Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th March 2010.

Grand Union, Leicester line between Watford and Foxton Locks.
We’re moving about in relatively new territory for us, the Grand Union Leicester Line summit pound between Watford and Foxton. Having spent the winter ‘down below’ we’ve moved up a hundred feet to get a bit closer to the sun and make the most of 20 miles of lock free cruising.

Tuesday we got a call from Mike (Sarah-Kate), did anyone want a lift to Braunston? Did I? I surely did.
The trip to town (?) was very productive for a couple of reasons. Firstly it got me thinking again about of buying oil in bulk for its financial savings and secondly I found the two fittings I needed to lift the water tank’s filler opening up off the deck and away from the dust and leaves that accumulate in the bow. MC had the threaded tube and Wharf House had the brass cap. Brilliant. Thanks Mike, you’re an angel.

Wednesday and Thursday
Dear little bunny rabbits hop to and fro outside our window at 7 in the morning and again at 7 at night. V thinks they’re Easter Bunnies. But V couldn’t or wouldn’t let me have carrots to leave out on the grass.

Saw a guinea fowl mixing with the sheep on the bank as we cruised past but it bolted across the field towards the woods when I produced the camera. Typical.

Pretty little things, you don’t see many of those do you?

Bought some daffodils the other day, tight little buds that took a couple of days to open but when they did there was a gorgeous smell and a splash of colour on the dinette table. I wasn’t sure that V was going to like them but she was just as taken with them as I was. That’s romantic for me.
We’ve got another bunch on the go now and I shall miss them when their season is over. But there’ll be bluebells later and they pong just as nice don’t they?

A bit technical this so Kass can skip a paragraph.
Radio Frequency Interference is a problem on this boat. It just so happens that our very nice inverter from Mastervolt (DAKAR Combi) produces a lovely sine wave for electrical apparatus like washing machines but it also produces RF noise just where I don’t need it, between 2Mhz and 7Mhz. This week I have been mostly sticking wires through ferrite rings and adding capacitors but to hardly any avail, the RFI although suppressed a tad is still too big and makes HAM radio unworkable. The only way round it is to turn off the inverter while I use the boat batteries but V isn’t happy with a warm fridge and it’s a chore resetting the bedside clock. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

V is off to her Mums and to see her Aunt in hospital. Late eighties, fallen down, broke hip, carted off, new hip but she’s quite frail and not too fussed about eating. What can you do?

Me? I’m trying to catch up on boat jobs, making dust, varnishing, playing wireless, and generally doing things best done when there’s only one of you on the boat. Only one dish broken this time, not a record I know but it is sure to get mentioned in despatches. Not as bad as a certain person called Joe who has been boat bending, say no more (for the time being).
I’m not free to speak because he’s not my son-in-law yet. That might come up in the speech.

And so to Sunday.
Remembered to put the clock on one hour but it didn’t stop my internal clock getting me up at 7am new time.
Thankfully varnish needs to stand untouched while it hardens which suited me. I could get on with the project.

My experiments in changing from diesel to water as fuel for the engine have progressed to the point of making the switch-over sometime this week. An old Hungarian friend, Fil Porola, came up with the bits I needed and I’m now over the problems of coating water molecules with oil. This means we’re all ready to fire her up and depending on the weather this should happen later in the week, possibly Thursday.
The plan is to start the engine on diesel, switch across to water, filtered from the canal, and run for several hours before switching back to diesel. I’ll do that a couple of times before signing the patent application and when they confirm it is safely registered in my name all that remains is to contact a boating magazine with the story. Not a bad start for the new month.