Tuesday, 22 October 2019

So, boatlife...

I know, I know. I really am crap at writing posts. It's because I get distracted so easily, and then I don't find the time and peace I need to write. Scattered mind and procrastination - not a very successful combination. I don't recommend it.

Anyways - Here I am. We're still living on our river boat; it's been over a year now since we first set foot on it. How's it going? The short answer is, 'Well. Thank you 😊'.

And here's the long answer, if you're at all interested:

We've had quite a beautiful summer: Open windows, bird song, waterfowl noise, wildlife gazing, sitting outside in the sun, barbecues, warmth, even heat. When it was really hot outside, it was still amazingly comfortable inside.

Our six solar panels produced more than enough electricity during the long days. We were able to run the washing machine without having to fear running down the batteries. During the short days we have to add to the electricity by running the engine every other day for an hour'ish, depending on sunshine or clouds or a mix of the two.
Ewan has been keeping the water tank topped up by carrying about 220 litres on board every week. That is when we had no visitors staying over. I always felt so sorry for my dear hubby watching him carry 25 litre canisters through the boat. Remember, it's 70 ft long 🙈 Bless him. But that is about to change: We're getting a filter system this week. We'll be able to source water from the Thames. Yes. Don't ask me about the details, but it will be perfectly fine for washing and cleaning. For drinking it will go through another filter under the kitchen sink, which is being fitted today, by the way.
So, that covers electricity and water supply. The only bills we will have in the future are for gas, diesel and coal.
In terms of independence we've taken another big step by getting a composting toilet. This was a very good decision, we believe. No pumping out anymore. We're actually getting rid of the original toilets and will have the floor sealed.
The next step will be to make one bathroom out of two. We feel we don't need 2 sinks and 2 showers. The remaining shower will be changed into a combined shower/bath (now that we'll have infinite water supply 😉). This will cost us quite a lot of money, so, it might take another year until we actually go through with it. But it's good to have dreams.

We hadn't taken Coddiwomple out since we moored in our current spot. This is partly because we love this place so much and partly because I was still freaking out at the idea of moving her. But recently we had a befriended couple over, so we decided to take her to the pump-out, ca. 1.5 hours away. As we had the help, it felt less scary to me. Still, because of our bow thruster not working, strong winds and a boat blocking our way into the lock, we managed to bump her sideways into ballards (yes, some things fell off the shelves); land in the brambles with the stern canopy (phew, it didn't get damaged); and added to the collection of bow dimples by hitting the side of a lock, while going in. All in all this experience didn't quite reassure me that moving her is a good idea - well, that is when the weather is a bit rough. Ewan would tell you a different story; I believe he enjoyed the day very, very much. He's not a quarter as worried as I am. I'm glad we're back in our beautiful spot, and we won't go anywhere with her until .... don't know. Poor hubby!

I've got used to static boat life, though, and consider it now "The Life". How else can I have so much peace and quiet, beautiful views, nature walks on your door step, lots of wild life, lovely neighbours, and at the same time close to no bills? I know right? I am grateful.

Winter has arrived (at least temperature-wise). I always find the short, cold days and nights difficult anyway. But on a boat I find it even harder. The stove keeps us roasting, and the central heating keeps the other half .... well, not really warm warm. More like just about tolerable warm. I'm dreading the real cold days and nights. Squirrel (the stove) is running pretty much 24/7 now. By the time the warm air reaches the bed room, though, it has cooled down considerably and doesn't really heat the space efficiently. The central heating (diesel-driven) is only on partly during the night and early morning hours. The bath rooms don't get heated at all. I would call this situation .... improvable; we just don't quite know how. I'm sure we'll figure it out somehow. In the meantime, I have ordered another set of sexy long-sleeve thermal underwear. And my super warm Lang Tall Sally dressing gown works a treat.

So much for now. You will hear from me again. I promise. I just don't promise you when 😜

Namaste,
and Ahoi!