Jobs in Migennes

Before the summer season of 2013 starts in earnest we wanted to do some jobs on the boat first - mostly underwater. Therefore we had made arrangements to go into dry dock. Unfortunately the sill, at around one meter deep, was not deep enough for us to pass. According to our papers our underwater draught is 0,71 m. Later on this appeared to be nearing 1,20 m!! So far for 'official' papers...

So 'Hebbes' was craned out. A weight of around 35 tonnes hangs in only two straps. That's a bit unnerving to look at! We were told the crane is able to lift 40 tonnes and the straps are capable of carrying 30 tonnes. Each of them. 'Yes, when everything is brand new', we thought.....

Well, there she is, awaiting railway sleepers supports in the middle and metal adjustable rods on the side to keep her upright and her inhabitants happy.

Last week the weather was from dry to sunny. This week started with rain on Tuesday, lots and lots of it, and that stopped only late on Saturday. It was just miserable and the river became a lot higher and faster during this days. It was possible, however, to clean the sides and bottom of the boat using the marina's high pressure system.

Repainting the black part of the boat was unfortunately almost a mission impossible. In spite of the weather the painter started, as visible here, his job on Wednesday. The bottom to begin with seemed like the best bet under the wet circumstances.

It's undeniable: it makes a difference!

Our rusty anchor will be equally black. Of course!

This black is as black as black can be. In short: black.

The jobs inside caused some chaos. This is an example, being the bedroom, no longer recognizable as such. Next to this imagine mud, mud and mud again. Everyone was frequently occupied by changing footwear coming in from the outside and the other way around.

One of the two engineers from the UK, Peter Borshik, starts here with a device we desperately wanted, being an emergency underwater PO-system. The spot is inside the wardrobe, so the poor missus had to clear out her half of it.

Good boat builders create hatches wherever needed. These ones, in the bathroom, come in very handy for Peter to do his job.

The new pipe in position, ready to be connected to the system.

We have to admit, it doesn't look much this underwater outlet. But it is, take our word for it!

The second engineer from the UK, Richard Freeman ('Rich'), inspects the weedhatch opening. The weedhatch to replace is underneath the rudder. An unacceptable design, as the (only) plate is permanently submerged. It caused some problems while crossing 'La Manche' in September 2012. This hatch is simply not capable of keeping all the water out when the revs are on sea-force, say 1.800 a minute - while on the inland waters we cruise on just 1.100 to 1.200 revs.

The smoothened weedhatch-opening from inside the boat, looking down at the propeller. Just for non-boaters: this device makes it possible to clean the propeller from inside when obstructed by the ordinary plastic bags, heavy duty agricultural plastic, branches of wood, coats, mattresses, carpets - you name it! We have experienced it all in the course of the years.

The new weedhatch in the making. This is the right design: the lower part, following the outer contours of the hull and smoothening the water that is disturbed by the propeller, connected to the upper part by two strong legs. After being finished and safely installed, this will prevent water from coming inside the boat. For sure! One hundred percent!

And this is what a proper weedhatch looks like when in its permanent position. Isn't it a beauty? It makes one feel safe, which is an issue not to be overlooked when dealing with boating.

Today, Sunday the 14th of April, it is the first dry and sunny day -even a bit warm, but who is to complain?- since we care to remember. The river speed and level have substantially increased last week. The higher level is made all the more clear by the position of the boat in the foreground, compared to its position on the 4th picture.

And now....... the final picture for this week. Today the weather great, the current fast, the level high and the water brownish. And the ropes tight as a string, as you can see. We do not expect to be back in the water before coming Wednesday, reasons being the rivercondition and the painter who still has to do, partly, the second layer of black paint. Pour tout le monde: au revoir!