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Tuesday, 9th March 2010 - Return of the Spray Hood

Another feeble excuse for a blog entry! C J Marine have now returned the spray hood and it looks almost like new. The white webbing straps were particularly green and gungy before and now look very white. They have put some patches over the spots that were chaffing so the whole thing looks pretty good.

We have now pencilled in our next trip - to take all the gear back to the boat - for the 27th/28th March. This will not be a sailing trip but just a recommissioning trip. The following weekend is Easter and we are then planning a long weekend - dependent as always, on the weather!

Saturday, 20th March 2010 - Winter is Nearly Over

Well it is by the sailing calendar! Next weekend we are off to the boat with all the gear - sails, spray hood, covers, bedding, cushions, charts, books - all the gear that came home at the end of last season. Wendy will be glad to get the guest room and the spare room back again! Today, we went up to the caravan shop in the village to change the gas bottle and get a can of Grainger's Fabsil to water proof one of the sail covers that Kim had washed a few weeks ago.

Last weekend we went to the Kent Boat Jumble and amongst other things, got a new deck scrub and some boat cleaner called "Muc-Off". . After previously having a fancy deck scrub that was sold as a caravan brush (you can get the same brush marketed as a boat brush, but it's three times the price!) we decided to buy an old fashioned deck scrub that cost £3.

How good is Muc-Off? We shall report back!

Sunday, 28th March 2010 - Emjaytoo is Shipshape!

Having loaded the car up on Friday night, we had an uneventful crossing to Dunkerque, but the drive up to Kortgene went a bit awry, when we decided to vary the route a bit and got stuck in road works, eventually arriving at Delta Marina at 1.30pm.

The weather forecast had been rather “iffy”, but in the event it stayed dry and we even had a few bursts of sunshine. This enabled us to complete the main tasks of cleaning the outside of the boat, bending on the mainsail and genoa and fitting the spray hood. As is often the case it all seemed to take longer than envisaged and the spray hood proved to be a real PITA.

It then became apparent that there was a problem with the pump that maintains the pressurised hot & cold water. The system had been completely drained down for the winter and after filling the water tank, we switched on the pump and started to run the taps. After the air in the system had been flushed out the water pressure was a fraction of what it should be and when the taps were shut off the pump still kept going. This suggested a leak in the system somewhere, but a check in the bilges did not suggest any leak.

By this stage we were both feeling pretty frazzled, especially as it was now about 6.00pm and neither of us is used to the physical exertion of carrying/manhandling all that gear , so we headed off to our favourite restaurant Iets Anders. As usual the meal was excellent and the hassle of the afternoon was soon forgotten.

Sunday dawned especially early since the clocks went forward this weekend, but we somehow felt a whole lot better, so after breakfast we got the rest of the gear stowed away and generally sorted everything out. Kim investigated the water problem some more, checking most of the pipe work and generally looking for leaks, but to no avail. He removed the inline filter which had a bit of crud in it, but it didn’t make any difference, tomorrow it will be a call to the marina to see if they can sort it out by next weekend. Hopefully it will be something simple like a punctured diaphragm.

The TV and digi box all went back together easily enough, but as in the past, it takes 5 or 10 minutes for the system to connect up and recognise our subscription for the pay channels, but it’s all working fine now.

We fired up the engine, which started on the first turn of the key and ran for a few minutes, but then cut out when we tried to increase the revs. It then proved a bit temperamental, cutting out several times before finally settling down.

The morning’s work went well and we finally had Emjaytoo looking ship-shape and our weekend gear loaded back in the car by 12.30pm, so half an hour to spare. A really good bit of news was that this morning whilst drinking coffee, Kim was playing with his i-Phone when it picked up the Delta Marina Wi-Fi. Brilliant! After several years of promising, the marina has finally got Wi-Fi and at the moment it appears to be free, but that will probably change, not that we mind paying for it.

Finally, how good was the "Muc-Off"? It was excellent. We used about threequarters of a bottle, but the boat looked absolutely gleaming. So we will definitely be buying some more.

Monday, 29th March 2010 - The Water Pump

Kim called the marina and spoke to Peter about the water pump. They are going to have a look and report back. He said they were very busy at this time of year, but they would try to look at it this week. So we will just have to wait and see. Kim then called Clipper Marine (the UK Dealer) for a bit of advice. They said it was unlikely to be the pump as the pumps are pretty robust and reliable. They said it was much more likely to be a leak in the pressurised system. Given that Kim had a good look for leaks and didn't find anything, we will just have to wait for the marina to come back with their findings. It worked perfectly well at the end of last year, the marina then winterized the system so it should not have frozen.

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