Red Hand Gang. 15th September

Nearish No 4 Swing Bridge

Another hot day. A layer of dew clung to everything this morning so whilst we had breakfast I hoped that all the woodwork I’d worked on yesterday would dry off so that I could apply a second coat of woodskin.

Don’t stand on the dew

Meanwhile Tilly was given another 9 hours of shore leave, the first part of which was spent inspecting my work from yesterday, I so hoped that everything had dried fully!

A quick wipe down to remove any stubborn drops of water and any unfortunate insects that happened to have landed yesterday whilst things were still sticky. Luckily this didn’t include Tilly, although there did seem to be a paw print visible on the locker lids as I started to wizz on the second coat. Locker lids and the wood at the stern were done first before the cratch so that hopefully by the end of the day they could be brought back on board.

Soaking up

Meanwhile Mick popped on his boiler suit and climbed down into the engine bay. The water and anti-freeze from the leak the other day needed cleaning up. He first pumped out into a bucket. Then what? There was quite a lot of it. In the past we’ve found it hard to dispose of old coolant/antifreeze, some council tips you have to make an appointment to dispose of such things. Nappies were used to soak up the liquid and gradually bin bags were filled with them. We now have three black bags of nappies awaiting disposal, one nappy left and still some liquid in the sump below the engine.

Second coat drying

I decided to revisit the red paint that I’d touched up whilst in Naburn a few weeks ago. The horrible red paint that had dried almost instantaneously as soon as I’d got any on my brush!


I masked off the areas and gave them a sand down. The dust produced quickly clogged the sandpaper and clung to my hands, little left on the surface to clean off. One small patch on the starboard side got a sand down too, this didn’t receive the horrid red paint before as it was on the offside in Naburn. Today though I braved the offside gunnel. The cabin side being dark blue had spent the morning absorbing the sunshine and blimey it was HOT, almost burning my leg as I lent against it.

The wrong red

After lunch, the last of the treat cheese being consumed, I mixed up the wrong red paint on purpose. This is the red I had mixed to the RAL number in Oleanna’s bible. Last year when at Finesse the painter confirmed my suspicions saying that it was a different red than that had been used, a touch darker. But this wrong red flows properly and doesn’t go off within seconds of opening the tin.

Our grab rail is very faded now and will want a repaint next year, so making it a touch of a patchwork right now to protect it this winter is fine in my mind, just so long as we can take time out from boating when the weather is good enough to do the job properly in the spring and maybe after a trip through Standedge Tunnel.


The paint went on like a dream, luckily the rail not too hot for the lengths I was painting. The sunlight on the smooth finish picking out the blemishes I’d not spent enough time on! Oh well, it’s better protected now.

As I stood on the offside again, toasting my legs, I heard a high pitched cheep. Then flying past at speed low to the water a Kingfisher it’s latest catch still in it’s mouth. Oh to have a motion sensor camera set up, it was quite a sight.


Tilly took a bit of persuading to come in, she was found about to pounce at the far end of the open towpath. The pounce proved fruitless so she followed me back to Oleanna for dingding. This now meant I could get some undercoat on the stern, the primer/filler sanded down once Mick had finished in the engine bay. As I applied the paint, two fishermen packed up a short distance behind us, only for our local Kingfisher to dive in in front of them to retrieve a fish.

You can’t see me!

We’d just settled down to watch Des, the dramatisation of Dennis Nilsen a serial killer played by David Tennant, when Mick checked the weather. It was due to rain. Time to lift everything in off the towpath carefully. Mick tip toed around the wet undercoat on the stern to bring the locker lids back in whilst I carefully, in the dark, poppered back on the cratch cover. I’d have preferred it to have another night drying off, but it was better to get everything covered up again. We then sat and listened to the rain whilst we swatted this evenings blood thirsty midges!

0 locks, 0 miles, 2nd coat, 3 buckets! 25 nappies! still more to soak up, 2nd coat, 2 red hands, 1 nice coat, 1 undercoat, 1 hour homework, 2 kingfishers, 1st episode, 4, 10 new bites each, 2 rain showers, 24 items on the new list of jobs.