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Saturday, 4th March 2017 – Still Not There Yet!

On Wednesday, Wendy spotted this on Delta Marina’s Facebook page from Tuesday.

Basically it says that after a successful test sail and inspection the sale of Emjaytoo has been completed. The fact that Delta chose to put the post up on Tuesday suggested that it was all finalised. So Kim sent Ad an e-mail to enquire if the Hungarian buyer had paid over the money. The answer was yes!

We then sat back to await a statement of account and a request for our bank account details. On Friday, Kim sent Ad an e-mail asking him to sort out a minor invoice mix up regarding winterisation and took the opportunity to request a statement and to advise our bank account details. As of today we have heard nothing back.

On the caravan front, Kim took advantage of the freedom afforded by our new storage arrangements and spent a few hours up at the van on Friday giving it a good clean, including rubbing out some surface marks from an overhanging hedgerow we picked up during our trip to Summners Ponds. He used Brasso to get the scratches out, even on the window.

Earlier in the week the new weight limit plate (mtplm) arrived and so he got that affixed. We have also got some storage bags for the water and waste containers so they don’t dirty or mark the inside of the van when travelling. The new weight limit has enabled us to put a lot more stuff in the van and so we will carry less in the back of the car. It’s all stuff that will live permanently in the van like additional shoes and coats, additional accessories, a tool kit, even simple things like a fire extinguisher and fire blanket. These are all things we took for granted with the boat, but in the van they eat up payload. Anyway we should be well set up now and be able to fill the fridge up with beer and wine before we head off anywhere!

Today, we both went up to the van to put some more stuff in, including some of the bits for the new Cadac gas grill. It is so easy to just pop up to the van as and when.

Sunday, 12th March 2017 – Another trip to Brighton.

Just got back from Brighton.

Earlier in the week, we finally got a statement from Delta Marina/Schepenkring and the balance of the money went into our account on Wednesday. We still have to get a certificate of de-registration that is going to cost £32, but thereafter, that will be it. Final thing is for Kim to cancel the insurance and see if we can get any premium refunded. Not getting too excited as the policy is up for renewal in May, so only likely to get one month back if we are lucky.

During the last week or so, Kim has been enquiring about new tyres, Tyron Bands and an Alko ATC system. The tyres on the van are now over five years old and should be replaced and Tyron Bands are a device fitted inside the tyre to stop it coming off the wheel in the event of a puncture. The Alko ATC is like an ABS system for trailers/caravans. These are all safety features that we would like to have fitted to the van, especially before we head up to Yorkshire at the end of May. Apart from trying to get the best price, we have found that trying to get the work done before the end of May is a real problem. This is not like booking your car in for some work - some caravan service centres are booked up all the way to the end of the summer! Finally, on Friday whilst sat in the van down in Brighton, we got a call quoting an acceptable price and date from a caravan place at Canterbury. Now waiting for the written quote to come in.

On Friday morning, we loaded the car up and drove up to the storage place, all of 5 minutes away, it's great! Before starting off with the van, Kim wanted to check the tyre pressures and the nose weight, so by the time he had done that and we had got our food in the fridge and other things in the van it was 11:00am. It was so nice getting onto the M20 straight away without having to drive across the Marsh. Last time we went to Brighton in early December, we went cross country via Rye. This time it was M20/M26/M25/M23. Another tow without a hitch! Ha-Ha!

The weather was pretty grey and manky and as we approached Brighton it got positively foggy. We got set up almost on the same pitch we had in December. Kim wanted to reverse the van onto the pitch without using the mover. That would have been okay if he hadn’t then insisted on parking the van “inch perfect” which involved far too much shuffling back and forwards. When we got out of the car Wendy asked what the burning smell was! Probably the clutch, said Kim! He should have reversed it on, then used the mover to finally position it, if necessary. Or better still just not have been so bloody anal!

Wendy stayed indoors initially, trying to get warm while Kim happily faffed about outside, in his element. She briefly ventured outside to help put up the awning, actually a very quick affair, and then returned to her blanket. Eventually she warmed up enough to get some dinner on and we had an excellent bbq-style pork done in the Instant Pot. We then watched TV for a bit before snuggling down at about 10 o’clock.

For Saturday, we had great plans of driving up onto the Downs and having a nice long walk. Well, first off, we were late leaving the camp site and then the post code (supplied by the National Trust) we put in the sat-nav for Ditchling Beacon was either wrong or the sat-nav was having a “bad hair day”, as we landed up going past the NT car park and several miles further on to a location nothing to do with the National Trust! By the time we managed to find our way back to Ditchling Beacon the car park was full and we couldn't park anywhere near the place. Then we tried the Devil's Dyke. Again the post code led us up the garden path! In fact we never did find the Devil's Dyke. In desperation we found a car park and set off on a walk, but it was a boring lane, not much better than Gibraltar Lane back home. After more driving around we decided to forget the Downs and head back to the coast for a walk along the beach, maybe a cup of tea and some cake.

It had started out quite misty, but inland the sun had broken through and for early March was warming up nicely (the car thermometer read 16 degrees at one point). On the coast it was cooler and still misty, so much so that we couldn't see the sea. Nor could we see a tea shop! By this time it was 3 o'clock and we were hungry and grumpy so we decided to go back to the caravan and get some cake at a garage on the way as Kim needed to get some fuel. We passed a couple of garages and finally ended up at the ASDA garage by the marina, where, you guessed it, they didn't have any cake! So we got back to the van and had to make do with tea and custard creams, which we managed to eat outside, albeit with coats on, as the sun was quite warm.

All in all it was a disappointing day as we barely managed a walk at all. Whilst driving around we went through the village of Fulking a couple of times. We thought that summed the day up pretty well – fu*king awful!

Sunday had been forecast to be wet, but in fact apart from a few spots of rain it stayed dry for us to put the awning a way and pack up the van. We pulled off the site at about 11:00am and were back at the storage yard just after 1:00pm. We were able to take our time putting the van away and were home by 2:00pm. Apart from Saturday’s walk fiasco, the weekend was very successful. Now thinking about whether we can fit in another trip before Easter.

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