Friday, 30 December 2005


Having just discovered how to put piccies in the Blog, see 'Dubai', I will try to put pics in other places (drawings of the boat) so it might be an idea to scroll down the page if you have already read the blog so far.

A yacht on the K&A

I am going to over step my meagre experience here and talk outside my personal knowledge.

Some woman wants to take a sea going yacht from the Thames to Bristol via the K&A canal.

Her words, "The boat is a Folkdancer 27, not a canal boat by any stretch of the imagination but she's all I have and I believe in going in the boat you've got".

"She's all I have. " Too bloody right she is coz you appear to have no brains lady!

The K&A has a published depth of 1.2 meters. Her boat has a draft of 1.4 meters. She obviously thinks that to gouge a 20 cm furrow in the bottom of a canal is an OK thing to do. Of course in the middle of summer when water levels are low 1.2 meters is a bit optimistic.

I know people climb Everest because it's there but why oh why take an unsuitable boat down a canal that was designed for flat bottomed boats. At the very best she will have to ignore convention and sail down the centre of the canal, which if I understand canalers will piss them off BIG time. She will probably have to moor in the middle of the cut and require a plank far bigger than her ego blocking the way for other boaters. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb

My ghast has never been so flabbered.

I can't help wondering what BW are going to say, after all said and done they will be the ones to drag her sorry arse out of the cut if it all goes pear shaped.

A New year, a new life.

Here I sit at my PC waiting ........ waiting ........ waiting ......... for the momentous 'laying of the bottom plate'. It is, to say the least, a bit nerve wracking. It's been a long time coming. Gary, get a move on!

Yesterday I went to Batha (Ber taar). It's a large market area in southern Riyadh. It comprises of several 'national' markets. Filipino, Pakistani. Bangladeshi. If you cant find what you want here you are far too picky. There is a whole street of car part shops, dubbed by me as the "street of a thousand hub caps".

I made yet another purchase which will seal my future to life on my boat. I bought a pair of sturdy CAT walking boots. It seemed to me that with all the leaping on/off the boat a good pair of boots to support ankles was in order. I don't know what they cost in the UK but SR210 (£32.50) seemed like a bargain to me. (Edit:-And so it was .........half the UK price)

The taps I bought in Dubai are still sitting on the bar waiting to be wrapped and sent. Good old brown wrapping paper is in short supply here in Riyadh. Ho hum!

My driver Priantha is a constant source of amazement. All I asked for was a ride into Batha, I would get a taxi back. He waited for two hours while we went shopping. Given that it is the middle of winter here, that seemed to me to be above and beyond the call of duty. Maybe he should get a mention in the NYH list.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005


The closer it gets to build time the more I question what I am doing. No I dont envisage changing my mind, but like all travels I go on there is some should I/shouldn't I. Yesterday I made a good effort in the right direction. I bought some taps (real commitment).
Here I am in Dubai, on a short much needed vacation. The thing about Middle Eastern countries is the shopping system. If you want to buy a light you go to a street and all the shops sell lights. If you want, as I did, to buy taps you go to the tap street. There are hundreds if not thousands to look at and if you can't find what you want then you are too picky.
I did find a couple of taps for the galley and the Shower room. The Galley taps were similar to those I had already seen in UK at B&Q, but seem chunkier. The Shower room one as a simple monobloc that utilises a flat oval blue glass plate for the turning part. Very elegant.
Mind you I couldn't find the lamps I wanted.
The one on the left, a Stolberg from Germany, for the shower room and on the right a Cotto, from Japan, for the galley. (It is chrome but a slow shutter in poor light makes it look gold)