Friday, November 01, 2013

Not a lot to report

There's not been much happening recently. We've accepted that there will be no more cruising this year. The weather - strong, gusty winds and heavy rain - seems to be set for the foreseeable future, and we're not inclined to go out when drying rained-out clothes becomes a frequent issue. What's more, we have to go back to St Albans in a couple of weeks' time, for a niece's wedding. 

Before that, we need to plan our galley rebuild - no, I've not mentioned that before, but it's been on the cards for some time now - and get Roy Grassbee involved; he'll be the man to do the job. And we need to take Kantara out onto the cut for a day, just to deal with chipped, scraped paintwork, to keep rust at bay. Having run out of the blue paint for the boat, and in the light of the fact that that particular shade is no longer obtainable, any damage sustained over the coming eighteen months will have to be left unpainted until the whole boat is repainted in 2015.

We have water in the engine room bilges which needs to be pumped out, but there's no point in doing that until after the winter service which Colin will do at the end of this month. He will need to add antifreeze to the cooling system in order to bring it up to strength after he lost an engineful of coolant into the bilge when fitting the new bottom hose. That task will necessitate letting yet more coolant out in order to make room for the additional antifreeze. I have to say I deeply regret getting that hose replaced. I took the advice of the RCR engineer, but should have checked it for myself. The hose was in perfect condition, and there was no need for the not inconsiderable expense of getting a new one fitted, and of the numerous litres of antifreeze which have had to be replaced; not to mention the inconvenience of the gallons of water having to be pumped out of the bottom of the engine compartment.

We drove to Stoke Bruerne yesterday, a spot we both love, and through which we passed on our cruise with Michelle back in the summer (remember the summer?) As reported some weeks ago, Grace was unable to get onto the boat painting course being run there earlier in the year, and jumped at the opportunity to attend one next May. However, Stoke Bruerne Museum's email account wasn't working, and no-one answered the phone, so we drove out there to book in person instead.

It was fairly quiet there. The woman in the museum didn't know where the book was to record Grace's place on the course, so she had to leave details for the organiser to get in touch with her later. We had a very good lunch at The Boat Inn, and drove back along the beautiful country route on which we had travelled out.

Today, we saw "Captain Phillips" at the cinema; an excellent film, gripping, tense, and superbly acted and directed.
The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

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