Friday, 1 February 2013

Two steps forward and one backwards

The wind and rain buffeted Waiouru around during the night which resulted in Jan again rising early.  Around 9.00am the weather cleared so we moved Waiouru onto the water point to fill up the tank and dump the rubbish.  Part way through the process the heavens opened so we both raced inside for 20 minutes whilst it passed over.

It was then time to do the next 100 yards of our journey around the network.  The wind had again picked up so any cruising was going to be more difficult.  That’s why I decided to move from the facilities up through the lock and onto our new mooring in reverse.  I just love a challenge!  I wonder how long it will take us to get around the network in reverse?Winking smile

The plan was for Jan to work the lock whilst I reversed Waiouru into it and then back onto the new mooring.   The first problem was to get the blunt end around.  Of course the slab side of the cabin makes an excellent sail and as a result we (me) kept going sideways.  In the end I had to resort to using the “girlie button” to get to pointy end around.  Thank goodness we specified the largest 12v bow thruster available.

Paul (nb Apache) noticed our efforts and kindly came to assist us with the passage through the lock.  Just as I started to reverse out of the lock another boat came around the bend.  For weeks we’ve hardly seen a moving boat and today whilst commencing my first serious bit of reversing one has to appear…… Joneses luck! Smile

After much wrestling with the blunt and sharp ends we finally manoeuvred Waiouru against the towpath in between two moored boats.  Mooring pins in and lines tied.  Next it was time to try out our experimental folding gangplank.

Only two of the three folds required

The hole drilled in the checker plate provides a good anchor point for the mooring pin

However a few modifications are required.  The original concept involved securing the end on the boat to the base of the tiller with the same bicycle security cable used to secure the ladder on the roof.  My error was in not thinking of a method for securing the ladder when only two folds are used.  It needs another hole in the middle section!  We also need to think of a way of protecting the paintwork on the stern deck.  If we purchase a few more squares of “DriDek” matting for the roof it will eliminate the direct contact between the ladder and the roof paintwork.  The gangplank is currently temporarily secured using the “spare” mooring rope and an offcut of carpet.

New mooring above Aldermaston Lock

The second positive step is I’ve been able to get the user customised text communication system between us and Waiouru to work.  It was my error/omission.  I had erred in my judgement and logic.  A simple change in the configuration enabled me to send a text message to remotely start my test device (the satellite dome).  Another text message turned it off.  After realising what was required it was a very quick task to configure the commands for

  • Hurricane Heater On/Off
  • Bilge pump(s) On/Off
  • Fridge On/Off
  • Engine Imobilizer On/Off

However, as I don’t know how much money is left on the SIM card the new configuration hasn’t been validated.  Hopefully we can do this tomorrow.

Now the step backwards.  I phoned Vodafone Customer Care today (yes I’ve finally named the mobile network phone provider) in an effort to resolve our inability to create an online account.  Straight through to the dreaded options…..

  • Press 1.   Discuss our plans, bonuses, etc
  • Press 2.  Discuss your problem
  • Press 3.  Explain why you are leaving Vodafone.

Like a bloody idiot I chose the most relevant…. Option 2.   The canned voice informs me the call will cost us 20p.  Then I wait….. and wait… and wait for 30 minutes listening to canned music and a canned female voice apologising and telling me everyone is busy at the moment.  I refuse to let them have our 20p without getting a response to our problem.  I’d almost be willing to bet money that I’d have received a very prompt response if I’d selected Option 3!!!!!!!

Eventually, (30 minutes later) a human asks how he can help?  I explain we have been unable to create a user account on the Vodafone website sand query whether it’s a problem with the “system” recognising our mobile phone number.  I’m quickly advised they (Vodafone) are having a problem with their website and the technicians are working on it!   I first attempted to create the account on 20 January and 11 days later they still haven’t fixed the problem!


Alf said...

What about some "Treadmaster" to protect the paintwork from the ladder/gangplank ?

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Alf,
I don't think it's quite that simple as the stern 'cant' isn't a flat surface. It has a diesel filler point and a protective vertical steel surround.

Alf said...

OK, in that case, how about getting some wood cants made to raise the height to just above the steel surround, then you could either varnish or scrub the wood to obtain a weathered effect.

Alf said...

OR looking again at your picture, protect the edges of the ladder with rubber strips or self stick draught excluder or something similar ?

Tom and Jan said...

Alf, What's the expression "Great minds think alike!"
The gangplank already has a rubber strip but I think it would be torn off with the movement of the boat. This morning I scrounged a short length of 4x2 timber to raise the end of the ladder above the level of the steel surround. It will require some modification but the basic idea appears sound!