#45 Base ‘Camp’. Winter 2016/2017

Tuesday 8th November 2016      Today we, nb:Black Bart & Lister (& friends) were up & ready early. Old-Prop being one specific-ness of them. All working in perfect harmony. Bart glides beautifully through the Leicester section’s waters for aboat an ‘er. Safely manoeuvred into the marina, turned & reversed into our designated winter mooring berth. Not on our previously chosen A pontoon of the last few years. Great Position here on Pontoon C though. A (or should that be C) Most Pleasant of outlooks for Bart & Crew.

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Nell is looking a tittle lonely, all on her own in the corner. Pleased to see us. She starts first go. No Messing !!  Such a Good Girl !!!

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The Neighbours seem Pleasant. All tings appear set well for a Wonderful Hinterland’s Mooring.

Will keep you bover-ed bloggetts posted……….

Skip-de-blog has been floating (we is on a boat ya-no) along slowly in a dreamy sort-of world. Bart World to be moor exact. To moor than a parallel world we have been. Moor of a Tangential type of world this time, but now we is back. Not actually in the real world. But this be fine by us.

November 2016      A busy time is had by crew. Travellings not in Bart, but in Nell, our trusty steed of a Land Rover Defender. While Bart, Lister & friends rest in the chilly waters of base camp, we, the crew of (only) two jaunt off to the Isle of Wight to see some special peoples. Two very small, Very Special tittle boys are included in that. Two Joys to behold. Lovely. Roxy is staying with her best mate Baggins (& his ‘mother & father’). We is soon climbing back ‘up North’ (Midlands really) to base camp to see our Bart & our ‘Such a Good Girl’ Roxy. She is Gorgeous.

Not long before we is off again in our Nell. All loaded up & travels to & through parts of deepest darkest Kent to see moor Lovely peoples including two udder not quite soo (any moor) tittle peoples. We is jaunting aroand for aboat a week before the need to get back Home to our Beautiful Bart takes control.

December 2016

Lister & Drive Plate Assembly – We have ‘our’ Engineer Extraordinaire Mr. Richard Milligan in attendance with the new super-duper drive plate assembly. We be (hopefully) reliably informed it be much better that the existing unit. Different make. Better design. Misalignment between engine & gearbox is to be dealt with first. This problem were noticed when said engineer were looking after our poorly Lister a few months back. With old drive plate removed, Lister is jacked up & shims added to help line the output shaft/flywheel proper like with the gearbox spline shaft. New drive plate assembly installed. Much better. Now fits beautifully into the flywheel mount without struggling. Fuel filter is renewed & leaking banjo fitting on Lister’s fuel feed line is replaced with new. Soldered pipework connection had cracked. Been managing leak for a fair old while. Lubberly Jubberly. All sorted. Cheers Richard.

Our Bart is off for a cruise. Just a short one to the quay & back. Tis a port ya-no. Well, sort of. Black tank needs refreshment. If you is not knowing wot one is be going aboat. Hard-luckly matey bloggetts. Will need to go surfing & get yoiw toes soggy. Skip is slightly disconcerted when old 260D (gearbox) is brought into action. Not a sound. Not an audible chunky clunky. No-ting. The old drive plate used to be most resonant. One could feel aswell as hear it. This tittle blighter is Magnificent. Not a peep. It’s OK Skip. You have not gone any moor mad than one already was. You weres not mistaken. Yes. You did change gear. Forward, neutral, aft & roand again. You can play till ones heart is content. Just leave old Lister on lowish revs. & push/pull 260D activation handle as & when you wish. Nun of this playing aroand dropping the revs right down before any gear change. Still wouldn’t change gear at higher revs as does-not feel right to do that. Unless a desperately like situation arises on one of those very rare occasions. Makes for moor simplified manoeuvrings. slightly less pontificating required with the controls. Cheers Richard. Great advice. Just didn’t realise how much of an improvement we were going to see/feel/(not)hear.

Nell is fired up. Roxy is staying with her best mate Baggins (& his ‘mother & father’) again. We two is off to Brugge with friends we are. A few days of those delicious dark bruin beers amongst udder enjoyable tings. Haven’t been here for four years. Mad!! Enjoyed many visits to see our Bruggite friends over the years. Great be back here again. A Fab week is had by all four + the two locals. The Bruggites that they be. It all goes by far too quickly, as always. Lovely returning home to Bart though. Always an easy ting to do that. Go Home to our Bart.

A few days of recovery required & preparation for the next Big Event.

Udder tings may have had our attention during these next few days, but what ever that may have been, this blogging Skip cannee remember, so there you go. The Slippery slope slowly appears in the not too/two/to distant future. Actually. There it be. Right in front of me………. Will be on ones way down very soon. Close behind you’ll.

And as the Fearsome Pirate Cap’n Black Bart would shout, Roar even, Aaaarrrggh ! !! !!!

Merry Christmas to All our Lovely Family Peoples, Friends & Bloggets (not to be forgotten) too. or were that two. Actually, there may be three of them now. Oh Well !!  Not to Worry.



A Wonderful New Year.

Here’s to a Blooming Marvellous 2017

Yes, blogger Skip is aware we is in past tense (in the real world) but this be Bart World so tings do not always appear and/or occur in the ‘normal’ order to tings. So there. Stick that in your pipe & smoke it !!!

We the crew of three leave Black Bart to cover some Nell miles, towards, into & through the New Year. South-East London, Kent, Sussex, IOW, Sussex, Kent, South-East London & finally Bart World again. A Most Splendidly tiring time again comes to an end.

January 2017      Cap’n Black Bart is dumbfounded, crying out many times Aaaarrrggh ! !! !!! Our vessel is trapped by huge ice-flows. We ain’t going nowhere. Skip/Skippet handed Bart’s resignation notice into the port’s commandant early December and since then an escape plan has been secretively worked out. The ice world has thwarted Cap’n Bart & crew. Not for long though. Within a couple of days Temperatures have soared & we manage to creep out under cover of fog. A bit thick & murky like. We take it slow & mount the bow light to warn the many oncoming craft of our passage.  Safely negotiated Crick tunnel, descent of Watford locks is trouble free & we is moored safely for the night. The following day the fog is still hanging all aroand us. Bow light on again. We is cruising to & through Norton Junction,


and now along the grand union main line. Continuing down into the deep darkness of the wibberly-wobberly Braunston tunnel, swiftly (it’s all relative) followed by those big old wide Braunston locks. Those murkinesses are clearing & the most gorgeous warm sun is definitely got that Lovely hat on. Weather forecast for coming days is increasingly unpleasant so crew decide to continue through Braunston, onto Braunston junction & turning ‘down’ the Oxford Canal, swimming all the way to Black Bart’s new Base Camp. Wigrams Turn. A Most Splendid cruise enjoyed by all. Entree test into Bart’s new berth passed without incident. A wee bit awkward cruising into the marina, turning to port, part round the spit of land opposite our pontoon & then reversing whilst swinging the stern roand into & through the path between two moored boats & trying to keep the bow from bumping that landly obstruction. That went surprisingly well. May never happen again. Skip is Very Pleased with himself. Smart-arse !!!  HM & HM are there to assist with bow/stern ropes & to afford the official WTM welcome. Most Lovely. Cheers Guys & Girls. Skip & Skippet of nb:Impulse were also there, opposite side of marina. Sum-wot surprised at spying Black Bart entering port with “Both Chimneys pumping out smoke as usual” apparently. Sum peoples !!  Muchly Chitty-Chatties is enjoyed in coming days as loads of fruity brown sauce is shared with old friends. Wonderful Boaty Friends.

Cratch Cover Extension – A tittle wood working is required. The cratch cover extension’s aluminium framework is to be better supported/mounted when in use. Wood is Bart-ered for, before flimsy copper pipe-clips is removed & many a hand tool is chittied out of Barty stores to cut, file, hewn, whittle & drill this ancient material into an acceptable form for the job in hand. Further drilling followed by much a screwing affords the process of securing Bart’s new additions firmly (hopefully) into position. Aluminium framework is tweaked to permit either port or starboard side of extension being useable individually aswell as both at the same time. As handy development of this Fantastic facility afforded to Black Bart by two very skilled injun friends & their mate Baggins. Thanks again maties !!!  Priming & painting of said woody bits is beautifully brushed a few weeks later.

February 2017

Toilet (again) – What Fun !!  There be a darkening patch in the wooden floor by the toilet. Nasal inspection identifies we may have an unpleasant leak from somewhere close. Toilet box (constructed last year) is dismantled & removed. Inspection identifies we do indeed have a wee problem. The tittle venting pipe which connects through the walls of the main waste pipe between toilet pan & macerator unit has a sheared plastic connection pipe fitting. It be seeping fluid. Lovely. Intraweb (soggy toes) surfing proves fruitless. Visits to local chandlers prove fruitless. One is very helpful though, contacting the main UK agent for Tecma toilets. Unfortunately, additional communications via e-mail & phone seem to be getting us nowhere. They seem unaware of the detail/parts. Not good. New surfing experience informs us that a local hire boat company Calcutt Boats is a local distributor for Tecma. We venture out in Nell to track them down. Very helpful staff. The design of this pipework has changed in recent years apparently & the tittle vent pipe is now as one with the main waste pipe. Manufactured as one complete rubber moulding. Strange the main UK agent Aquafax couldn’t tell us that. Lack of knowledge there. Lucky for us Calcutt certainly know. Had to buy whole rubber pipe kit for toilet. At least we should be able to get it working again. Udder bits & pieces are quartermastered for later possible usage. Back on board toilet correct works take place. Toilet flooring be thoroughly cleaned & re-waxed following day.

Moor led Lights – A new led light has been acquisitioned, wired & installed under the corner cabinet int’bathroom (the ‘head’, in real boaty terms) to give crew a moor pleasant improved situation as & when required. A second light unit is put into storage until a handy location is be decided upon for installations to ‘appen.

A Very special bendy led reading light is Bart-ered for to assist skippet during many a skilled craft-working evening. Any time of day to be moor exact. When ever one wants. Skip realises there be no 12dcv down the starboard side gunnel. Not ideal. This light needs to be mounted to the cabin’s woodwork, at one end of the sofa. Yes we have a sofa. Tis a home ya-no. Suitable cable is chittied from quartermaster with necessary tools & work begins. 12dcv power supply is sourced & connections made. Washing machine (yes) freezer (yes) cooker (yes) galley cupboard, (all just like any other home) (but better) all moved & larder cupboard part dissassembled to gain access to under gunnel panels. Cable feeding ensures. Takes blooming ages. awkward positioning required. Back protests later. The following day we is drilling holes, making electrical connections & mounting the light. Eventually we is there. Well worth the effort. Really pleased !!

March 2017      We have guests for a wee while. The Amberley Towers Crew. Troublemakers really. Great Fun though so they get away with it. We partake a tittle jaunt out on the cut, swimming & ascending



seven Napton Locks before winding (very burpy today) our Bart in the Engine House arm & descending the upper three chambers before berthing for the night. Probably our fav. position local to Wigrams. Lazy morning before delightful Sunday Roast at the Fine Folly Inn. Highly recommended. Hopefully see you again soon. nb:Black Bart returns to Base Camp early Monday morning after enjoying an extra night out on the cut. Fabulous !!

Tuesday it be & we have a new arrival. Bella. A Beautiful Blue Merle Collie. She be joining the crew of Cap’n Black Bart for a couple of weeks while ma&pa is off on their hols. Previous custodians of Black Bart. That is who they persons be. Not that it’s any of your business mate !!  Now we have that opportunity to find out if we really want two doggies. Skippet is always showing skip moor tittle Battersea doggies that need a home. The rest of the week disappears into muchly dogginess. on Saturday Cap’n Bart Aaaarrrggh !!!  & crew of (now) four (& twelve legs) escape port & go cruising. We retrace our strokes (swimming) (stay with it) of aboat five weeks ago. Climbing chambers, stumbling through darkness, moor water lifts & moor darkness, we finally secure the lines in Crick.

Cratch Cover – Cover specialists arrive to check over required repairs & tweaks/improvements to cover. Following day tis warm, sunny dry. Cratch cover is removed rolled-up & stored inside Bart to stay warm & dry.  We is then off Tuesday afternoon, ‘up’ to moor port-side, outside Yelvertoft. Cover is delivered to the working crew. Wednesday is absolutely Wonderful very warm & sunny. Amazing. Re-worked cover is returned to Bart & re-installation commences. Bart reversings to turn/wind & re-berth for improved access to starboard-side prove difficult. Very shallow, sucking Bart from one side of the canal to the other. Bart’s usual beautifully honed reversing technique is completely mullered. Most painful one ever, by far. Oh Well !!  Can’t be helped. We got there in the end. Tuther side is finally able to be sorted & all is finished. FAB Work Injuns. THANKYOU !!!  !!!  !!!

It be Thursday. Following coffee with injuns & All Thankees sent & gratefully received Cap’n Bart takes control & we is off, heading back South, through Darkness & down watery chambers again. After a nights rest even moor darkness & even moor watery chambers. We decide to moor in Braunston this time. Following day we is swimming again & finally re-berthing at base camp.

Oil Change – As Lister is nice & warm a fine opportunity to carry one very important job cannot be missed. Following Mr. Milligan’s visit & Fab works back in August last year we now know Lister contains a healthy 9+ litres of engine oil. August was the first time a full & correct oil change had likely been carried out for many years. Now Skip is moor in the know, tis time to renew this highly important liquid lubrication so old Lister is properly ready for Bart World 2017. The hand operated vacuum is acquisitioned from the stores master, hiding in the fore & readied for some serious work of suctions. With the side plate of Lister removed suction needs to start. OK. We have a problem. No suction. Now we cannot suck the old oil out…….


Tuesday, two weeks later & ma&pa is back off their ‘olidays. Bella is very excited to see her favourite two peoples in the world haven’t left her with Cap’n Bart after-all. Tis nothing personal Bella, but we now know One Dog is quite sufficient for Bart World. Our Lovely Tittle Staffie Roxy is quite enough Dog for us.

Even Moor led lighting – The one and only non-led light is finally being banished from Bart. A new led strip light has been sourced & is mounted in it’s new position above the bathroom mirror. Great light. Nice touch sensitive on-off control adds to the quality feel of this Bart new-by. Same make as the bendy ‘reading’ light installed tuther week. Very Good. We have a second one. Not decided where that may end up yet…..

April 2017      Time is Nigh. Our Winter Base Camp is very close to completion. Most important boaty jobs have been successfully carried out. Hopefully. Minor (non critical) tasks have been (not so) swiftly dealt with. Other tings still need some attention. Will likely be sorted in the coming days & weeks……..



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