Monday, 29 February 2016
Sunday, 28 February 2016
In between decorating today we have been scrubbing fenders, cutting ropes to length and testing the new combined smoke alarm and CO alarm.
It's been a busy day but we have finished early enough that we can now enjoy a few beers before dinner which is doing its thing in the slow cooker as we speak.
Saturday, 27 February 2016
Friday, 26 February 2016
Despite having had a little over three months to get everything ready for Naughty-Cal's relaunch this time next week, we are as usual rushing around at the last minute to get the last few bits and bobs finished off.
Nothing major but things that need doing at some point in the next week, like cutting the ropes to length and creating loops in the ends, washing fender ropes, scrubbing and waxing the fenders, washing bedding and blankets and finally buying a new slow cooker but more on that next week.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
She had a brief run out on Christmas day but has since been slumbering in the garage awaiting the arrival of spring and some better weather.
Time now to start planning the few jobs needed before her next MOT in June and her big adventure later in the year when we take her to Cornwall on her holidays.
Thankfully we did the big jobs last year so structurally she should be sound but a few items have cropped up since then such as a headlight that needs replacing and some bushes and the central locking that has stopped working. But nothing major.
Soon it will be time to dig her out of hibernation, send her to see Nathan the mechanic for a full service and to replace the crank shaft oil seal and then she will be ready for a summer of fun once more.
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
As much as we are looking forward to visiting bustling towns and sleepy villages we are also looking forward to some time spent amongst the wildlife, swinging around the anchor in the serenity of the loch.
Of course this plan will be very much dependent on the weather. If it is too windy for safe anchoring we will be forced to seek shelter elsewhere.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
We have plenty in the planning for 2016, but 2017 promises to be a massive adventure for both us and Cal in waters new to us all in Scotland.
Part of the fun in planning these trips is discovering new and exciting places to visit and stay, like the stunningly beautiful Holly Tree Hotel in Kentallen, pictured above. This just has to be on our list of places to spend an evening, with the boat peacefully swinging around her buoy mooring in the bay as we look out across the loch eat dinner in the well regarded restaurant.
This is just one of many little gems we are uncovering as we investigate further our options for our seven days on the west coast of Scotland following our seven days on the Caledonian Canal.
It looks unlikely that we will travel far on the coast, we don't want to set extensive cruising targets as we know that the weather and sea conditions will usually try their upmost to thwart your efforts if you set ambitious targets. Instead we will steadily meander from bay to cove before arriving at our rendeavous point with the trailer in Oban.
Monday, 22 February 2016
Sunday, 21 February 2016
Saturday, 20 February 2016
Friday, 19 February 2016
The time has come for us to change our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on Naughty-Cal. Technology has come on since the current ones were installed and you can now buy a unit which contains both the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms instead of needing seperate units for each.
As with most things as the technology progresses the price also drops and for the price of just £20 we will benefit from at least five years of peace of mind afloat. It just doesn't make sense not to have these detectors on board any boat in this day and age when the price has fallen so drastically in recent years.
They could save your life.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Wednesday, 17 February 2016
So last night we had them for dinner, simply roasted with a little salt and pepper and served up with roast potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, roast parsnip, roast carrots and some fresh broccoli.
They were quite simply delicious with succulent tasty flesh and crispy golden skin. The perfect mid week evening meal for a cold winters evening.
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Cal is pretty much ready to face the year ahead. As we have a trip planned for the first weekend that she is in the water we took another 60 litres of diesel to ensure that we will have more than enough on board for the trip out onto the tidal Trent to High Marnham. This trip should really highlight if everything is fine and dandy after a long winter lay up.
As usual I have the Friday off work to watch Cal get dunked back in the drink and as usual it will be up to me to spend the day scrubbing and cleaning and generally getting her ready for the weekends action ahead.
But first there is the not so small task of this hallway to contend with.
Monday, 15 February 2016
Whilst Naughty-Cal now looks a million dollars again, we on the other hand are both suffering from the two exceptionally hard days graft we had to put in to achieve it.
Working outside in the cold all day has really taken it's toll on us both with aches, pains, sprains and bruises all round. But it will all have been worth it in a few short weeks when Naughty-Cal will finally be slipped into the water again and we can go for the first well earned cruise of 2016 knowing that all of our hard work over the winter months has set us up for another great year ahead.
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Friday, 12 February 2016
We still have a few weeks left ashore but as the weather is set to be dry, if not cold for this weekend we have decided to seize the day, well weekend and make the most of the dry weather. Sods law states that if we decide to leave it for another weekend it will be torrential rain so we will make the most of it whilst the sun is shining.
Hopefully by the end of this weekend we should have Cal looking fresh and shiny and ready to hit the water once more.
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
To start with on Monday night I made a slow cooked pork based chilli over night and then left it in the fridge during Tuesday readu for use last night.
Then last night I made up four fresh pancakes and rolled some of the chilli into the pancakes before placing them in an oven proof dish and pouring the rest of the chilli over the top. Finally I added a good portion each of grated red Leicester and vintage cheddar, a splash of Henderson's Relish and some mixed herbs before baking at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.
This really was very nice. We also decided that pancakes would make a great alternative to pasta sheets in a lasagne.
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
My main task for the weekend was cleaning the engine and engine bay, but I couldn't set about this task until Liam had refitted a few bits to the engine, namely the refurbished raw water pump and the modified turbo boost pressure gauge piping. Then with the engine safe to get wet I set about scrubbing it up and getting it looking as good as new again. It was long over due a good scrub and hose down and it does now look much better. It just needs a very quick once over with a smaller brush next weekend but this shouldn't take more than a half an hour or so. The engine bay also looks much cleaner now that all of the salt spray from the leaky raw water pump and belt dust are cleaned up.
With the engine and bay cleaned up Liam could then install the new uprated alternator, which in turn led to replacing the belts. A job we didn't expect to be doing with the boat ashore but we would rather find the belt fault now then in the middle of the Wash. And with this little lot sorted he then put the cleaned K&N air filter back in the air box. With the exception of an oil and filter change, some fresh super charger oil, crankcase filter and fresh fuel filters the engine is pretty much ready to go for the season ahead.
With work in the engine bay finished we set about a few other jobs. The faulty LED bulb in the cabin was replaced with a new one, we had bought ten as it was cheaper to buy in bulk and we didn't expect the colour to match the existing bulbs so expected to be changing them all. In fact the colour did match so we now have nine spare bulbs. They should last us a while!
We also cleaned up the inside of the cockpit canopies. These tend to get very dusty and get seeds from trees and plants attached. If left unchecked they lead to the growth of mould spots which are a pain to clean off again, so we gave the hoods a good vacuum and then applied some foam cleaner to any dark spots to stave off any mould growth, they do now look much cleaner, on the inside at least.
One of the jobs Liam was looking forward too was fitting the new props to the drive which he did on Sunday morning. This signified the end of the work on the drive that is also now ready for the season ahead with fresh oil and oil seals, cleaned up anodes and fresh props.
We are now in the hands of the weather gods. With just three weekends left until we are due for relaunch we need one dry and reasonably warm weekend so that we can crack on with the polishing and waxing and get some paint on the hull.
Will we get it?
Monday, 8 February 2016
So yesterday Liam decided it was the day to try and fix the problem, amongst other things. So he dug out the old sealant, had a poke about in the drainage hole, got soaked blowing any remaining water out from under the windscreen and then resealed the whole thing to hopefully provide a watertight joint.
Well so far so good, we had some very heavy rain overnight and this morning the cockpit shelf was still dry. So it would appear to be working.
Sunday, 7 February 2016
We have made a good spot whilst fitting the new alternator. The belt had a small fray in the edge so Liam took it completely off to inspect it, no easy task on our engine as it is tucked away under other pullies and belts.
We are glad he went to the effort though as the 12 month old belt has not only frayed but completely debonded.
Glad we found it now and not on the coast!
It is now being replaced with a brand new genuine Volvo Penta belt. We are not buying Gates belts ever again.
Saturday, 6 February 2016
We have crossed a few more jobs off the to do list today.
Liam has been busy refitting the modified boost pressure gauge gubbins, the refurbished raw water pump and sealing in the shower room sink and generally tidying up in the shower room.
Whilst he was busy doing that I set about cleaning the engine and engine bay. A dirty job thanks to the raw water leak at the back end of last year and we have found a breather pipe to the turbo that had come unclipped spraying a fine mist of oil over the engine.
It is now looking a whole lot cleaner though and is ready for the new alternator fitting tomorrow.
Friday, 5 February 2016
One of the jobs he has completed is overhauling the raw water pump. This sprang a leak again towards the back end of last year so it was time for a major refurbishment this winter instead of just a temporary repair of new seals.
This week the pump has been treated to a new shaft, new bearings, new seals, new drive unit, all new o rings, a new impellor and a new teflon plate to the Speed Seal as well as being sanded down, primed and given a fresh coat of paint.
The pump should now be as good as new.
Thursday, 4 February 2016
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
To start fry some chopped chorizo in a frying pan before transferring to a stock pot. Next addsome chicken pieces to the frying pan, I used thighs and legs and brown the skin before transferring to the stock pot. Then fry some chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic until browned and add to the pot as well with some chopped tomatoes and chicken stock with a spoon of flour to thicken. Simmer for an hour or so before adding some raw king prawns and white crab meat. Simmer for a further five minutes and serve with rice.
This was a lovely filling stew and full of different flavours and textures. Certainly something we will cook again.
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
The raw water pump that he has rebuilt was starting to look a little scabby, it has been on and off the engine a few times in the last 13 years so it was ready for a new coat of paint.
The new alternator is also silver rather then the requisite Volvo Penta green so that will also be sprayed up to match the rest of the engine. Then there are a few odd nuts and bolts on the engine that are ready for touching up where the paint has chipped due to being undone a few times.
By the time Liam has done Naughty-Cal's engine will look as good as when it was new. As well as a few paint touch up's it is also going to be treated to a full clean and fettle the next time we are at the boat along with the rest of the engine bay.
Monday, 1 February 2016
Yesterday as we were at home I decided it was time to finish off the gammon and stuck it in the slow cooker with a can of coca cola and some garlic and chilli granules.
The result was a perfect smoked pulled gammon. Melt in the mouth and tender to the touch. Perfect for a last sunday evening dinner served up with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, roast parsnip, roast carrots and a lovely cauliflower and broccoli mature cheddar bake.
Now we didn't eat all of the gammon last night, that would have been greedy. We have both had some on sandwiches for work today and there is still a load left in the fridge for sandwiches tomorrow.