27 November 2012

Storm? Piece of cake.

When I heard a decent storm was heading my way I checked all the lines, added a couple more springs and went shopping for extra provisions.
If I'm going to be kept awake all night with crashing, banging and Armageddon going on outside, then I should make best use of this extra awake time.

I ask myself, what would Thora Hird do?

Bake a cake surely?

Right on! Bake a bad ass fucking cake! What could possibly go wrong? I mean, I can do cakes right? I can certainly eat them well enough. But it's in the region of 20-25 years since I last baked one.
I've got an oven (no temperature gauge or control). I've got some gas in the bottle. I've got all the tools and ingredients... It's just logical following the instructions right?
My sister in law bought me the scales ages ago. So far they've mostly been used to work out postage fees for eBay!

The cake mix waiting in the tin as the oven warms up to whatever temperature that may be.

And then the white chocolate and cream topping caused a bit of a mess. It's not cold enough outside to set it properly, the fridge is switched off, so twas still a bit runny.

But.. the proof was in the tasting the next morning for breakfast.

And while the cake was basking in the glow of my expensively bottled Butane and rising in the oven I did flash card practice. As you do on a Saturday night in a force 10.

18 November 2012

Night time revision in the dark.

As part of my on going training and preparation for passing my yacht master practical... which will carry me through to instructor and commercial endorsement which eventually will lead on to greater things...and assist me in my comedy turn around Britain in 2013, I have flash cards showing day marks, buoyage and light patterns.
I have incentivised the whole process by allowing myself a sip of wine for each one I get right.
Now the first pack of day mark cards was a breeze....
But the night lights are becoming increasingly blurry.
Obviously this adds to the realism because when one is out in the lashing rain, trying to focus on distant light patterns its quite difficult.
In addition, my domestic batteries are flatter than a witches tits right now. (Due to ageing batteries and no wind power for a few days) So I am sitting in the dark with only head torch for light source.
All I need now is to lean the boat over somehow and get someone to chuck buckets of cold salt water in my face to complete the training effect.

03 November 2012


This time last year I was still hanging on the buoy. It was mild weather and I didn't need a heater.
This year the winter has come a bit earlier and I've swung over to the visitor pontoon to allow me to plug into the shore power so I can put a heater on. Yes, (sigh) I have not fitted a diesel heater yet.
So I show the dog the rabbit, and plug the cable in. But. The moment I turn the shore power on in the boat it trips out the whole pontoon power box.
It's an old patched cable. It must be that.
Nope.still tripping out the box. new cable is lovely though.

It's a dodgy plug socket. It was getting warm last winter. I'll just replace that.

Nope. Not that either.
Still tripping the box out.
Fault finding will be turned up a notch in daylight.
Could be new battery charger time...
In the mean time I'm running the cable through a hatch and directly to my heater.
The wind generator is keeping the batteries topped up.
Except there's no wind...