Friday 29 May 2020
Moving Aboard Silverdale
We got up early to face the packing of the car in readiness for moving. It took a long time. A VW Golf is not that well known in moving circles, it’s not the ‘go to’ vehicle. It strained and groaned at the extra weight after being used to its minimal aesthetic. With the task eventually completed, we set off approximately on time, as planned. However, we had to fill up with petrol and then stop off at the Chemist. We finally got off and drove slowly so as not to shift the load. The route was familiar and Guns and Roses accompanied us as we made our way to Northamptonshire.
We arrived at 15:00 and met Harvey of Whilton Marina by the socially distanced window. “How different from when we were here doing this last time”. We had been here in 2018 at approximately the very same time purchasing Nb MIRRLESS.
Paying for Nb Silverdale was simple (too simple). Just like that we owned a narrowboat again! It was a beautiful baking hot day. We were told Silverdale sat at a pontoon by the workshop and was ready for handover.
Whilton Marina via Harvey had purchased a flexible, food-grade water hose, on our behalf as the Chandlery only opened until Midday due to Covid-19 restrictions being in place. We would have had to go through the weekend without a way of filling the water tank. They kindly refused payment for it! A nice boat warming present but it wasn’t the only one.
Unbeknown to me, my team from work had arranged for a hamper of delights to be delivered – a Birthday/moving aboard present 🙂
I felt we should have been piped aboard but it doesn’t work like that. We drove down the drive by the marina and pulled up just outside Silverdale. Down metal steps to the marina-side, and onto the pontoon, The windows were open, the doors were open and a faint breeze blew through from stern to prow. We stepped onto Nb Silverdale – home. Our Nb Silverdale. Stepping down through the open doors, the new Morso Squirrel multi-fuel stove, replete with fire bricks gleamed black in the corner, by the entrance.
We shunted bag after bag from car to boat, the VW sighed and relaxed. It was still hot and continued to be so into the late evening and eventually, our things were aboard. So far, so good.
It became apparent , very quickly how clueless I was regarding the dark art of boat electronics. However, before I enter into the murky world of bespoke narrowboat electricals, I feel I have to mention the sink. I believe it is in part allied to the electrical as will become apparent. To cut to the chase: it was blocked. No problem, we were prepared. We had a plunger and to hand. Big mistake!
That Certainly Doesn’t Smell Like Teen Spirit!
The plunger brought up foul-smelling ichor, as though from the depths of Davy Jones’ Locker (straining the metaphor as it’s a canal and not the sea but you get my meaning). Now this would have been fine, had the plunging released the blockage, to be flushed away by flowing water. There was no flowing water. This was due to the sink being connected to a Whale Gulper (don’t ask) and said Whale Gulper requiring electricity to run. What we were now left with was the whole boat smelling as if something had died aboard it. Quite some time ago.
The 240 volt hookup was working – we could plug anything we liked in: vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, Laptop, curling tongues, juicer, grill… You name it, we could plug it in. However, the lighting and the water pump runs on 12 volt and that wasn’t working. I flipped switches and flipped them back again, I really did. Nothing happened. The Dodo had more life.
Our new, gleaming 12 volt fridge and 12 volt freezer we had purchased and had the marina install on our behalf, cooled nothing. They weren’t on. They were 12 volt. I flipped the switches but nothing.
If you need someone to flip switches, I’m your man.
After the Cool Hand Luke locker-like stifling heat of the sun, its descent, as evening came was welcome. However this bought a new challenge: the lack of light. We started to bumble around like moles with no whiskers but our trusty torch saved the day. We had used this on our previous boat: MIRRLESS and it had never failed to illuminate our way.
And So To Bed
The bed. Ah, the bed. The mattress we were to discover, although extremely comfortable, resembled an 8-piece Tangram puzzle, with multiple solutions. All of which didn’t just quite fit correctly.
It was very quiet and peaceful. Lights at the marina provided a subtle illumination. I managed to snatch a few paragraphs of Lord of the Rings via torchlight before the day had faded into sleep.
rp – peace and narrowboats