Tuesday 6 March 2012

Beware the Tides of March.

Abbey the Model
Another nice fresh, frosty and crisp  morning in the marina. The Memsahib continues a pace to produce knitted dog jumpers for the various hounds on the various boats. (the Memsahib takes commissions) On a morning with a good hoary frost like today, the various muts go about their morning walks sporting various coloured knitted apparel.

Poppy and Abbey by contrast had their first coat trim of the year producing a small bag of dog hair which was set aside for when the birds start nest building season. The local Blue Tits have started scouting out suitable places to raise a family. The Robin is singing for a mate. The Blackthorn is covered in white blossom, which it does before any of its leaves arrive. Most of the other bushes have started to swell their leaf buds. Spring is not all that far away.

BW have had their tree cutting crew at work felling a few Ash and Willow along side the canal - the ravenous hoards of local boaters have descended and squirrelled away some of next years supply of winter fuel stocks already.

As we start planning for our cruise this year, the effects of spring tides will have to be taken into account. Tides on the Humber are semi-diurnal and high water usually occurs twice a day. (The semi-diurnal range is the difference in height between high and low waters over about half a day and varies in a two-week cycle.) Approximately twice a month, around new moon and full moon when the Sun, Moon and Earth form a line. A condition known as syzygy occurs when the tidal force due to the sun reinforces that due to the Moon.

As we will be going out onto the River Trent at Keadby Lock we will have to time our departure to our best advantage. A spring tide in the Humber is of a fairly large range - peaking at a maximum of around 7 metres at Hull. A neap tide is typically 3 metres at Hull. The duration of a tide along the River Trent can vary due to shallow water effects and the amount of water flowing down river. The spring tide is not named after the season but, derives from the meaning "burst forth". So we will have to beware of the Tides of March and April.

In modern times, the term the Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed. Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A seer had foreseen that Caesar would be harmed not later than the Ides of March and on his way to the Theatre of Pompey. (where he was assassinated) Caesar met the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come", meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Ay, Caesar; but not gone." This meeting is famously dramatised in Bill Shakeshafts's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March."

The boat maintenance goes on a pace, the washing machine has now been installed and tested. However, additional jobs have been added to the list.

The Current Job List:-

1. Sterilise the water system throughout the boat before draining down.
2. Fix problem with pump out tank level indicator. (waiting for replacement part)
3. Check the antifreeze level in the central heating system.
4. Checking the antifreeze level in the engine coolant.
5. Engine oil change and oil filter change.
6. Visual check of all engine belts.
7. Dose the fuel tank with diesel bug treatment.
8. Check the roof joint on the stove pipe and reseal.
9. Fill up the diesel tank.
10. Rust spot eradication on roof.
11. Cure small leak round saloon window.
12. Battery bank replacement.
13. Insulating the windows for the winter. (bubble wrap)
14. Front cratch cover fitted.
15. Rear cover fitted.
16. Gas bottle replaced.
17. Update lighting to LED
18. Repair to pram cover.
19. Fitting the washing machine.
20. Modify the saloon table.
21. Additional shelf space. (Started)
22. New boat pole.
23. Rope replacements. (parts ordered)
24. Side fender replacements.
25. Button fender shackle replacements. (parts ordered)
26. Modify the top box height.
27. Install and test new diesel generator.
28. Install and test new solar panels.
29. Prepare paintwork for re-painting. (delayed to spring 2013)
30. Install self pump out pump. (parts ordered)
31. Replace floor covering in bedroom.
32. Re-varnish saloon.
33. Fit finishing strips to saloon area.
34. Black the hull.
35. Replace water pump.
36. Pump out the toilet system and drain down for the winter.
37. Install Villager Puffin back boiler.
38. Fit 12v regulator into lighting circuit, to hold at 12v for LED lights. (arrived)
39. Fit MPPS regulator for solar panels. (arrived)
40. Fit tray to boat roof, for holding items.
41. Make and fit new curtains.
42. Fit new carpet in saloon and kitchen area.
43. Make angle brackets for mounting solar panels.
44. Replace stove door seals. (parts ordered)
45. Test run ALDI central heating system.
46. Repair to back door panel.
47. Repair lock on boat outer doors.
48. Fit internal lock on inner doors.
49. Fit new lock to side hatch.
50. New stove chimney.
51. Install satellite TV system.



  1. Spring tides have nothing to do with the time of year.

    They occur at any time of year in a cycle of neaps, normal, spring, normal, neaps, etc........

    The biggest spring tide of the year is on Saturday 7th April, the day that we are going from Torksey to Pollington via Goole!

  2. I really enjoyed your informative blog. More power!

  3. Thanks for the reminder Rachel. I edited to add a bit about what a spring tide is.

    Take care M n M

  4. Thanks for your comments Cliff.

    By coincidence - I'm just about to employ a sweep to clear a lined chimney on a wood burner at home.

    Portland Oregon is a bit to far I guess. ;-) I was in Portland Maine last year!

    I do chat to a few people in your area via Ham Radio from time to time.


    Mick n Mags

  5. Much clearer. Hope to see you around this year



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