Saturday, 27 May 2017

One week to go

Hi, welcome back.

The pilot phoned this morning so we're now booked to go back to Portishead on Tuesday with an overnight stop in the marina before heading to Bristol on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather please.

Roger's finished the painting and the boat now looks like it belongs to us, rather than the previous owner. We just need to replace the tatty sign writing and it'll be perfect.

We've had LOTS of lovely comments from passers-by and have been asked a few times if it's a new boat!

It's the Gloucester Tall Ships Festival in Gloucester Docks this weekend and yesterday 3 of the boats sailed past our mooring.

I couldn't do his job, it's a LONG way down!

Our old friend the Mathew from Bristol. 

They wanted to come alongside us as they didn't quite know where they were. I would have loved that photo, being boarded by pirates....... but we told them where they were supposed to moor to await entry into the docks and they carried on

and then the Lady of Avenel 

who was going so fast that she pulled out our new ground anchor and the mooring pins of 2 other boats moored in front of us!

The new solar panels that Roger fitted are working amazingly well and charge even on the dullest of days. With the brilliant sunny weather that we've been having recently I even managed to run the washing machine through them. They won't cope with the dryer though, although they easily manage the hoover and the hairdryer.  The solar water heating has also been working extremely well and yesterday the tank temperature reached over 60'C. Diesel consumption for domestic use has dropped significantly and on a sunny day we don't have to run the engine or generator at all.

When Out Of The Blue goes onto the wagon for transport to Belgium I'll be starting a completely new blog.  I'll post a link on here and really hope you'll come with us on our next adventure.

Bye for now, take care and see you soon

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A boat of two halves

Hi, Lovely to see you again.

We're now into our last 2 weeks here in UK. The boat leaves Bristol on a wagon on Monday 5th June and we get it back again in Belgium on Wednesday 7th.  We'll be homeless for 2 days!!!!   Scary or what?

In the meantime, we've been having beautiful warm, calm evenings so Roger started painting the outside of the boat.

By doing some clever maneuvering along the end pontoon in the docks he managed to paint half of the bow and one side under the gunwales with matt black.  We used a matt black on Fizzi last time we dry docked it using "proper boat paint" but it was quite expensive and still had a bit of a sheen to it. We wanted a really matt finish this time and I found the perfect paint in Wilko. At only £7.95 a litre it's really good value, is touch dry in 30 minutes and is totally matt. It doesn't smell either.

The paintwork on Bluey has always been pretty dreadful. Having never been polished by the original owner it was very faded and patchy.

You can see how much better it looks in matt, with the added advantage that any scuffs and scrapes can easily be touched up at a later date.

Last night we managed to reverse up to a pontoon adjacent to the water point at Purton so that we could wash and paint half of the stern while the water tank was filling. I even managed to clean the back windows for the first time!

It was such a beautiful morning today that we were both up at 7.00 and as soon as the dew had dried Roger started putting the shiny paint on.  NOW it's starting to really look like our boat!

Tomorrow we're going to turn round and do the other side. David's come to stay for a couple of days so I told him to bring his old clothes.  Well there's no reason I should have to get mucky when he can do it instead now is there?

Bye for now, please come back soon.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Almost ready!

Hi, lovely to see you again.

We had a fantastic Easter with the grandchildren.  Aged 3 and almost 5 they're the perfect age for making Easter bonnets and hunting for hidden clues in search of the prized eggs. To be honest, I'm not sure who enjoyed themselves the most; them or me!

Since then we've had more visitors. Friends Maggie and Martin from Macclesfield came to stay for a couple of days.

They both enjoyed driving the boat, especially Maggie who's never really had the confidence to steer their narrowboat but is now going to do it more often.

Roger has been working hard, continuing with the upgrades to the boat and we now have solar electric and solar water heating.

As soon as the sun comes out I keep rushing over to the panel to check the water temperature. It's brilliant and will pay for itself in about 18 months with the amount of diesel we'll save by not having to run the generator to power the immersion heater. Obviously we'll still get hot water from the engine whenever we move, but on the sunny days when we don't move we should be engine & generator free. Less euros spent on diesel = more euros available for wine = RESULT

We've now found a crane suitable to unload Bluey from the wagon in Nieupoort, Belgium so this weeks job will be booking all the cranes and transport. Hopefully by the next time I write the blog I'll be able to give you a date.

In the meantime, Bluey is still open for visitors. We've had so many lately I'm thinking about opening up as a B&B..................

Bye for now, take care and come back soon.