Thursday Oct 5th.
Hello people, I hope I find you all well.
Last night was a bit rough with gales and rain, but the weather now is gorgeous. Still very windy but bright and warm in the sunshine.
So, what have I been up to?
During a short 'trundle' up the canal one day I spotted this Terrapin/Turtle/ mouldy meat pie, basking in the sunshine. He was almost the size of a diner plate and seemed totally unconcerned as I went past.
I mentioned in my last blog that I was fitting a NASA battery monitor to give me a constant readout of the state of charge in the leisure batteries.
Well it's fitted, calibrated and works a treat.
As you can see by the following pictures, it tells me that the batteries are showing 12.9 volts and 0 amps are being drawn because everything is switched off. If something is switched on it shows the amount of amperage being drawn.
On the next picture you can see the batteries are showing 95% charged and at the current usage would take in excess of 199 hours to discharge. A very useful tool indeed
|Looking down the Marina from the entrance off the Canal (just to my left)|
|L to R|
Jenny, me Graham and Jaqui.
We'd just been out for a meal and came back to Bracken for Coffee.
|Mother duck appeared one morning with 12 ducklings and became quite a regular visitor.|
|What food the ducks don't eat, the fish do!|
|I had to crush the food up in the early days as the ducklings couldnt eat it.|
|Having eaten their fill, they followed mother duck along the pontoon......|
|c'mon kids, follow mum.....|
|wheee in we go!|
|Water was so still, almost a mirror reflection.|
|I was sitting in my armchair and just happened to glance out the window...|
Taken with my phone camera from a distance of approx 20 feet through glass, I was amazed how well this came out!
In August I had very welcome visitors from Kent, namely eldest son Matthew, daughter in law Louise, Grandson Lee and Granddaughter Elise. Although only a flying visit,it was great to spend a day with them and we enjoyed a short 'trundle' up to the winding hole and back followed by a spot of fishing in the Marina.
|The 'Smith' clan.|
|we did shout him to 'duck' under the bridge.|
|Elise on the tiller, doing a great job of keeping us out of the bushes.|
|So proud of his catch|
Also in August, Bracken's BSC was due for renewal.
The Boat Safety Certificate is like an MOT for boats and covers things like fuel delivery, wiring, CO2 safety on the heating stove, gas safety on the gas appliances, Batteries etc etc.
The certificate is valid for 4 years and as Bracken was last done in 2013 just before I bought her, she was due to be done again.
I was a bit concerned as to whether it would be a pass or a fail as this was the first check under my ownership and in 4 years I have made many changes.
I thought it would probably fail, but at least then I would know what needed doing.
I was quite right, it did fail the examination on a few items, but nothing too tragic.
It seems that when I removed the gas fridge I inadvertently also removed the gas test point so that had to be replaced, gas system then checked out ok.
I had to have 2 brackets welded in the engine bay so that the Batteries could be strapped down in position - sorted.
I think the biggest surprise was when the examiner checked the fire extinguishers and found they were dated 1997 ! Now the date is the renewal date so they were probably the original extinguishers from when Bracken was first built in 1994 ! So, 3 new fire extinguishers later and I had a Valid new BSC in my hands. Great news and good for the next 4 years.
The examiner also advised me that the engine bay wasn't the best place for the inverter to live due to damp atmosphere etc, so I had it moved and it now lives under the 'L' shaped seating in the saloon.
Talking about the saloon, I've recently ripped out the old carpet and replaced it with some carpet tiles.
I suppose the only other bit of news is the fact that at the beginning of September I spent a few days in Burton hospital after suffering what they call a TIA. (mini stroke).
I woke up on the Monday morning feeling very tired, had my porridge breakfast and took a mug of coffee up on deck.
As usual the ducks were milling around waiting for their breakfast and I greeted them with a hearty "good morning ducks" well that's what I meant to say, unfortunately it didn't come out like that. Imagine being so drunk that your words don't form but slur into an undecipherable gobbledygook and thats how I sounded.
It's strange when you can think clearly, hear clearly, but just not speak clearly, very unnerving.
Jenny took me to the doctors and the doctor immediately phoned for an ambulance which took me into Burton on Trent hospital where they did a CAT scan which confirmed I had had a TIA which actually stands for A Transient Ischemic Attack. To cut a long story short gradually my speech came right, and after 2-3 days of being monitored, poked,pulled, and woken up in the middle of the night to ask me how I was feeling, I was released with instructions not to drive for 28 days.
The 28 days were up on the 2nd of October so was able to drive down to the supermarket and 'do a shop'.
I am very fortunate in having some good friends in the Marina who ferried me around to shops, doctors appointments etc, and who just were 'there' to keep an eye on me. Paul, Dougie, Noella, Andy, Jane, Aileen, and of course Jenny my sister and Grummy and Jaq all deserve a thank you.
Well thats about it for now people, take care,