...and Grace discovered a wet patch on the wooden panel between the washing machine and the Alde gas boiler. And the source had to be the Alde.
We've always been a bit worried that, if there were some majorish problem with the Alde, we'd have serious problems with the fact that the boiler is in a cupboard that isn't much wider that the boiler. Accessing the back of said boiler would be impossible without removing at least part of the panel behind it. There was little water on the floor of the Alde cupboard, but that side of the back panel showed signs of there having been a significant wetting some time recently. Sigh. The boiler's fifteen years old. Would this be the time to get a new one? For around £1,500? BOAT - Bring Out Another Thousand. Whatever the outcome, we weren't going to cruise if there was any possibility of this developing into something worse while we were out on the cut.
We put pads of kitchen paper on the floor, under a couple of pipe joints, and under the boiler itself. And we lit the boiler, and we waited and monitored.
The marina wi-fi didn't work for most of the day, so the several things I wanted to do on the Internet had to be shelved, and I got a number of odd jobs done. But then I ran out of odd jobs, and I did something I really don't do often enough. I got out the folding chair, erected it at the end of the pontoon, made myself a cafetière of coffee, and sat and did nothing. Apart from drink coffee. And I watched the birds and the boats, enjoyed the sun, the fresh air, the water. A male Canada Goose in pursuit of a mate was making a sound like a very quiet cow. I'd never heard that before. Nearby, someone lit their woodstove, and the sweet smell of the smoke added to my enjoyment. I'm really too fidgety usually, too eager to be "doing". "Being" is important, too. I must take these times-out more often.
The paper under the Alde absorbed several drips to start with, though nothing serious. And it seemed to get slower as the afternoon moved into evening. We left it all night, too, though I regretted it, since it was too hot in bed, even though the boiler was set at its lowest output.
During the night, Grace lay awake coming up with a theory. Something she does a lot. In the morning, she told me her theory. One day in the last week, I had been a Muppet and forgotten to switch on the central heating pump when I lit the Bubble stove. And on the previous occasion when I'd done that, (yes, I have Muppet in my blood) water had flooded out of the Alde and across the shower-room floor. This time, ran the theory, I didn't leave the system quite so long without the pump. Hence less water. As I write, we're running the Bubble stove (with the pump on) just to make sure that it's not involved in the leak in some other way. It seems OK. We'll keep an eye on it while we're cruising.
And that will start tomorrow! Watch this space!