Wednesday, 20 June 2012

New Gadget

We have bought a new gadget for Naughty-Cal. Nothing expensive just a tiny video recorder so that we can safely take footage of our trips at sea.

We are always wary of getting our proper camera or our phones out during choppier crossings just in case they get covered in sea water or worse they drown. So this cheap little clip on recorder should do the trick just nicely.

For £15 we got the camera, micro SD card and memory stick all delivered to our door in a couple of days. Not bad value but is it any good? Well we tested it out in the car the other night on the way home from work and it seems to do just the trick. The video quality is more than acceptable from a device of this price and the sound is also good quality.

The one downside is you cannot see where it is pointing. We took 20 minutes worth of footage on the way home but 3 or 4 of these were looking at the cars sun visor, rear view mirror and roof. Being more careful as to where we clip it is probably the answer. The camera has come with a series of mounting options so on the boat we should be able to mount it more securely and position it in a more suitable location to take better footage.

Hopefully we will now get some proper footage of Naughty-Cal out and about on the coast in some less than ideal sea conditions.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Hectic Weekend

Well what a hectic weekend that was. With a whole long list of jobs to complete we didn’t expect it would be a quiet one but we didn’t quite expect it to be so busy.

Friday night turned into a BBQ party on the pontoon. Not planned but it was a nice way to bring in the weekend and say good bye to the working week, relaxing with a few cold beers and some fine food.

Saturday morning and the weather was far from ideal. The wind had picked up and it rained on and off for most of the day. Still it gave us the chance to start on the jobs. First up was adding 60 litres of diesel to the fuel tank. The gauge now looking much healthier, a further 60 litres this weekend should see it almost full again.

The next job was probably the most important job for the weekend. Looking at the VHF radio and finding out why it wasn’t receiving. In the end this proved to be a simple and cheap fix. A pair of aerial connectors had rusted badly and needed replacing. A two minute job costing just £2 to fix but that could save our lives. A good result if ever there was one.

Next up we refitted the shower room ceiling panel which had jumped down during a choppy crossing to Wells. Another simple fix needing just four new stainless steel screws that were slightly fatter than the previous screws to firmly hold the panel into position.

Then it was the turn of the outboard bracket. This needs just minor modifications and a new bottom bracket and it should be ready to go for our upcoming trip to Wells next the Sea. This will be the first outing of the year for Asbo the dinghy.

With enough jobs done for this week, on Sunday we had a run into Lincoln just to keep Cal ticking over and to ensure she is still in fine fettle after her harsh trip the weekend before. Thankfully she seems to have survived the trip with little more than a few minor interior breakages. She is one tough little boat.

Now we just have another 101 jobs to finish before we are ready to head away again!!

Friday, 15 June 2012

A Multitude of Jobs

On the back of last week’s holiday we have a multitude of odd jobs to sort out this coming weekend in preparation for our first solo coastal cruise next month.

One of the most important jobs will be fixing the VHF radio which decided to stop receiving on the way back from Wells. It is still transmitting but for some unknown reason isn’t able to receive messages. Hopefully this will just be a dodgy connection somewhere in the wiring. If we cannot fix the problem this weekend it will be a new VHF set to be installed ASAP.

Next up we need to assess the new outboard bracket and the modifications needed to Naughty-Cal to ensure that it is a secure fit and that the outboard will be safe and securely mounted. We know that we need to have one of our stainless steel rails shortened and welded and that this will mean drilling a couple of new mounting holes in the transom but it will be a worthwhile modification and will mean that we can take the dinghy and outboard on holiday for the first time this year.

The alternator belt is still squealing despite being changed so we need to take a closer look at this to see if we have a more serious problem with the system or it just needs some more adjustment. It will also give us the opportunity to check the engine over and make sure it is in fine fettle. In the next couple of weeks we will change the engine oil and filter to keep her running sweet and reliably.

We have a couple of items in the cabin that need refitting. The shower room ceiling panel rattled loose during a bumpy sea leg so this needs screwing back into place and also the escape hatch interior trim needs refitting to the saloon roof. The sealant has been giving way for some time but the bumpy ride saw it give up the ghost completely. Some cleaning and new sealant is all that is needed here so these jobs should be fairly quick and easy to complete.

Liam has taken the stainless steel navigation loop to work for some repairs and modifications. The VHF aerial mounting suffered some damage during the worst of our choppy crossings so it has gone for some repair and welding work. Whilst the loop is at work the navigation lights and anchor lights have been rewired. These have been playing up for some time but are now working as they should with the aid of fresh wiring throughout. The flag pole for the Lincoln flag has also been repaired as it was showing signs of stress cracking at the mounting point.

At some point between now and when we go back to Wells we are also going to change our props again. The new set that we have currently fitted are very smooth and amazingly undamaged after 200 miles of use but they are not performing as they should at higher speeds. They don’t seem to be moving enough water, causing huge cavitation issues and a big loss of performance at the top end. We know that the spare set of props we carry are right so we will swap them and use the new set as a get you home emergency set.

On top of this little lot is the usual task of refuelling. We have come back from the last trip with just a quarter of a tank of fuel remaining (approx 60 litres), so over the next few weeks we will bring 60 litres of diesel at a time to ensure that Naughty-Cal has enough fuel to get us to Wells next month.

The last task, which is the endless one, is to get Naughty-Cal clean, both inside and out and ready for the next holiday afloat. The interior will once again get a thorough clean with any junk and unwanted clutter removed from the boat. Shedding unwanted and unneeded weight has a big effect on her performance being such a small boat.

Hopefully we can get Cal ready for her next adventure in plenty of time. The trip is one we have done many times now so there isn’t as much passage planning to be done barring working out the tide times throughout the week. Let’s hope this has the makings of a successful first solo coastal cruise.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Whitsun 2012 - Part 8

The sharper eyed amongst you will have noticed that we didnt end up in Whitby and instead made it to Wells next the Sea. The simple reason for this was the weather and sea state. We had fully intended to make the trip to Whitby but after a choppy run down the Humber followed by a wet and windy day stranded in port it was obvious this trip was not to be. Instead of admitting total defeat we poked our bows out on Monday morning and set sail for Wells next the Sea instead, running with the weather instead of against it. Still a bumpy and slammy ride but much better than if we had headed the opposite way.

We reached Wells on the day of the lighting of their Jubilee beacon so a great party was held on the quayside which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. A great way to unwind after a decidedly uncomfortable crossing.

It was nice to revisit Wells, the town is now a favourite mooring spot of ours with plenty to see and do whether you want to be energetic or just relax and unwind for the week. We are really looking forward to heading back to Wells next month. Before we can go back however we have a long list of jobs to do to get Naughty-Cal ready for her first solo coastal cruise.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Whitsun 2012 - Part 7

 Naughty-Cal on her way home.

 Naughty-Cal showing a fleeting turn of foot.

 Homeward bound.

 Flatter seas out here.

Back into the chop again.

Whitsun 2012 - Part 6

 Travelling through Boston Docks.

 Boston fishing fleet
 The tide is still too high to get through here!!

 Sneaking back under the bridges to wait for the tide to drop.

 Just made it through this time.

 Back on the non tidal river Witham

 Bardney Lock

Back at the Pyewipe for a quick drink. Tight mooring though NB Sky!!

Whitsun 2012 - Part 5

 Naughty-Cal ready for another early morning start. A little better this time at 6.50am

 Navigating the winding entry channel.

 Swinging moorings around the navigation channel.

 Wells outer harbour. Home to the wind farm support vessels.

 Homeward bound.

 Heading for the Boston channel.

 All abreast on the tidal river Witham.

New born foal and mum on the banks of the tidal river Witham

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Whitsun 2012 - Part 4

 Wells visitor moorings.

 Well harbour approaching low water.

 Wells harbour running moorings.

 Wells dinghy moorings.

 Crabbing at Wells.

 Lobster pots.

 Wells cottages.

Beach party at low water

Whitsun 2012 - Part 3

 The Wells Jubilee Beacon

 Harbour master fuelling the beacon

 The lighting of the beacon at 10pm
 Party on the quayside


 Any buds left?

 The morning after the night before.

Naughty-Cal's Jubilee bunting.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Whitsun 2012 - Part 2

 The flotilla in Grimsby HCA basin

 4am start to catch the tide

 Naughty-Cal at 3.30am!!

 Naughty-Cal moored at Wells next the Sea (Not Whitby but more on that later in the week)

 Wells fishing fleet.

 The ever present seagulls.

 Beached at low tide.

 Tired crews after a long day.

Lets get this party started.