Flying Colours. 24th March


Yesterday afternoon we picked up a hire car and gathered things together. This morning it was a very early start which included a girl look upstairs upstairs for a suitably sized piece of wood to cover all of Oleanna’s batteries in one go. I came up trumps with an old shelf from some cupboard somewhere which had a couple of spring clips on it, but it was the perfect size.

Then we set off at 7:30 for Goole. A couple of rain showers made me glad I’d left an upturned crate for our veg box to be left in as we’d not be home today when it was delivered.

Plenty of daffodils were out on our route through Driffield, but the big roundabout between Foxholes and Langtoft and the one at Bainton are still yet to show off their abundance of yellow.

A normal view out of the windows!

At the marina we were very pleased to see that the water level was much improved. No pontoon view out of the windows and no need to sit on the pontoon to undo poppers on the cratch cover. Today she was just a slight step down, the highest she’s been since before Christmas.

No big step down today

We arrived with plenty of time to swap the wood protecting the batteries out for the new piece, put batteries back into the CO and heat detectors, all were checked. Windows and side hatch opened up along with the cratch cover rolled right back for ease of access and the bow rope was tightened.

Mike arrived a little early, but we were ready and relaxing with a cuppa in hand, sat on our folding chairs on dry land. Current guidance is that you shouldn’t be on board whilst the inspection is carried out, understandable as it’s impossible to be 2ms away on a narrowboat if someone wants to pass you. In the sun it wasn’t too bad but the breeze did dip the temperature.

Mike in heated debate

The gas locker was checked, the cut off found in the galley. We had to point him towards our third fire extinguisher which lives behind the bathroom door (still fixed to the wall). He went out the back, lifted the engine board, checked here and there, counted mushroom vents. At the same time he chatted at length with one of our neighbours about current affairs, they knew each other and have very different opinions on matters.

We were then asked if we had a copy of our RCD certificate. Now where might that be? Apparently there wasn’t a copy on line for Mike to check against. We hunted through our boat files, the bible that came with Oleanna, but I had an inkling that it had been emailed to us and we’d never printed it out. Without a lap top to check back four years on emails we were a little bit stuck, but we found some information he needed in the bible. Only downside to this is that he has had to date our new certificate with todays date, loosing a few weeks.

Then the verdict.

She’d passed, no required items, no advice items, just one observation regarding the CO alarms.


When Oleanna was new CO alarms were not part of the BSS. She came with two heat sensors on the ceiling. We’d questioned this with Ricky from Finesse, when they came to fit the new batteries they came armed with 2 CO alarms which we’ve fitted one in the galley the other near the stove/sofa at gunnel height. The heat sensor in the bedroom has been swapped out for a smoke and CO alarm by us during the Beast from the East in Nantwich, this is on the ceiling above our bed.

Boat lift on the move

Mike was happy with this and we have plenty of detectors for CO that we may create on the boat. However the one in the bedroom would not really help us should we have CO come in the window from other boats and their stoves. Having a sensor nearer to our head height would be better, but there isn’t really anywhere to put it as we have a cross bed. We will look into positioning one above a bedside table which would be at the same height as our heads when in bed.

Strops being positioned under the cruiser

But she passed with flying colours. Invoice handed over and all paid online within an hour of him arriving. Hooray!

Take off

Now what? It was still before 11am. We did a couple of jobs. I dug out a box of fabrics that I haven’t touched in four years, the space can be used for toilet roll. Yes we have a stash of it as we’ve started buying recycled toilet roll on line, minimum order 48 rolls! So we can stock up the boat with it.

Life jackets for servicing

The life jackets have also come out of storage so that we can service them. A new gas bottle was bought and stored in the locker, we ran the engine.

Just as we were tucking into our pack up Al tapped on the roof to say hello. So we had a chance to thank him for keeping an eye on Oleanna when we’ve not been able to come down.

Level nearly normal

Before we left Goole we drove down to the caisson gates. Here was pretty much as it had been two weeks ago, just that the level was higher. There are still stop planks across the cut but there was quite a flow of water over them in towards the docks.

Someone’s headed for freedom

A narrowboat was moored where we tend to moor when visiting Goole, they’ve possibly escaped from one of the marinas for some space and to save on some money in fees. Maybe when we’re allowed to stay overnight we’ll have a jaunt out and join them.

See you soon

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 winding, 6am alarm, 76cm by 32cm, 1 automatic, 2 to 3 weeks before yellow totally takes over, 3 inches down, 4 alarms, 3 windows open, 1 hatch open, 1 masked surveyor, 1 heated debate, 3 one side, 1 the other, 1 pass with flying colours, 1 little wiff of gas, 1 big wiff of diesel, 2 butties, 2 mugs of tea, 1 boat crane, 1 freedom seeking boat.