Well, January is two thirds of the way through and Christmas seems like six months ago.
With the high winds we had over Christmas and the new year I decided I better make the trip up to Norfolk to make sure that a) Martha is still floating and b) that the tarpaulins are still intact. I had planned to go up on my own minus the dog and the missus. My plan was to check the boat, remove the sedimenter filter, and then sod off to the beach with my camera and my HF radio and have a play with both. I’ve have a renewed interest in photography and I’ve been itching to do a bit of portable with my FT-897. Imagine my dismay when the night before I was due to go Lesley asks “what time are WE setting off tomorrow?”. Don’t get me wrong I love my wife dearly, but what is it with women that they cannot manage a car journey of more than 30 minutes without needing to stop for a :latte?
So I ended up going to Norfolk with the missus. I was quite pleased to see the boat intact with the tarps also in place.What surprised me was that the batteries were in good condition and even had enough in them to start the boat comfortably. We ran the boat up for a while and then I set to winterising her. This involves turning off all the sea cocks, emptying the fresh water tanks and making sure the bilge pump is working correctly. One other task I had was to remove the fuel sedimenter. It has had a very minor leak for the past year which I can’t seem to sort out in situ. So I decided to remove the fuel lines and the complete unit, and take it away to my workshop for thorough checking and to make new fuel lines up. Two weeks later the unit and pipes are still sitting in the back of my car waiting for me to sort it out.
The morse is improving and I am gaining confidence in having QSO’s with other operators. I have not had any long distance contacts, working mainly into Europe. Where my speed is not that fast at the moment I find 30 and 40 metres are the best bands for me. During the day there are plenty of older hams on the air and they are generally slower at sending and are quite patient which is just what you need when you are learning.
Last week saw the retirement of a friend of mine who I have known for 20 years. We spent a lot of our time on opposite sides of the fence and had some interesting bust ups over the years. The thing that set Roy apart from most of the other guys I dealt with was that he always managed to keep it professional and even after some of the biggest disagreements we were always able to draw a line under it and move on. The bus industry has just lost a real professional.
That’s enough for now