Friday, January 29, 2016
I won't bother to describe it all, as you can look for yourself. Suffice it to say that they have drawn together a shedload of fascinating guff about the canal. It'll be especially useful to us London Towpath Rangers 'cos we are planning guided walks along the canal pointing out this or that. Now we'll have loads more to point out, especially in our patch from Uxbridge to Paddington and down to Brentford. So if you want to know what Paddington basin looked like when it was first dug, or what the packet boat fare was from Uxbridge to London or how many aqueducts there really are on the Slough Arm (more than the three most people think), this is where to look.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Its a smart little log book in which I have to record all the boating I do - date, vessel details, waterway, hours, and (ominously) any "incidents". Fortunately I am allowed to include hours I do aboard Herbie, so keeping the numbers up will be easy peasy. Backdating my entries for a few months I already have 154 hours logged.
Changing the subject- I have at last returned to flinging my deathless prose at the computer screen and filling up the virtual pages of my next blockbuster novel, working title Eric II. I had suffered an extended period of writers block after getting poor Eric into a spot I couldn't see a way out of. Time is a great healer and Eric is now moving again, so I'm up to 22746 words and counting. I guess that's about a quarter of the book. Quite how I will fill the other three quarters I have no idea, but I am having great fun researching one particular aspect which shall remain secret for now. My target is to complete the book before complete senility sets in, so I'm in quite a hurry.
Friday, January 22, 2016
I claim no credit at all for this valuable and ingenious addition to our windows, it was all done by Herbie's previous owner Roy who was a dab hand at such things.
Basically what we have is a made to measure set of simple wooden frames over each of which is stretched flexible transparent PVC of the type use for tent windows. Roy managed to stretch it very tightly so there are no wrinkles or ripples. The material itself is very strong and durable.
I found a few old photos to show how they fit. First this one of the galley window where you can see the frame in situ.
As you can see the frame has a central vertical spar for strength. The whole thing is a tight push fit into the outside of the boats window frame, leaving an air gap of perhaps an inch and a half. lets look more closely.
Here's a corner showing that the frame is really simple being mitred and stapled at the corners. I can tell you is is pretty rigid though and has stood up to more than ten years of use without bother. You can also see the swivel tab which holds the frame in at the corners. Couldn't be simpler could it?
The secret of course is the precision with which Roy made the frames. They really are a close push fit with the slightly compressible pvc I suppose being squashed tight between the double glazing frame and the boat's normal window frame. I doubt very much they are completely airtight, but they work well enough to virtually eliminate condensation between the frames as long as you take care to have it all very dry when you install them. and of course the pvc facing the inside of the cabin doesn't get condensation either.
Here you see a third picture showing the top centre of the frame. The fit is tighter than it looks. each frame is marked with which window it fits and which way is up e.g Starboard No2 TOP
The little ribbon tag is needed to pull the frames out when we remove them after the winter. That pvc needs a clean doesn't it? We just wash it with soapy water now and again. The stuff is pretty clear over all and as you can see from the top picture, the view out of the window is only very slightly compromised.
So there it is. It really works even though there is no fancy carpentry. There are frames for each of Herbie's seven windows. During the summer, we take them out and store them at home.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Co-incidentally I was down the Slough Arm only yesterday to check up on Herbie. There is a thin layer of ice on the canal, but not around Herbie because we are moored inside another residential boat which keeps us warm. You see, there is some benefit in an on -line breasted up mooring. Now that winter seems finally to have arrived, I installed our temporary secondary double glazing and removed the shower mixer to prevent it freezing up, both very quick and simple jobs. The domestic batteries are now at 100% thanks to the solar panel and the fact that I have switched off the loo fan. The Airhead loo remains odourless thank goodness. All in all Herbie seems fine. It's nice to be able to get to her in only half an hour from home I must say.
Constant rain and seasonal coughs and colds have kept us from cruising since November, but we're hoping to resume boating soon.
Friday, January 01, 2016
Just this once, I'll allow you to feel sorry for me, as I have been in bed with a nasty cold for the last 48 hours. Kath has been playing Florence Nightingale, so I am well looked after.
Anyhow, enough of my troubles, here's what I think caused the sudden leap in the temperature graph I described in my previous post. Well, when I say "I think" what I really mean is "what our Peter tells me" 'cos he is a professional scientist and I am not. When we took the gubbins out of the freezer, it immediately got covered in condensation, which briefly froze, the room being a lot more humid than the freezer. Now we all know that when water evaporates it cools things down (like when we perspire), well it does the opposite when it condenses and freezes, releasing latent heat, so our temperature sensor got a good dose of that heat when the water in the air condensed upon it. So that's the answer. Don't say I don't try to teach you anything. Full marks to Bill S who got it spot on. The rest of you, read and inwardly digest and you will become wiser people.
We're hoping next week to take Herbie out for a few days, maybe dowln to sunny Brentford if there is room down there, or at least to the rather wonderful Fox pub at Hanwell. I may well do a bit of towpath rangering while we are down there as it is on my official patch. I keep meaning to go to the musical useful at Brentford. I'm partial to a bit of mighty Wurlitzer. Has anyone been?