Notre Herbe est Verte*

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I’m thinking that the last few posts here have been a little pedestrian and everyday after the events of the summer, and that I have missed writing a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that made this whole venture heaps easier. If you’ve been following this you’ll know that we bought the Adventurer over the internet without seeing the boat before parting with the money. That’s actually pretty dumb, but we had faith (and that could have been pretty dumb too). Here’s some of the things that we are super grateful for.

– Gas, when we moved on the Adventurer we had just about a full bottle of butane for the cooker, that has lasted us for the four months we have been living on board for so far.

-Diesel, we have a full tank and two full jerrycans in the lazarette, that’s 300 litres of fuel, around about 200 hours of cruising (and currently just short of 400€). Also, when we moved on board we had 20 litres of diesel for the heaters. It is so easy to take this stuff for granted, I mention it because Christian’s boat “Tourettes” didn’t have a drop of fuel on board when he bought it, and the Aussies that bought the Mvuu had to dump all their fuel because it was contaminated.

– The six bottles of wine that were on board when we moved on, they didn’t last long but they went a long way to a) calming us down after a stressful 40 hour drive and b) making us feel welcome to what at the time was a totally new way of life.

Random boats

Random boats

-Winter mooring, for free WITH electricity and wifi. There are so many things to be grateful for, but this is just brilliant. I can’t even begin to describe how lucky we are for this, it wasn’t on our wishlist as, well how silly would you sound asking for free mooring with the extras in return for looking after a cat and making sure that nothing untoward happens to a house that is totally locked up and made good for the winter?¿!

-Rubbish bins, yay a big shout out for the bins that have given us so much. I can imagine that this makes some people uncomfortable, “what do you mean they look through the bins?¿!” But we have followed the re-use, reduce, recycle philosophy for years and like good wombles we make use of the everyday things that folks leave behind. And people do throw away stuff for no other reason than they have simply upgraded and have no use for things anymore.

-People, the people here are brilliant, when it seems (to me) that everyone wants something, the boating community are almost a throwback. They have gone out of their way to welcome us to the community, a few times people have walked out (quite a way) to us to thank us for work done or to tell us that there may be something of interest we could use. We’ve been given advice by the bucket load and stuff that has been invaluable for two newbies that didn’t know their arse from their elbow when it came to boats only a few short months ago, (and still have an awful long way to go).

-Work, I have been so lucky to find work that isn’t work if you know what I mean, when you enjoy doing something (yeah, even painting) it’s not exactly a chore is it.

-But really, the big point of this post is the Adventurer, when everything could have gone tits up – seriously, this whole let’s-live-on-a-boat-that-we-bought-on-the-internet-without-seeing-in-another-country-with-no-work-prospects-and-so-little-money thing could have been an unmitigated disaster – but didn’t, there were a few stumbles but in the great scheme of things everything lined up and went incredibly well.

Also, I’m super grateful to the cats, they’ve adapted to living on the water so well. Apart from the sound of the engine which they still have to get used to, (though they have a reprieve until next year), all is good in the feline world.

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insulation

This last week I started getting the boat ready for the winter. We found a roll of aluminium backed insulation just ahem, lying around in one of the boat yards the other week, perfect for the small gap between the headliner and the outer shell. The salon took a whole day, way more time than I was expecting, but time well spent as I managed to get everything back (almost) exactly as it was, with maybe a few extra bulges. The bedroom was a different matter, even now that we’ve completed the job I have no idea how they put the headliner up here, it seemed to be from one direction but then from the other end it seemed to be put up from the other. Long story short, with 50mm of excess hidden under a strip of wood, I cut the headline, stuffed the insulation in, stapled it back, replaced the strip and no one will know. Very confused how the previous person put it up though, I actually started to think magic was involved?¿! Next is to finish the ceiling in the galley and head, and then put the loft insulation (from the Tante Hanni) under the floorboards wherever possible.

If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck.  The lock keepers supply for the winter.

If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck.
The lock keepers supply for the winter.

Good news, the heater that JP and Ilse lent us IS NOT petrol, we don’t know what it burns (yet) but it’s not the danger that we thought it was. I cannot help but wonder, I know it’s a different language and one must be careful with translations but, these heaters are sold as “petrole” heaters, how many Brits buy these things and put petrol in them?¿! So we’ll still only use this when it gets really cold, but feeling safer with the knowledge that it is NOT the potential bomb that we thought it was 🙂

*Our grass is green.

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