Sunday, 28 December 2014

Crispy, Cosy, Comfy, Cheery Christmas

A brief post from Princess Lucy. We are too lazy to write much. Hopefully the pictures tell the story. We've had snow and ice but managed to get the boat down to Marple in the dark. Since then we've had loads of sitting round the fire, eating too much, drinking fizz and bingeing on episodes of Breaking Bad. Walked down the lock flight yesterday and remembered the same walk with Rocky last year and how Jem was recovering from major dental surgery. That made us a bit sad but only for a moment because everything else is pretty much perfect.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

British made narrowboat on Grand Canal

We've upped the game from those boaters who bragged about taking their Narrowdog to Carcassonne. They only had to cross the channel.

We made the epic haul down the Rhine and Moselle and briefly out into the Adriatic. Thereafter Princess Lucy majestically entered the Guglie canal, under the bridge called Tre Archi and turned into the Grand Canal. There is a lot of wild water and a good deal of fog between Venice and the Peak Forest. The picture shows first mate dodging the gondolas. We wondered what all the shouting was about. They are gobby on the canal. Anyone would think they owned it. We  thought it best to tie up at Ca Rezonnico, paid a street boy to look out for our boat and wandered. We happened upon an exhibition which reconstructed Leonard da Vinci's inventions. This was held in the beautiful, vast and icy Church of San Barbara. Here we learned that Leonardo invented the swing bridge and paid homage to the genius who made it possible for us get off our own waterway. We wouldn't go anywhere with out him.

But these Venetians are the real masters and mistresses of the waterways, Everything that happens, life, death, fire, flood happens here and on this canal. Every single thing that has to be delivered comes by boat. Here is a Venetian version of our Brian and Anne Marie and just as cheerful and hard working. They must have been up before day break to stock their floating fruit stall. We didn't see a coal boat but it would have been there somewhere on the system.

Princess Lucy issued a huge sigh when she got back to Peak Forest and is now safely moored at FurnessVale. She awaits our Boxing Day explorations. Who knows where she'll end up.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Bar Opens on Boxing Day

The last three months have seen Captain furiously refitting the galley. Pretty well everything was renewed in the end. The replacement of the cream enamel Vanette oven and hob gave us the opportunity of selling them on ebay. They sold for much more then we had thought, and it all helped balance the books.

New items added to Princess Lucy were the Candy washing machine and a ceiling mounted glass rack to hold our newly acquired (yes, ebay) Babycham glasses. I suppose it is logical, when you have filled every cupboard and fitted shelves where you can, the only place left is to fasten things to the ceiling!

Anyway, the boat is now decorated with its Christmas lights and a small tree. On Thursday we leave for a short break staying at the Palazzo Stern with a view of another canal (The Grand Canal in Venice).We will be back in the Peak District for Christmas and will cast off on Boxing Day if the weather is reasonably clement and try out the new galley.It looks good but how well will it work?

On the subject of weather, sort of, a neighbouring narrowboater at our Marina lent us his anti-freeze tester last week. Nothing, No antifreeze at all. Hmmmm. The bigger shock was that the engine and skin tank and the calorifier piping probably totals about 40 litres, and the cost of putting in 20 litres of concentrated antifreeze is scary.

However, I am thinking that the skin tank is insulated from the frosts by the canal, which is unlikely to drop below 0 degrees C. The calorifier is sort of in the boat and as I have a frost stat set up to switch on the central heating, then that should be OK. That leaves the engine. Now the theory here is that the central heating diesel heater (Eberspacher) is next to the engine, as are its exhaust and some hot water piping. So tomorrow there will be tests to see if the heater significantly warms the engine bay. We will see.

I asked First Mate what she thought about the antifreeze dilemma.

She turned to me, and I waited for her thoughts. Then she spoke.

"I'd love a Babycham!"