Thursday, June 30, 2011

Deck Wash Down Kits

I have always thought that having a deck wash down pump on a narrow boat would be a good idea. I envisage using it to wash down muddy wellies, dogs and of  course the deck of the boat. The pick up would be well below waterline so it shouldn't suck up too much crap.
This is the bit of kit I am talking about click here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pittwater Cruise

Our head storeman retired this week, so to celebrate we went on a cruise around Pittwater.
We hired a  ferry from Palm Beach Ferries, and as they are one of our customers we received "mates rates".
Pittwater is a waterway at the uppermost end of the northern beaches, on one side it is national park and on the other side are some of Sydney best waterside homes.  The most northern part of Pittwater  is open to the ocean.  It is also home to a lot of yacht clubs.
The ferry we hired was the Myra, she is a wooden boat built in 1985 and is powered by a Gardner 8LK diesel, and that is the 'narrowboat link', as in the Gardner diesel also powers quite a few of the narrowboats with an engine room, albeit that Myra has a 8 cylinder diesel and the narrowboats have  2 cylinders.

We had a  magic day out and the followed up with a few hours in the pub!

Inside cabin
El with champers
Another bloody blue sky!!
Yours truly 
Palm Beach
Middle of Pittwater with Lion Island in the centre
The Oatley family house - they own Wild Oats wines plus Hamilton Island, slightly wealthy!! 
nice boatsheds
Top Deck
House, Pool and Jetty! 
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Too Much Wood?

We, plus other bloggers  often post about boats that they like, but how about ones that leave you a bit, how do you say....cold.
This one came up on my weekly search of new boats on the market, I know there are no furnishing etc but its a bit too much like a Swedish sauna for me.
It will be interesting to see how quickly it sells. Its not cheap either!!

Click here to check it out

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winters Day In Sydney

We love winter in Sydney, its just the best time, 20 degrees C and perfect clear blue skies. We can walk the dogs for miles and miles without suffering from heat exhaustion!

Yesterday we did the famous Bondi to Bronte cliff walk, which is a must-do if you come to Sydney, it runs along the cliff tops with a lot of up and down steep stairs. 

Bronte Beach - starting point !
Bondi Beach - finishing point (but then you have to go and find the car!)

Its a good walk if you are into celeb spotting as a lot of them live in Bondi, we spotted the Bondi Vet .. not sure they show the programme in the UK?

Bondi Icebergs Pool, very trendy bar, restaurant and pool.The pool is open all year round!

... and again from different angle !

Elaine, Ant, Sam and Bombo !!

The walk ... lot of people out yesterday after the rain of last week !

Surfey dude !
Beach Volleyballers !

We had to walk a bit further than normal as we lost the car!  After we found it we headed back to Manly via the Rocks, which is the oldest part of Sydney - as we felt in need of some sustenance ! There just happens to be a good Irish pub there, The Mercantile, so after a few schooners of Guinness it was off home!

...and what has this to with narrow boats......NOTHING! But as we are a fair away from anything happening, we have to fill in the gaps somehow! 
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Animal Export Protest

Nothing canal-related this weekend, apart from travelling to and from the city on the Manly Ferry (which will be the name of the in-the-not-too-distant-future narrow boat!)

On Saturday, we went over to the City, to protest Live Animal Exports.  The reason for the protest all started after the ABC 4 Corners programme (click this link to read more) showed how animals are treated in so called abattoirs in   Indonesia.

There was a fairish turn out - with much chanting and emotions were high.

Following are a few pics taken at the protest ...

As you can see here ... there was a MASSIVE police presence ... he looked terrified by the rabble ! 

He had parked his car close by too, for a quick get away from the madding crowd !!
Elaine saw this poster on the way back ... she hoped it was a sign ... :)

After the protest, we wandered back through the City towards the Rocks area and spied the 'Sea Shepherd' which was in the harbour It has just got back from trying to stop the Japs from killing whales for......... "Scientific Research" 

... then we had to go and drown our sorrows with a pint of Guinness at the Rocks
before heading back to Manly on the Ferry !

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Narrow Boat Engine Hours

I was just going through my weekly check on the ABNB brokerage site and they have a very nice boat for sale NB Kingfisher
What caught my attention however was the engine hours 9,954!
I have been working on boats and selling boat parts and engines here in Sydney for the last 30 years. The majority of diesel motors in the 40hp range are lucky to reach 2,500 hours. Very occasionally they get up to the 5000 hour mark but are well and truly scrap value!
And the reason for in Australia they are running in a saltwater environment , sucking in salty air really does stuff them very quickly no matter how many air filter systems you put on them, plus sucking up salt water through the cooling system. Another reason is they are running at much higher revs 3000-4000 RPM.
Whereas  the average narrow boat diesel plodding along at 1500rpm or charging batteries and running a closed fresh water system is going to last a lifetime. It would be interesting to know how many hours some of the long term continuous cruisers are up to?    

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Waiting Game

Not a lot to blog about on the narrow boat front as we now seem to be in a state of limbo. When the house was on the market and virtually sold it was all systems go, now we will not be putting it back on the market till  January 2012 the need for speed has all but gone. We are both struggling a bit keeping up the momentum.

We are still selling off and getting rid of Bits and Bobs but January seems a life time away.

We are still checking out the narrow boats  that come up for sale and I still like to check out the web cams regularly to get my fix.

On the work front it has gone a little bit quiet, but that is not unusual for this time of year. The boss has decided he has had enough and has put the business (All Marine Spares) up for sale. this will suit me fine as I enjoy my job but is mainly due to having a decent boss/owner. Who knows what the next one will be like.

Elaine is still working as per usual but is very much looking forward to new challenges and being closer to her   family.

This weekend has been a long weekend (Queens Birthday) and It has pissed down all weekend! It was a good time to try out the Driza Bone coat, the poor dogs didn't like being dragged around in the rain

I have added a few pics from our last narrow boat holiday together.

Elaine taking it easy
Macc canal
This is what we are looking forward to......

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Narrow Boat holiday in July

I will be in the UK late July to celebrate my mothers 80th Birthday.
A part of the birthday celebrations my brother has hired a narrow boat from Valley Cruises, they are based in Nuneaton.

Any suggestions from you experts out there on a nice 7 day cruise? Nice scenery and nice pubs being the main criteria.   Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A day out to Summer Bay !

Today was lovely sunny winters day so we took the dogs for a walk around the Long Reef headland for their daily walk, it was slow going as Bombo has been crook all week with tonsillitis. 

He was very fatigued quite early on so we took turns carrying him! 

Elaine's nephew Anthony also came with us as there was a chance we would see some whales as they are starting their trip from Antarctica up north for the breeding season. We did see one but it was too far off to get a decent shot (with a camera!).  Lets not get started on the Japs slaughtering them for scientific research!
I see no whales ! 
Anthony and Elaine

There is also a lot of rock-fishing at Long Reef - and, as you can see from the photos, no wonder a lot of the fishermen get swept out to sea and drown ! 
Long Reef is also a favourite haunt for pelicans - who wait for the fishing boats to come in ... and hopefully get a feed !
You've gotta watch it when you walk underneath them !
Anthony getting up close with the locals !
Get off my lamp post !!!
Aussie flag - marks a hidden rock.
After the slow walk we drove up the coast a little way to Palm Beach (Summer Bay) where they film Home And Away.  Anthony is a closet Home and Away fan so we took some pics of the surf club, lighthouse and beach etc.  They don't film at the weekends but they are there most days during the week. It will be strange watching it the UK, with its endless blue skies and fantastic beaches. Not that we watch it here........    
Alf Stewart's Club
A couple of the locals !
Palm Beach
Palm Beach Lighthouse
Palm Beach Lighthouse
Palm Beach
What sign

Saw this in the car park .. thought it was quite neat !  Lucky dog :)
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