Monday, 24 June 2013

A bit of painting and fishing...

Whilst I am waiting for the porthole liner to arrive I felt it was time to spruce up the bathroom, particularly as you could now see how drab it was. The eggshell blue is now white undercoat. Two coats. The weather was not reliable enough for outside painting so only one coat (the second black undercoat) has been applied to the gunwales. Progress is being made slowly.
Once the porthole was in place it broke up the name Constance on the side. Constance had become CON NCE. The vinyl lettering peeled off easier than I expected.
CON NCE duly removed, oops - photographer showing in porthole!

One of the mother ducks nearby had 10 ducklings!
It may be a slightly blurry picture, but the little duckling move so quickly.
On Sunday afternoon as I was about to move to a different mooring I heard a commotion outside. A young lad (7/8 years old) had fallen in the canal. By the time I got out of the front his father had managed to get the lad out of the canal. I was able to supply some towels to get him a little bit dry as it was not very warm. Then he said 'what about my bike?'
Armed with a boat hook I went fishing and after a bit of trawling around I caught a bike! No damage done, the lad was fine and they all rode off together.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Judy gave the new loo porthole the thumbs up!

Judy and I went to Constance for the weekend. The weather was showery and at times quite wet. Well it is flaming June? We needed to empty waste and move on anyway, so we made our way to Dundas, filled with water and got rid of the unwanted.
On the right there is a man sat with a dog, he was walking from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon and we passed each other several times. We crossed the Dundas Aqueduct, then the Avoncliff and moored at BoA behind the Tithe Barn as we have done before. I needed to go back to Bath to get the car and shared the bus journey with the man and his dog. In the evening we went to the Barge Inn for a meal.
On Sunday we went shopping and for a walk to Avoncliff and back.
Judy definitely approved of the loo porthole!

Post Script to previouse posting...

Apparently a small portion of the film 'Les Miserables' was filmed here at Pulteney Weir!

Monday, 10 June 2013

I didn't know you were allowed to do this...

I didn't know you were allowed to do this...
Walk out on to Pulteney Weir. OK, the water flow was low and they were all wearing life-jackets.

Let there be light - well in the Loo anyway!

One of the oddities/downside of Constance was that the loo had no natural light. Ventilation was also very poor. The mushroom vent above the loo was not correctly aligned with the hole in the roof, further reducing any air changes. This lack of ventilation was much more apparent when (and shortly after) running the engine as the little room tended to fill with diesel/hot engine fumes. Also, you always had to use the light to see what you were doing! So, I bought a porthole from Pro-Cast of Nottingham. It arrived a few days ago and I took it with me this last weekend. Here is a bit of a 'blow-by-blow' account...
This was the panel before I started

Working out the correct positioning for the porthole

First, centre hole drilled, then 4 more at the hour, half & quarter hour positions, then 4 quarter arcs cut with a jig-saw. There was a 285mm diameter hole in the side!

With fibre-glass insulation removed and the porthole in place

The finished job, sealed with 'Sika-flex' and all of the screw slots aligned! Glass in.

The finished job - I was really chuffed.

Now all I have to do is sort out the inside. A number of the wall tiles need to be shaped to fit the porthole liner. It is great to have light and ventilation in the loo!

Bath lock 11

Lock 11 in the Widcombe Flight at Bath has had a bulge in the wall for a few weeks now. Mindful of the lock collapse on the Aylesbury Arm we have all been a bit worried about it, but the engineers have now moved in and it will be fixed soon.
It gives us a rare opportunity to see what is behind the brick facing of the lock walls.
I understand that whilst the wall maybe completed shortly, it takes several days (or more) for the lime mortar to set to the point where it can survive the continual dousing it gets when the lock is filled.

Monday, 3 June 2013

A Lovely Weekend in Bath

Friday was a much better day weather-wise. The sun shone pretty much all day. We decided to spend the weekend at Bath Top Lock, so we moved from Bathampton to Bath. Again we were able to walk into Bath.
Looking at Pulteney weir

And Bath Abbey in the late evening sunshine.

In the evening Judy & I went to 'The Raven' (off Quite Street) and sampled their (Pieminister) Pies and mash/chips, washed down with a pint, or so, of Raven Gold. Excellent!
Saturday, David came to visit us on board. We spent the afternoon helping him revise for his up-coming exams. While we were working:
the 'Lady Lena' moored just behind us.
The 'Lady Lena' is the oldest electrically driven boat, built about 1890 and can be seen regularly in the Bath area. She looks absolutely splendid. For more information about 'Lady Lena' please visit

On Sunday we were joined for lunch by David and Bettina. It was a lovely afternoon and we gently cruised through Sydney Gardens,
and stopped on the 14-day moorings at the end of the 'promenade'. All very relaxing!

Bathampton, Claverton & Malmesbury

Bank Holiday Monday was taken up with shopping in Bath. Well, Judy was shopping and I was either wandering around, reading or making use of the 'Man Seats' which can often be found in the entrances to the larger, more organised department stores.
After lunch we walked a little way towards Bathampton and crossed the Avon heading north until we reached the A4. We then walked along the water meadows,
stopping for a look at the weir

and Bathampton Mill

before going on towards the Bathampton Toll Bridge.

Tuesday it rained pretty much all day. We stayed aboard and read our respective books and generally chilled out. By about 7pm there was a small weather-eye so we took the opportunity to trot into Bath and had a lovely pizza near Pulteney Bridge.

Wedensday; we read that on Wednesday's the Claverton Pumping Engine was open to view. We needed to move off our 72 hour mooring so we decide to go to Claverton. Unfortunately, it was closed for maintenance owing to damage sustained during the winter. We had a look at the outside,

and then we walked down to the weir.

As the next winding-hole was Dundas, we proceeded to Dundas, got rid of the 'unwanted' and returned to Bathampton. It started to rain, then it got harder. We stopped near 'The George', dried off and went for a meal.

Thursday - the weather did not look too promising either so we decided to go out for the day. I wandered up to fetch the car. We went off, along the A4 eastbound to Chippenham and then up to Malmesbury. Quick look in the charity shops for books, quick look in the Abbey and then to the town museum. By the time we came out of the museum it was raining again so we went back to the Abbey for afternoon tea.
They do a very good job of catering in Malmesbury Abbey - Recommended!
Then back to Bath and park the car and walk back down the hill to Bathampton.

Repel boarders!

Peter, Christine and Anna joined us at Bradford-on-Avon for the trip into Bath. It was a lovely day on Sunday, the sun shone and it was warm. As we crossed Avoncliff Aqueduct, I let everyone off so that they could walk across and see the Avoncliff weir and the aqueduct itself.
We went on to Dundas where we stopped for lunch and the obligatory trip down the Somerset Coal Canal to the Angel-Fish Cafe.

To finish off we went as far as Bath Top Lock, turned round and stopped along 'The Promenade' near Beckford Road.