First time out this year

With the weekend snow gone and the actual temperature on the rise it definitely felt like time to get the boat out of the marina and onto the canal. Thus on 13th Feb I biked down to the boat in the weak winter sun, with a cold easterly wind bowling me along.

The first tasks were reposition deck board, which presumably I had left up to allow any rain water to evaporate  gas on for brewing up, fresh drinking water loaded, canopy stowed, ropes refitted, wood burner lit and ready to go. That easterly made getting her out of the marina a bit tricky especially as I have to moor her nose into the lift bridge while I operate it. While I was lifting the bridge the wind wound her round at an increasing rate until she hit the end of a pontoon and something went off with a loudish crack, whoops! I think it was the emergency escape ladder. But it is not often used so I think it will be OK. Anybody daft enough to fall in could always wade to another pontoon ladder.

Out on the cut and going south it is only 300 yards to the first lock. it was a cold day, GB had not been run properly for a couple of months so I let her idle while I filled the lock. Such a lovely easy morning. the birds, the sun, no rush, coffee soon, idyllic.


Wandering back to the boat I could hear what sounded like my ignition buzzer, odd couldn’t be mine because I knew I had left her running to keep warm. But yes, it was mine and no engine noise. Now look here I said, I know it’s cold and you didn’t want to start this morning, but we are up now, pull your self together and get going. No. She turned over but was not going to start.

Surely I hadn’t left the fuel cock switched off after I serviced her again, had I? Yep, fully, tightly, very OFF. That was why I had left the deck board up, to remind me to switch it back on. Well that hadn’t worked.  So up came the engine covers while I bled the air out of the filters, then lines, then pump then injectors. As she was still a little warm she started up ok. it was almost as if she said, now you have learnt your lesson, you treat me right and we will get along fine.


I like these Little Grebes, they seem so unprepossessing, timid,  minding their own business and keeping away from the bustle of the rest of the ducks.dscn6319dscn6329

Currently moored at Hunton Bridge, the easterly keeping the Waterways Chaplaincy pennant flying.

2 thoughts on “First time out this year

    • That’s why I always put in the bits about what goes wrong. Getting up and down into the engine compartment, with hands covered in diesel, the smell sitting on your lungs, trying to see through the right bit of the verifoacals to spot any tiny air bubbles, not having overalls handy so not wanting to get oil on your warm winter cruising clothes whilst gradually overheating and wanting a coffee but needing a pee!

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