Monday, 14 September 2015


Despite a bad night last night, it's been a day of progress today. We were up betimes, as one tends to be after a broken night, and had breakfast well before we were needed by the yard staff. I put a batch of bread dough on – multiseed and rye – and had not long left it to rise when Andy turned up to fit our bubble tester. Those of us who are liveaboards are required to have the gas system checked every year and the easiest way to do that is with a bubble tester.

The first problem was that the floor of our gas locker was underwater, as it tends to be when the water tank is full, especially if we've got two full cylinders as well. We tried taking as much weight off the bow as we could by emptying both the upper and lower bow lockers, but there was still most of two inches of oggin in the locker. Since Andy had to get in the locker and crouch down, he wasn't too keen on the situation.

In the end, Peter Mason brought up the yard forklift, it was attached to the eye at the top of the stempost and the bow physically lifted up until the water started draining out of the locker. I should explain that we have two sets of drain holes in the locker, the upper pair remaining clear at all times. Andy then spent a bit of time rinsing out the floor of the locker and making quantities of snails and mussels homeless.

He'd finished fitting the tester shortly after coffee break which was good, as by then I was ready to cook my bread buns.

The next task was to fit the WiFi aerial and router. This has been done with typical Andy neatness. The aerial is now fixed to the front edge of the solar panel and its lead taken down through the mushroom just ahead of it. But it doesn't come into the cabin. Instead, it passes above the ceiling lining and down into the cupboard over the desk. Meanwhile, the power supply is led up from the socket, behind the cabin lining and into the same cupboard.

The router is mounted inside the cupboard and all the wiring is tidily disposed of. I've tested it by connecting to the bungalow WiFi. I was a bit worried as it seemed very slow, much slower than the iPhone hotspot connection, but Peter tells me that that's the state of their broadband at the moment. Having paid to be upgraded to fibre optic, the speed is much slower that they had had on copper. Apparently, the company now admits that that was to be expected and has offered to charge them again to put them back on the copper.

What a rip off! Ah well, at least I know that the Wynne James aerial plus router is fully functional.

There's been good news and bad from CRT. Newcastle Road lock has indeed reopened and traffic through Stone resumed. Meanwhile, the local guys turned up to start repairing the hole in the bridge approach ramp here. Initial work found that things are worse than supposed. There are in fact not one but two holes into the canal, both flushing material out. They will need to shutter across the holes, pump concrete in and then make good the setts which form the actual pathway.

After all this excitement, we're going to have a quiet evening tonight. Tomorrow, the remaining jobs should get done, namely the toilet tank inspection hatch, changing the fuel filters and repairing the weed hatch.


Adrian said...

Hi Bruce

What brand of router and aerial have you gone for? I've considered getting a 3/4G and wi-fi router fitted on Briar Rose, but not got round to doing anything about it yet. Always good to learn what is working for other boaters.


Briar Rose

Bruce in Sanity said...


It's the Solwise Rocket WiFi to USB antenna paired with the Solwise USB to WiFi repeater. The whole thing comes in at just under £70 and performs very well. It's very popular around Mercia. You just need a way of getting the USB cable in from outside and a 230 V power supply for the repeater.