Sunday, October 29, 2017

Winter preparations

It's that time of year when we start preparing for winter on board the Vereeniging, and I greet it with something of a wistful sigh.
  
A baby coot

It's time to make sure the rowing boat is completely empty and the seats and floorboards are stacked so they don't sit in pools of water and rot. We haven't used it much this year because we had our coot squatters in it for so much of the time.  Here is a link to a post I wrote about them before. They set up quite a production line and Mama Coot continued to produce eggs to sit on throughout the summer, which rather effectively prevented much 'spuddling'; no one wanted to risk Papa Coot's ire and I can't say I blamed them.

Spuddling supreme...pulling a mast through the harbour
It's also time to put the little electric outboard motor away too and make sure the battery is regularly charged and in a dry place. I have to say the motor hasn't been available much either this year as there was a problem with the wiring, but that's been fixed now. Our brilliant neighbour, Bas the man of electrical means, has untangled the mess, so it will at least be ready for next year.


As for all the painting jobs I haven't done, well, there's still the odd warm day when some work might be possible, but I fear they will mostly get left until next year now.

And lastly, it's time to light my oil stove. The weather is turning cold and wet, so I must look around for things to do inside. Ah, now that has promise!

Now the welding is done in my back cabin, I want to put vlakvet (grease) on the hull below the floor and get the rest of the new floor down. To my dismay, when I was removing panels for fire watching when we were on the helling a couple of weeks ago, I found the woodworm had returned (or perhaps they had never really gone away - see this post), so that needs to undergo treatment again. At least it's not the floor this time, but the framework to the cupboards has been attacked...ho hum.

I have sprayed (again) and have another fumigator on order, but I need to work in there, so I'll avoid anymore pesticides until I'm satisfied with the floor. I really don't like that stuff at all. Still, I've read that woodworm aren't as active in the winter; I hope that's true. I've also read that if you cover the worms' bore holes with masking tape in the winter, you can see if they are still busy in the spring as the beetles will break through the holes to get out. I'll be using a lot of masking tape, I think! In addition, they (the experts on the internet) recommend those sticky strip fly traps. Apparently, they are also quite good for getting rid of woodworm beetles; they will be going up in the spring too. I really hope I can get rid of the evil worms this time. So far, in terms of their ability to survive my attempts at obliteration, it's woodworm 2, me 0.

Another thing I want to do is build a partition in my living space between the bed and the lounge area. I have an idea of how I want to do it that will not make it too dark there, but I hope it won't be too difficult. I'll keep that simmering for a bit.

And then the last job is to get the engine going again. It's been a long story, hasn't it? Koos is working on solving the mystery of why it refuses to run now, but if (or what if) what he has in mind still doesn't work, I'll have to call an expert in (and that could be a euronormous job). Keep fingers, toes and thumbs crossed everyone!


Well that's all my Vereeniging jobs, so what about the Hennie H? Perhaps I'll tell you about that next week. Have a good one allemaal!


19 comments:

  1. I never cease to be amazed at the amount of work you do every season! Kudos to you for being so resilient and hardy. xx

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    1. Why thank you, Anne Marie. With this shoulder problem, I don't feel very hardy, but determination counts for a lot :)

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  2. I'm so sorry about the wood worm! Thought you had that sorted! Knowing how much you love summer this must be a difficult time but Maybe, with your warm lighting, you will find inspiration to write about Africa. Hopefully the soundtrack won't be munching bugs! Good luck with your engine xxx
    Tonia

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    1. Thank you, dear. I'm also hopeful the bugs won't set up too much of a rhythmic crunch :) xx

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  3. Hi Val - looks like you have everything planned and all the best for tying it all together - or leaving some til next year. I'll be interested to read what happens with the woodworm scenario ... good luck - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary! I'll keep you posted on the woodworm wrangle!

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  4. No rest in winter if you own a boat it seems Val. I hope the woodworm die with the cold during winter. What about opaque perplex panels as a wall between living area and bedroom, they would let light through. Lol! Just a thought that came to mind when reading this!
    Anne Mackle

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    1. You've read my mind...almost, Anne! I'm thinking the lower part behind the sofa can be wood, but the upper part perspex within a frame! And yes, making them from opaque perspex is the idea too. Clever you :) x

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  5. Oh this hunkering down for the winter - and I think I've got it tough in my new flat, realising which radiators don't actually work!

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    1. Now that can be miserable, Jo! I hope you get them sorted out soon!

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  6. Oh, Val! You are remarkable and amazing. The coots will do fine without the marvelous housing you made available to them this summer...but I worry about your wormwood guests! I hope those tricks from the internet work and you can send those trouble makers elsewhere! (Steph)

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    1. Thank you, Steph! I hope they scurry off somewhere else soon too!

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  7. Well, I have no idea as to what to suggest re the woodworm, other replacing secondary structural parts with aluminium or high pressure injected woodworm chemicals. Look
    radication.co.uk - Radication | Woodworm

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    1. Thanks, Mel. You gave me a good site last year too and that's what I'm referring to again. They are the ones who mention the masking tape and the fly strip. I'll get them in the end!

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  8. I can imagine how you feel, Val. I hope you get all the essentials done before winter gets a hold! And here's me thinking that steel hulls are a problem!

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    1. Everything has its own issues on a boat, doesn't it, Roger? Thanks!

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  9. What a wonderful word, "euronormous"! I hope your engine can be fixed, though. There is something quite cosy about hunkering down for winter, isn't there?

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! Yes, I am praying the engine can be fixed too. This is the second engine since I've had it, so it has to work!. I'm not a fan of winter, so hunkering down isn't my favourite pastime, but it has to be done :)

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  10. It sounds like a lot of work.Must be worth it though.

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