Sunday, July 21, 2013

Surviving the heat

It's been extreme, hasn't it? The marina grass is dying and the ground is cracking; the water level of the canal is beginning to fall. But then yesterday the temperature fell considerably, and it rained during the night. Today's been warmer than yesterday, but mainly cloudy. The forecast for the next ten days is fascinating,

but then it changes daily.

Because of the heat, it's been hard to motivate ourselves to do much. We've spent quite a number of hours trying to find Grace a dress to wear for a friend's wedding on Saturday - we were finally successful yesterday.

Colin came on Friday to put a new ventilation grille on the starboard stern hull, and topped up the batteries with a bottle gizmo that we'll have to buy for the next time they need to be done. The electrolyte level was low, though, and it may be that the batteries have been damaged because of that. Time will tell. If we need new ones, Colin will fit four (rather than the three we have) sealed batteries that require no maintenance.

Sam arrived unexpectedly the same day, and removed the 240v generator and control box for testing and repair. I've been picking around at odd jobs - preparing the gangplank for painting, starting the same job on the taff rail at the stern, discovering that the boathook and bargepole will also need a new coat of paint to prevent them from rotting.

The highlight of the week has been the discovery of the Canal Route Planner. This is a free, web-based, highly specified application for, well, planning routes on the canal system. It's far too comprehensive for me to go into much detail here, but suffice it to say that I am amazed by it, and spent hours just playing with it, discovering routes for future cruises, looking at maps and photos. It will be a major planning tool for me in the future, and I recommend it unreservedly.

Fellow boaters - this is well worth looking at!

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