Monday, 13 October 2008

Scraping by

For the past week, we've been stranded in the centre of Cambridge, as the arm on the engine's throttle had broken. I spent a lot of time telephoning various engine and boat places trying to find a direct replacement, but all to no avail. We decided to do some boat maintenance in the meantime, and to fix the throttle ourselves.

There were a few areas where the paint had been removed, from the cabin sides of Lucky Duck- from when we hit various bridges.

The priority for us was to cover these areas over with paint before they got too rusty; there were some patches of rust already, so we went to Mackays- the local emporium of wonders- to get some Hammerite Direct to Rust paint, that eats away at existing rust, neutralises it, and forms a layer of primer, making repainting easier. It was also cheaper to buy one tin than a separate rust-eater and primer...

On Saturday, I attempted to fix the throttle arm back together with some steel epoxy whilst Amy sanded, wire-brushed, and removed the existing surface rust before painting away. A continuous stream of novice rowers provided comic relief. Then, we went to the house of a friend of (big) James', to assist in inserting a pond into a very large hole in the garden- in return for this, we could take our pick of an enormous pile of waste wood, from an old wooden conservatory they had demolished. James and I, and a few of his colleagues, shifted the pre-made pond liner into the hole, and headed off with the boot of (big) James' car weighed down with a large sack of wood and a lot of big pieces of joists- just the thing to keep us warm and snug, and all for free- fantastic!

When we returned to the mooring in the centre of Cambridge, we found a fellow blogger moored behind us temporarily, having reached the top of the waiting list for moorings in the centre of Cambridge. He was eighteenth on the list ten days ago, but was offered the permit on Friday- it just goes to show that there's a fair number of people on the list who've put their names on speculatively, and- when the space becomes available- forfeit their immediate opportunity in favour of those with boats. We were 40th on the list- but I expect we've moved up a good few places, which is encouraging.

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