating.The black pipes are the heating pipes from the engine to the calorifier which will give us nice hot water when we run the engine.The calorifier is a hot water tank heated by both the engine and the central heating,it’s insulated so the water stays hot.The white pipes are for hot and cold water for radiators and the washing machine.
The picture on the left is of the shower pump,that’s the black thing at the bottom,and the pipework for the shower.Because the shower tray is below the waterline we have to have a pump to empty the water out as we shower.All this will be enclosed so that we can get at it if necessary but not look at it each time we enter the bathroom.Lisa wants shelving here for the towels and the bottom half will be where we store the spare toilet cassettes.The photo on the right is the fresh water pump and the water tank.We have to carry our own water with us in the tank which we fill at the canalside taps on our travels.A full tank should last us for a few days and there are plenty of taps around the system.The pump is what gets the water from the tank to the taps and it works automatically when a tap is turned on,this too will be hidden but accessible.
Above on the left is the cassette for the toilet.This we have to take out when full and empty it at one of the places around the system.This will be covered by a door which will allow us access as and when.We have two spares plus this cassette so we should be ok for up to two weeks.On the right is living proof that it all works and there are no leaks.
As you can imagine we are getting more and more excited as the time goes on and these photo’s really do look beautiful to us,and keep us going till our next visit to the boat yard in a weeks time.In the meantime we will be meeting up with some “boaty” friends on the Ashby canal as well as looking at cookers ,taps,tiles and other bits that we are going to need for Chyandour.Take care all.Bye for now.