Friday, 30 April 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Monday, 19 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
The cable indicated, from the start battery to the first BT battery via the CCT Bkr is about 50 ft long. It is the charging line for the two 110 ah bow thruster batteries which, as can be seen, are charged at the same time as the start battery.This cable was supposed to be arc welder cable. It is probably a 10 mil sq cable but the bad installation (see picture below) has reduced that to about 7 mil sq. The wrong size crimps were used which resulted in strands of the cable being removed to make it ‘fit’. This is a seriously bad practice and could have caused a fire. Had the correct crimps been used the cable was still the wrong size for the job. The cable should have been 25 mil sq as a minimum requirement. The builder told me that there was a split charge relay installed to ensure the start battery charged first. He lied. This is the CCT as built by the builder. Three of the four connectors on that line have now been replaced, the last one will be replaced as soon as access can be gained. If this is the best a builder can do then they shouldn’t be in business, well not building boats anyway, maybe selling ice creams.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
This sign can be found at Heyford station. What I don’t understand is if you are ‘Mobility Impaired’ how do you get to Oxford or Banbury if you have just arrived at the station. The nearest bus stop is a mile or more away most of which is up hill, a very steep one.
There is an enquiry box above this but I would think it would be difficult to reach from a wheelchair.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Armed with a sea searcher magnet I go fishing at the locks near by and have collected a stash of windlasses and a couple of piling hooks. People, especially hirers, are particularly errant when it comes to boat equipment. It is my plan to give them a coat of smooth “Hammerite” and flog them on.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
I am away at the moment. I thought I would go to Heyford, not for a holiday you understand, but so I can walk to work for a week or two. This week Bones’ boat has been in dock for blacking. It looked quite sad when it came out of the water
Anodes (right) are in good condition compared with spent one (left)
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
The wharf I moor on is owned by Oxfordshire Narrowboats. OXNB rent it to me and Bones with the mooring comes with 4 parking spaces 2 for each of us. So in effect we pay to park there. If anyone else wants to park there they are told to contact OXNB and ask. Permission will probably be given for a fee, which is only right after all we pay, OXNB pays, nothing is for free!
We have directed many people who have enquired to OXNB but not one of them has called to ask. We do get a bit miffed when itinerant boaters and holiday makers ‘tell’ us they need to park so they want us to drop the the chain, like it is their right to park there. It is not and they have to put up with parking illegally on the verge. Yes we only have one car and one motorcycle but this wharf is our security it forms part of our home. So when we are away from the wharf we still have our rights, we still pay rent. The car or the motorcycle is still parked there and a bicycle or two. So we are right to get indignant when someone does this.
Using a tool to gain access to someone else’s property is a criminal offence, yet there are those that think it is OK because, as one itinerant put it “All property is theft”. He obviously doesn’t think stealing my parking space is theft, but these people are very one sided in their views.
One chap who owns a day boat nearby undid the bolts so he could park his van and trailer there while working on his boat. He said he would put it right when he had finished. Not a very good defence plea I wouldn’t have thought. “ Yes yer ‘onour I did take the money from the bank but I will put it back when I have finished with it” Sorry but it is just not on! It doesn’t matter what the reason, theft is theft and this perp stole the wharf (that I pay for) for his own personal profit. Short of being actually convicted he is a criminal, though I am sure he wouldn’t see it like that.
Monday, 12 April 2010
Its always nice when someone comes up and says they read the blog. This happened on Saturday. I moved the boat up to Heyford just for a change. It would mean I could walk to work for a week or so.
A text message from Kim and Jim said they would like to come to visit. “Be here by ten”, says I. Kim doesn't know how to be on time. We set off closer to 12 than 10. We had a good trip up. Only 5 locks two lift bridges. At Northbrook I fished out a nice new windlass, one of Charlie’s as it happens. This brings my total to 13 (more of that later).
At Dashwood we met up with Dave Parry who works at the boatyard. He’d been walking across a field waving when my daughter pointed him out. He was making his way to the bridge by the lock, his mooring being 200 yards down short of the lock. When he arrived we passed the time of day, as you do, then when the lock was ready I stepped back on the boat which, being in gear, was beginning to make its own way out of the lock.
A boat from Heyford could be seen not too far distant and a number of people were arriving at the lock. Half way out of the lock a lady in the locking crew came and asked if I was Maffi, to which I answered “Yes”. “I read your blog avidly every day”, she beamed. “Oh! Thank you very much”, says I “but you really shouldn’t, its not been very good of late”. “I like it”, she says. We passed a few pleasantries and I suggested that if they had ‘gone northwards’ she would have seen Mortimer Bones’ boat. “I know”, she said, “and Piston Broke is down here as well.” . . . . . . “Not that I’m an anorak or nuffink”. I always enjoy it when this happens, it brings a little extra sparkle to my day. It was a pleasure to meet her and I do hope I am on shift when they get back so I can find out how they enjoyed their boating holiday.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Few around me can fail to know that I have a problem with people who do not treat lift bridges with respect. Today I was well miffed when, not only did a boater drop the Thrupp bridge, but before it had bounced the second time the postman was half way across it.
That it its self is, in my view, unforgiveable. Only half an hour later as I was letting the bridge down after letting a local boater through a walker stepped on to the bridge while I was still hanging on the chain letting it down. When I took him to task about this he laughed and asked if I had been lifted off the ground. I fired a few expletives at him and off he went oblivious to the fact that he was a total tosser.
What is the mentality of these people?
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Spring has sprung the grass is riz I wonder where the birdies ziz.
’Twould seem spring is here. The whole countryside is making its way out of the winter gloom and in to some spectacular sunshine.
The Jolly Boatman has its hanging baskets out . . . . . . . . and the mornings are spectacular . . . . . . . . wild flowers of some very strange types soak up the early morning sunand slowly the bridge is coming close to being finished.
OK I know the last comment was bullshit but hey ho!
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
I love this, but I wonder if anyone thought about the law and insurance issues. I recall reading somewhere in the Maritime Act that it an offence, punishable by £5000 fine, six months in prison or both, to cast adrift any boat belonging to a British citizen.
Should a nb cast adrift in this manner cause damage, say to a plastic boat whose insurance pays?
This is a bit like releasing the hand brake of a car that has overstayed its parking ticket an absolute no-no!
And I’m guessing you think I didn’t know that it was April !st. ;-)
Monday, 5 April 2010
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Saturday, 3 April 2010
We have all seen them, some of us may have had our lives saved by them. The Cats eye is a simple mechanism. Designed in the thirties these units consisted of a cast Iron base, a rubber insert and 4 reflective lenses. The cast iron base protected the rubber insert from the rigors of traffic while still allowing the rubber to be depressed performing a cleaning action on the lenses. Absolute genius. There were millions of them sunk into the roads all over the country. Provided they were installed correctly they would last a lifetime.
The modern equivalent is this is . . .
. . . a cheap plastic reflector stuck on the surface. Lifetime less than a year as can be seen from the fragment below. Of the ten or so reflectors installed on the Heyford bridge last year only the one above remains. The rest have have been taken, in pieces, by the road sweeper. I think that’s called progress.
Percy Shaw would be turning in his grave.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Its one of life’s little pleasures, your parking ticket still has an hour to run but you need to go. As you leave the car park you pass the ticket to an incoming motorist. He now has a free hour of parking.
It was not morally wrong to do this, not really, it didn’t matter that you were going an giving the ticket to someone who hadn’t bought a ticket. The time was paid for irrespective of who was parked there.
Now some petty official in a council office has taken that little pleasure away. Before you can park here you have to enter your car registration number, which is printed on the ticket. This prevents you passing it on
They didn’t even have the decency to use a QWERTY keyboard to make it easy. No, just a bank of buttons in the middle 1-0 and A-Z in newspaper style columns, very confusing if you are me. And all this because the council are too lazy to put a pay on exit system so you only pay for what time you are in the car park and not have to guess how long you may be there. The council make more money out of this system than the P-O-E system. Highway Robbers is one way to describe them.
As you will no doubt see over at Bones’ blog I finally managed to retrieve her bike from the Rozzers. Bones in Banbury, surprisingly under the footbridge. There is a set of these at Thrupp called the Heron which I cannot understand. Funny ol’ thing this is not that understandable to me either.
The Greek who said you could never step into the same river twice hadn't dreamt of the slow seepage of canals with their oil and graphite sheen liquid packed solid as a pencil lead where time is cased in a long cabinet stowed with the ownerless archives of two centuries of weather. The lump of coal from Warwickshire, the tipcat, the fender, the bleached horse's tail once tied to a painted tiller.
My favourite art in Banbury is this pirate constructed from wire.