Nearish No 4 Swing Bridge
You could tell the wind direction had changed this morning. Last night we went to bed in the warmth left from the day, this morning the temperature had dropped by at least 10 degrees, the north easterly bringing with it the need for jumpers and long trousers.
A check on the possibility of rain during the day, which was slight meant I hoped to be able to get a top coat on the stern. Mick also wanted time in the engine bay, so after breakfast he got to lift the engine boards for a while as I tinkered with other things.
Our bilge pump is meant to be automatic and should go off if the water level rises. For ages it has gone off every couple of minutes for a second or two, no matter what the water level is in the bilge under the stern gland. Mick suspects that the sensor is clogged with grease, so he disconnected it from being automatic to being a manual on off switch months ago. This morning he had a go at cleaning the pump, but not knowing where the sensor is doesn’t help. A new one will need to be purchased. A width of pipe was noted to aid buying the correct one.
With him out of the way and the front doors open for Tilly to come and go I got the stern to myself. A rub down of undercoat and surrounding areas then a wipe down.
I checked on the quantity of black Epifanes paint that I use for the gunnels. If I had enough the stern counter would be painted in this, if not the whole area would be painted blue. This is how she was originally painted, blue then with a coat of black over the top. This was for ease of touch up! Well that worked didn’t it! Too busy boating is my excuse.
The tin of black paint last year was replaced by tupperware. The seal had gone/been too strong which necessitated so much leverage to get the tin open it would no longer close with a good seal. In hindsight this wasn’t the best method of storage as the outside of the paint sets, leaving a giant blister of paint, at least there was still liquid inside.
The blue coach paint went on like a dream, just a shame I couldn’t lean over quite far enough and missed a little bit on the underside of the rubbing strake. I did my best to leave a clean cut edge where the blue would meet the black.
The black paint needed a touch thinning, so I added a glug of Owatrol to the roller tray to aid it’s flow. Edges cut in first then the central area rollered. Job done, at last! Yes I could apply a second coat of black, but todays temperatures were not suitable for the paint to have gone off sufficiently. This can be a touch up coat come the spring instead.
Now all there was left to do was keep Tilly off the wet paint for the rest of the day.
We decided to go for a walk. I changed out of painty clothes and Tilly and I first headed that way. Today the shooting range has been active again. The last two days has been silent round here, but today the echo that has followed every shot is as though we are in a 1960’s western. If you follow this link to the Colt 1851 Navy, Fire 3 ,we’ve been waiting for Clint to ride by.
We followed the path in the grass up to a gate, here is where I decided it would be good to turn around quite a distance from Oleanna who was out of sight. Tilly was quite happily trotting further along the path that went off to the side, ignoring my calls to turn back. Well She’s the one who wanted to go for a walk!
Eventually she twigged that I wasn’t going any further, so she shouted for me, a slight panic in her meow. She then launched herself over the friendly cover to find where I was and came dashing with tail bushed right out. Our progress back was slower, well I needed to pay a call! Once this was done it was loony running back to the boat.
I pushed on further in the opposite direction, a now slightly puffed Tilly still following. It must be hard work down there with all the long grass. We reached where I think the kingfisher hangs out. This was confirmed as it didn’t like Tilly being about, so we retreated to leave it in peace.
The cooler weather meant the stove got lit and that we didn’t have to fend off quite so many midges this evening, just as well as we both have getting on for 20 new bites each. Is it that this year we are that bit more tasty? Is this the week for all the female midges to come out and get their hit of blood before laying eggs and we’ve missed it for the last six years? Are we just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Has the lack of pollution earlier this year increased their numbers? What ever the reason, we don’t like it.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 grey chilly day, 1 bilge pump needing replacement, 1 coat blue, 1 blister popped, 1 coat black, 1 stern almost as good as new, 3, 1 hour proof reading, 2 white items, 857 peeeeows! 1 reluctant cat, 1km walk, 1 comfort break, 2 jacket potatoes cooked in the stove, yum.