Friday, 26 September 2014

Busy, busy

It's been a pleasantly busy day here; lots of talking and stuff done as well. But first the Squirrel...

Regular readers will recall that I found some graphite "blacklead" and used it to improve the appearance of the Squirrel. Before we'd had occasion to light it, we had the chimney collar replaced and I used a bit more to cover the area which had got messed up.

The night before last, it got cold enough to justify lighting the stove in mid evening. All was well at first, until a fine smoke began to fill the saloon. It wasn't leakage from the stove but the new coating conditioning and eventually was thick enough to trigger the smoke alarm in the study bedroom. We opened up doors and hatches and closed down the fire, but there was still quite a bit about when we wanted to go to bed.

In the end, I closed the intervening doors and put the alarm in a sealed map case in a desk drawer. In the morning, all was well and still quite chilly. So I relit the stove and a bit more smoke formed once it had warmed up.

By the time we came back from Derby, it had cleared completely. So the moral of the story is, having applied Hotspot Stove Blacking to your Squirrel, take care to the light the stove at a time when you can let it burn up with plenty of ventilation.

Our main event today was a meeting with Dominic, who is writing a book on retiring early and the virtues of alternative lifestyles when you do so. That went very well; he's a nice guy and we had three hours of nattering information exchange. We look forward to seeing the final result and we'd be very happy to help in any other way.

Thanks for the bottle of wine, too! That's a man who understands boaters.

Before he came, I had a go at the isolation transformer. Unfortunately, the lead John told me about on Waimaru was the wrong way round, a 13 amp plug to a 16 amp socket, so I'd bought a 13 amp trailing socket in Wilko yesterday and made up a lead this morning.

I plugged the shoreline into the transformer, the new lead into the output and the circuit tester into the socket. All was well, three lights meaning that power was there and at the right pins. So I plugged the transformer output into the connector on the boat.

Those with any experience of engineering will know what happened.

Yup, it all worked as if there had never been a problem. Usual story, take everything to bits, find nothing wrong, put it back together, test it step by step and it's as if nothing had ever been wrong.

I'm not complaining, far from it, but isn't it weird how often that happens?

This afternoon saw a long phone conversation with Des about the new website (he's working wonders) and a gentle stroll round the marina, stopping for several useful conversations en route.

Tomorrow, Elanor and Sally are coming over to the dog training session and then to see us. On Sunday, we're doing some scrub bashing type volunteering over on the towpath. Looks like we're still keeping busy...

No comments: