Tuesday, 14 September 2021

2021 End of Season Review.

So here we are well into September and only a few weeks away from lifting the boat onto the hard for a winter layover, first time she will spend the winter out of the water for six years. 

The year didn't quite turn out as planned but non the less we have had a good time and put more cruising time in than the year before (2020). Having the boat so close at hand and back in Allington we have been able to spend a considerable amount of time just being on her and carrying out all sorts of refurbishments and improvements to her greater good, a view of the maintenance logs will detail that in greater depth than here. The coming winter months will hopefully see the complete replacement of sound proofing and fire retarding of the engine bays, a major service of both engines, replacement of oils and raw water impellers and general repairs or improvements to the interior and exterior hull.

Another advantage of being back in Allington is the social side of cruising and we have been able to chat again to old friends and made a few new ones. Being able to hold a couple of social events under the old A.M.C.C (Allington Motor Cruiser Club) banner has been fun and hopefully next year we will be able to increase the number and scale of social events in the marina.

I suppose we can't write a year end review without mentioning Co-vid 19 as it's something that has dominated all our lives for so long now. What I am pleased to say is what little effect it has on the life revolving around the marina and the people in it. Life seems to have pretty much continued as always, with obviously people keeping their distance and using commonsense in all situations. With the easing of some of the restrictions placed on us in July it was then that we were able to hold the first social event in the marina. The number of people that supported the event, the fact that it ran on until well after midnight and the feed back indicated just how much people needed to let their hair down!

We managed to get quite a few short cruises in as well as a couple of longer ones and next year we hope to continue to increase our cruising time and go further afield, a few tidal weekends would be nice and maybe a couple of flotilla cruises with the marina.

Our daughter and son-in-law didn't join us at Allington, which was planned at the beginning of the season, as they decided to sell their boat. With the constant stream of visitors to the boat over the season, with the insuring river trips, it has still been a full on, fun year. 

May it continue.

Beta Log Page Format

Having become aware of a very good automatic boat log (Watch & Navy - Mariner GPS Dashboard) I am going to test different formats for future log book entries on the Cruise Log page of the on-line log book.

The benefits of using this neat little application, which runs on a mobile phone and tablet, is that it records automatic log entries at specified times which contain performance, location and weather data. The settings on the app make it usable for all manner of boating, sail or motor. Different export formats are offered to enable you to use the data or just leave it on the app.

I have already managed to link the app with our on-line log book so beta testing will continue until the end of the boating season in various different log formats. Check it out below.

App can be found here https://watchandnavy.com

Example data as used in our log book:

Log Entry Time: 13:37:05
date 07 Sep 2021
elapsed_distance 1.1 NM
elapsed_time 00:15:05
heading_degrees 38°
latitude 51.28935433
longitude 0.5092772
accuracy_meters 3.2 M
weather_description Few clouds
weather_temperature 29.0 °C
weather_temperature_feels_like 29.7 °C
weather_wind_speed 3.5 Kt
weather_wind_direction 127°
weather_cloudiness 13%
weather_visibility 5.4 NM
weather_humidity 53%
weather_atmospheric_pressure 1020 hPa
engine_status ON
engine_time_elapsed 00:14:59

Comment: Auto Log.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Into 2021 - No Change Then.

Well here we are into 2021 and still in a lock down, only this one is a national one and as depressing as the the first one last March.

Not to be deterred we have been down to check the boat out and all is well apart from her being rather grubby, a good spring clean will sort that out come April. Looking forward to this year in a way as our daughter & son-in-law are going to join us in the marina with their boat, Spellbound, that will be fun as we introduce them to river cruising, with some tidal cruising thrown in of course.

Just need to get through the cold winter months now with a bit of walking.

Monday, 26 October 2020

What A Season That Was!

It's 26th October and the 2020 boating season is about done and what a season it's NOT been.We actually can't wait until 2020 is also done for it has, for us and most of the population, been an annus horribilis.

The sum total of cruising hours has been 13.5 and covered a mere 74 nautical miles made up of 6 trips. Pretty appalling by our standards. With no end of this CoVid charade it looks like we will be restricted in our movements well into 2021 as well, hope not.

After careful thought we decided that the best place for our boat was close to home and having been denied access to her for 6 weeks+ this year we have moved her back to where our boating adventures began, Allington Marina. Delighted to say we were welcomed back by our old friends like the prodigal children. 😄 We had a good 5 years at Chatham, got tidal boating out of our system, made new friends and did new things. We of course will still cruise in the Medway estuary and visit friends but now based upriver.

Highlights of 2020, welcoming Louis our first great-grand son, oh what fun he has brought to the family. Downside, not counting lock-downs & restrictions, the sad loss of our dear friend Peter Larkin, owner of Allington Marina, who fought long and hard against the big C. Rest In Peace Peter.

Let's all hope 2021 brings better times for all.

FOOTNOTE: 4th November 2020 - into another 4 week total lock down. Will it never end?

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The Slow Recovery

So 10 weeks into lockdown and the government is slowly releasing our enforced stay within our homes.

One of the first things to be eased was that we can now travel further and more often but more important than that, we can access our boats! MDL Chatham Marina have now allowed berth holders access to vessels to check and maintain them and within a few days of that we were allowed out onto the river and sea. Oh joy! 😁

We have been to Chatham a couple of times and delighted to say all is well with the boat and she is in remarkably good condition following our enforced absence. A shakedown run has also been carried out and all is well.

As for meeting up with our families that has yet to been released but we have seen ours, from a 2 metre distance, and it was good to see them and chat. Still not able to give them all that enormous hug that we want to but that will be soon I'm sure. 

At the time of writing this it looks like the opening of shops is on the horizon, hopefully 14th June. Still a long way to go to normality, if anything even returns to normality as we know it. 

p.s One thing I have changed over the past weeks is ALL social media accounts I had have been closed. No more fake news, conspiracy theories, complaining or just plain crap. Only way to contact me now is good old phone, text or email.

Peace reigns.   

Friday, 24 April 2020

Five Weeks In!

So here we are, no further forward than we were on the last post, still in lockdown, people still dying of this awful virus and still confined to the house apart from adventuring out for shopping. The country, in fact the world, has stopped!

Can't think of anymore jobs that need doing around the house but can think of a whole pile of work that will need to be done on the boat, when we are finally paroled to attend the marina. In the meantime the skeleton staff on duty there are checking on the boats and making sure all is well for our return, we hope!

I have invested in a new weather station though and replaced the old one on the shed roof at the bottom of the garden. The new one is state of the art, made in Germany and connects continuously to the web via Weathercloud server. Check it out either via the log book or direct at http://https://app.weathercloud.net/d0847460052#profile

So, to all our readers out there, stay in, stay safe and above all else stay sober. 😂😂

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Day 14 of Lockdown

Although this is day 14 of official lockdown we have in fact been in this state for 3 weeks now.

To date the list of jobs completed in the house and garden is extensive, I even found a 2 stroke generator in the back of the shed which was a non-runner and I had forgotten about. Took it out into the garden, completely stripped it down, cleaned everything including carburetor jets, rebuilt and got it running on the second pull of the starter, brilliant!

Meanwhile Annette has cleaned so much of the house over & over we are now more sterile than the new temporary hospital at the Excel in London!

Regular walks are a norm now but we also searched around the house, found all the parts of our old wii games machine and found that it still worked, except that we hadn't got any hand controllers! Must have given them to the grandchildren years ago. Not to be defeated two replacements were ordered from Amazon and duly arrived a few days later. Now I can play a round of golf, go for a run in the park and pay a visit to the bowling alley in comfort and safety. 😅  

The marina is closed and no-one is allowed to visit which means we haven't visited and checked the boat for a few weeks. I did ring the marina and got them to visit the boat and do a stern gland check for me which was good and Rod, our berthing neighbour, who lives unofficially on his boat also keeps an eye on her and has offered to wash it down for us.

And so this situation continues, we aren't out of the woods yet, not even sure if we are near the peak of the virus outbreak but we are coping well but boy do we need to see our family and friends and get life back to normal.

Will it ever be normal as we know it, who knows?