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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Eek... water is on the rise again!

We were so cold last night. The small fan heater warmed the boat to a degree and I had to resort to covering up with a blanket. Sipping a glass of wine and watching TV shivering profusely my senses suddenly became aware up that something wasn't quite right in the dock. Instead of hearing the gently gurgle of the pump taking the water away there came a sound of running water. We rushed out almost at the same time that Dennis also stepped out to see what had changed. Through the wall by the paddle in the dock, water was pouring through a crack. So much that the dock was filling fast. The river was on the rise again! Ian donned wellies and headed down into the dock area to retrieve all our paint tins, cloths, brushes etc before they were washed away by the rising water levels.

Pump on the left going into overdrive and the river water coming in fast from the right.

Now where's that big cork?

Nothing more could be done so we switched off the lights in the dock, spoke to Dennis to ask if we could put our diesel heater on for a while and found out he was also so cold that he had already put the gas heater on in Icing. With the curtains at the entrance to the dock open the fumes of our diesel heater went outwards rather then inwards so no chance of us being asphyxiated. We said our good nights and laughingly said we would probably be floating by morning. Bit of a worry for us as only one coat of bitumen had been brushed around the hull.

We needn't have worried as the level had gone down by an inch. I walked to the outlet to see for myself how much of the outflow could be seen. Couldn't even see the outlet pipe so no wander the river had backed up in the dock.

The pipe is situated smack bang in the middle. No sign of it at all.
Second coat of blacking went on first thing. Ian did the difficult bits again and then went on to painting the port gunwale. My next task was to clean out the bow lockers. After removing the contents I was shocked at the amount of rust in the bottom. Took a scrapper and a lot of hard work before every bit of loose rust was removed. Mick sourced a tin of rust convertor for us to use but instructions were to apply to a dry surface. Only one thing for it, use the hairdrier. 15 minutes of hot air on each locker did the trick and on went the convertor. Should be dry enough for me to to paint with Hammerite by tomorrow. 

 It's a great feeling to know that nearly everything is done and we still have a day in hand. Gives the bitumen another day to harden and with the back tunnel bands also completed, tomorrow might be an easier day for me. Ian still has the starboard gunwale to paint and then the big clear up begins.

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