Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mooring... tick!

They say the most important thing to do before buying a boat is to secure a mooring (unless you plan on becoming a 'continuous cruiser'). Well, as of 2 weeks ago, I've done just that. I was actually offered a mooring on 20th September, but, because of the way the system works, it benefited me to hold off my acceptance for as long as I could.

Let me explain: Due to my lack of a certain item that no self-respecting boater would be without, i.e. a boat (who said 'a brain'?? You git!), I now have 3 months to get one and move it onto the Cam. By holding off, I've managed to buy myself a few extra weeks, should I need them, and also saved a month's mooring fee in the process! :-)

So the clock's ticking: Friday, January 11th is D-Day (hopefully, without any beachings!) As a result, there will be no celebrating Xmas or New Year until I'm safely on the Cam in my boat, IS THAT CLEAR??

Ooh, ta very much! That's most obliging of you.

For the eagle-eyed among you, you may have spotted that I've reset my ex-smoker tally on the little widget to the right of this blog. Yes, sadly, in a moment of weakness, I succumbed. So now I've bought this vaping kit. It's such a shame. At eight months, I really thought I had this thing licked!


To cheer myself up, I bought myself one of the most essential pieces of boating gear - the boater's hat. At first I ooh'ed & ahh'ed at all the 'Indiana Jones' style hats on offer (they seem to be quite popular with boaters), but everytime I tried to picture myself in one, the haunting whistle of an Ennio Morricone score began echoing in my head (and with my head, that was some echo!) Nope, it just ain't me. So I bought one of these instead:

A prat in a hat.

The look I'm going for here is one of understated authority...

"You see that boater over there in the hat? He really knows his stuff, but you never hear him brag about it."

... you know, that sort of thing.

Yeah well, I've bought the damn thing now. And who cares what YOU think, anyway?!
I LIKE IT!!!! :-P

Handily, it will also double as my fishing hat.

Talking of boating paraphernalia (and I may need your help with this one), I've been trying to compile a list of provisions that I'll need to take or buy in order to bring my boat safely & comfortably home. Here's what I have so far (please bear in mind that I'll be single-handing, and, of course, that some of these items may come with the boat):

Things I have already:
  • Nicholson's Guide to the Broads & Fens (sadly out of print since 1986, but I picked up a copy here) - for general navigation and location of waterpoints, fuel depots & moorings
  • Re-sealable/zip-up freezer bags to keep various bits & bobs dry (including the navigation guide)
  • First aid kit
  • Flotation device on keyrings - cork ball or modern self-inflatable
  • Aquapac for mobile
  • Sea Searcher magnet
  • Water resistant, non-slip footwear and spares
  • Laptop, smartphone (with relevant phone numbers - Stanground Sluice & Salter's Lode) and chargers
  • Adjustable spanner
  • BW keys (and handcuff/anti-vandal keys)
  • Standard kettle (non-electric), thermos flask & plastic mug
  • Coal, firelighters & household matches
  • Gloves & strong cutter - if something nasty gets caught on the prop
  • Lifejacket
  • Waterproofs
  • Spare windlass
  • Torch & batteries
  • Pen, paper, pencil, marker pen & selotape - in case of emergency, and I need to leave a note in my window
  • Toiletries (incl. bog roll)
  • Wallet
  • Tin opener
  • My new hat & vaping kit!

Things still to get:
  • EA key
  • Anchor & chain/rope - I will have to navigate a short stretch of tidal river on trip home (see comments)
  • Get spare keys cut (to the boat)?
  • Motor oil - type dependent on engine
  • Spare drive belt - dependent upon what type the boat has
  • Gas bottle spanner?
  • Pins (x4) & hammers (x2)
  • Fuses & spare bulb for tunnel lamp
  • Binoculars? - for looking ahead to the next lock
  • Cuddly toy :-)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Enough clothes for the trip
  • Food & drink provisions
  • Boat pole, boat hook & gangplank

Anything I've missed or won't need? If so, give us a shout.


Duncan said...

Intrigued by the fact you don't yet have a boat you nevertheless might be interested in our journey through Jesus lock and along the Backs. See

Re your list of things to get I would expect your boat to already have pole, hook, plank, pins, spanner, EA key. If your prospective tidal trip is between Denver Sluices and the middle level you won't need an anchor there or anywhere on the Ouse - only if you're intending to cross The Wash - and if you're a newbie I would strongly recommend you avoid that!

Best of luck with your purchase.

Ian said...

Thanks for the feedback, Duncan. Yes, the tidal bit I was referring to was the Salters Lode/Denver Sluice section (not looking forward to that part of the trip, although I'm assured that if I follow the advice of Paul - the lockie at Salters - I'll be fine!) Okay, so I can dispense with the need for the anchor... I may still get a mud weight (correct term?) for securing myself in any moorings I'm not confident with, and on the off-chance my ropes are cut.

I do sometimes wonder if I'm being ridiculously over-cautious with this whole thing, I guess time will tell. :-)

I really enjoyed reading your blog - thanks for the link!

LateBoat said...

Well we love your hat! Great blog, glad to have discovered it. And, if you need a boat, why not hire one from us- Hope you see you here more often.

Amanda said...

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Rina Millie said...

amazing. such a nice post. i think these things are well enough to take with you . you can really have a great time with all these things. Hire A Yacht In Dubai