Wednesday, August 10, 2016

After another very windy day...

All boaters ought to know about Weil's Disease, a water-borne disease caused by bacteria in the urine of rats. It can be fatal to humans if left untreated. It can be contracted by exposure to the bacteria through open wounds, which is why I went on Weil's alert when I fell off the front of the boat two weeks ago. What I didn't report on the blog then was that I somehow managed to dig quite a sizeable hole in my shin when I fell, and I've been waiting to see if I develop any Weil's symptoms, which are very much like flu.

Weil's takes up to two weeks to incubate. Any illness which is flu-like needs to be taken to a doctor, GP or hospital, for treatment with a particular antibiotic. There is a problem with this, though, because Weil's is rare. After all, it's a very small proportion of the population who are regularly exposed to rat urine, and who, therefore, live with the risk of contracting it. There are many doctors who have never and will never see a single case of it in their entire career.

Because of this, Grace and I have a document with wording taken from the website of the Historic Narrow Boat Club.
Should we ever experience the symptoms, we would go with some haste to see a doctor, and take this with us. That should guarantee us the correct treatment with appropriate urgency.

I'm glad to say it looks like I won't be taking this to a doctor this time around (though officially I still have a week to show symptoms). And the hole in my shin's healing pretty well, too.


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When we bought Kantara, there was a vacuum cleaner on board. It died very soon after we started using it, so we went in search of another one suitable for use on a narrowboat. The one we purchased did the job well, but, small as it was on the domestic scale of things, it turned out to be still too big for the narrow spaces of the boat cabin. Consequently, we found ourselves using it rather less than we ought to have been.

While we were in Liverpool, we addressed the problem - nearly five years on! Grace had investigated on the web the relatively new generation of vacs made by Dyson, and seen regularly on TV.
picture - www.johnlewis.com
We went to Liverpool's John Lewis, close to the docks, to see and try one. We tested several models, asked lots of questions of the saleswoman, ummed and ahhed, and bought one. It's perfect for the boat! Cordless, small, easy to store, light, easy to use, and very effective. It's no chore to use it for just five minutes daily to keep carpets and hard floors free of the bits and pieces they get scattered with after a day's cruise.

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It's been another very windy day. I was awoken at 6:00am by the boat rocking in the wind, and knocking on rocks below water level. It rained first thing, and then spent a couple of hours cloudy and threatening. But that cleared, and the sun came out. But the wind just kept on. It really made driving the boat difficult at times, though not nearly as difficult for us as for the GRP boats we saw out, zig-zagging about the canal like drunken geese.

For the first time ever, we ran our water-tank empty today, just before we left our mooring this morning. Fortunately, the tap was vacant at Burscough Wharf, and we filled up there. We want to replace an empty Calor Gas bottle soon, too, and top up our diesel - neither because we're desperate, but so that we avoid getting to that point!

We finished the day's cruise mid-afternoon back at Hoscar, the Ring o' Bells mooring we were at two weeks ago. And finally, the wind died down, and the afternoon was hot and bright.

We've had conformation that Plank Lane swing bridge will be manned at 2:00pm on Wednesday - they're only providing that service every other day - so we're aiming for that window of time. Tomorrow, we move on to Crooke.


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