May 2012

I'm no closer to turning the boat over while I wait for two things; Firstly the weather to improve and secondly to acquire a mattress to turn the boat over onto.
Clearly the weather is struggling to improve so I have an excuse to search out a mattress.

However, its not been an idle month. Quite an exciting one in fact.
The month started with the IoW Randonnee, all 105km of it. As the certificate below shows; I made it round.
IoW Randonnee certificate

The 100km (it's actually 105km including the off course elements...) is a lot tougher than the 55km I did last year. Good job I had an extra 4 lower gears this year! although at times even that was not enough.
This shows the elevation and my modest speed profile. All acquired using GPSLogger II for BlackBerry.
The vertical bars are the checkpoints.
There are some scary steep climbs and every time you whistle down a hill you know there is a painful climb to follow. I'm told the anticlockwise direction (2014) is harder. I'll definitely be fitting a larger rear sprocket for that one.
IoW Randonnee data showing vBike and hElevation

The following weekend we traveled to Devon by train. We had both watched the Michael Portillo train journeys on the BBC and thought how fantastic it would be to do the Exeter to Torquay route which runs right alongside the coastline. And it didn't disappoint. We stayed in a very good B&B in Cockington village called Lanscombe house. To make it a full railway weekend we then did the Dartmouth railway Round Robin trip; Paignton to Dartmouth by steam train, A river trip to Totnes and a bus back to Paignton. It didn't rain until the Monday morning for our return journey, when it lashed it down.

The only useful boaty stuff I have done is to fit a wireless winch remote control. It's the usual stitch; the hard wired remote isn't as long as the winch cable so launching the boat take two people and lots of instruction (read shouting). The official wireless remote is $200 or 200 in the UK. So a trip to EBay and I found this wireless remote for under 2 with postage a whopping 8 by comparison. So one duly arrived in the post and here it is installed and working.
Winch with aerial showing

Here is the internal packaging showing the position of the remote receiver. All done with 3 piggy back connectors, a piece of sponge and a ty-wrap.
The range is just to the end of the jetty, so adequate, and all for under 10. The only challenge will be to avoid loosing the remote.
Winch internal packaging of the remote receiver

There was one other thing.
We had the narrowboat out of the water to get it's bottom blacked by Bulls Bridge Dry Docks. What a difference having a smooth bottom does for your top speed. Must have gained at least 1 knot and definitely less engine stress...
What's more, Steve thought the boat was 6 years younger that it is. what a compliment!
Narrowboat with blacked bottom and new stern paint