21 January 2012


It was a familiar feeling. Sitting there in the dark working away on my laptop doing some nonsense with pictures as usual.
Then the equally familiar feeling, Brrr, I feel cold.
I glance down at the heater. It's gone off. I glance over to the mains power switch.

Hmm. Which one of us has tripped the power off this time?
I arm myself with a big screwdriver to open the electric cupboard and my trusty headtorch. The brilliant  Black Diamond Head torch

The power had tripped off. No problem. I just turn all the boats off (three of us) and turn us back on one at a time to see which one has the problem.
Last time this happened it was the neighbour for a reason I couldn't work out so had to leve him switched off and tell the marina. This time. It was me.
Worried something was shorting out, I went inside and switched the mains power off inside the boat on the battery charger.
I tried again, it still tripped the power off.
I luckily still have the spare electric cable of the friendly fisherman in my anchor locker, so I by-passed my own cable and meter and went direct.
No problem. Power works fine.
So I unplugged my meter from my shorepower cable. S

Water had filled one end of the meter fittings and socket, eventually filling enough to trip the power out.
Thank goodness for trip switches.
I took the socket apart, water flowed out and left it to dry near the heater for a weekend.
It's now re-installed inside the anchor locker where it's kept out of the rain.

12 January 2012


As I mentioned previously, I do rotation of clothes in my wardrobe to keep the damp down. As part of the battle against damp I also rotate which bed I use.
I installed under mattress breathable matting which has helped hugely in reducing the moisture. But, it's not completely eliminated.
So at the end of December I decamped from the forward cabin to the aft cabin. The aft cabin is a much bigger bed but perversely less room to stand.
So I prefer the other cabin.
Anyway, The back cabin has a cockpit facing lewmar opening window.
Which is nice to look out of and see the sole of the cockpit and what the weather is doing.
The bed is also low enough for the dog to jump on and off of. Which can be annoying.

This morning I was awoken by surprise, the dog jumped on me. Quite excited.
I put this off to him needing to go outside to do you-know-whats
I told him to fuck off and laid back down again.
I heard the pitter patter of a bird in the cockpit. I quickly glance out of the window to see which one it is. No sign of it.
I lay back down. Pitter patter
I look out of the window again, no sign of the bird.
Bastard fucking bird doesn't want me to sleep I cursed.

So I got up.

dressed and fed I opened the hatch and dropped the Banjo into the cockpit area. He shot forward, ruff up, pointing his nose to the small gas locker area under the winch bar. Tail rapidly wagging. I instinctively closed the hatch behind me as I exited the boat. I then climbed on the lazarette lid. Pocked the blanket (that I had stuffed around the gas bottle to keep the frost off) with my toe. The blanket moved, then the pitter patter of small feet as a GIANT rat legged it out of the gas locker and vanished down the back, under the false floor for the wheel.

That was no bird.

I poked around a bit into the steering cable area to no avail.

I then carried my plastic bag full of last nights curry to the bin and the half chewed blanket that had been around the gas bottle. I must learn NOT to leave my rubbish bag out over night like that.
Rats are keen buggers, at the slightest scent of something that may or may not be edible.

Roland is still at large.

10 January 2012

plastic sweats and my new tube

The cold weather is making the hull sweat.
I came back from a quick trip to the north at new year with my de-humidifier.
It's been chugging away removing some of the moisture but it has hardly any effect on the cupboards.

My wardrobe is one place that suffers damp. I have to rotate and air my clothes every other day. I take them out and hang them somewhere else to air, to dry a bit then rotate back into the damp cupboard. It's carpet lined, but somehow still damp.
I took my favourite dress and jacket out to see the first signs of mildew mould forming on them. That could have been very costly if I hadn't caught it so soon. I still have a strong (angry) memory of my favourite (expensive) sandals becoming absolutely ruined with mildew when they were stored over winter in a deep wardrobe on my last boat. This time I brushed the mould off a pair of Sebago deck shoes, another pair of sandals and a bag of clothes stashed in the bottom of the wardrobe. I know from bitter past experience, I can't stuff the wardrobe. It MUST have breathing space. But even with breathing space, the evil mould keeps threatening.

Cunning plan.

I've heard about people using tube heaters around their engines. But what about in small cupboards?
I looked on the expansive Amazon website for reviews of small tube heaters. 30cm tube heaters cost less than £20 and run on 45-50 watts. If I consider the cost of damage to my clothes, I think it's worth a try.

The electric cables drive me mad all over the floor, I try to keep them tidy, but it's a daily battle. Walk bare foot at your peril.

Thats a 2 kilowatt heater. (750 + 1250) which does a good job of keeping the boat warm during winter.

and that is a small tube heater, molly coddling my clothes, keeping the bastard fucking evil mildew at bay. It also means my clothes aren't absolutely freezing and feel rather nice when I put them on in a morning. It doesn't make them warm, just dry. 50watts.

I'm currently juicing up at around 12 units of electricity per day. at 24 pence a unit... I'm trying not to think about it to be honest.