Saturday, July 22, 2006

Now we're cooking with gas!

Friday, July 14th

Our last full day up at Warrior last week, and we took advantage of a visit from Ian not only to bend his ear about the engine, but to get him to check out the cooker, following the kitchen refit, and OK it for use. After finding and fixing a slight leak we were at last cooking with gas again. Until now, while on dry land with 240v available we'd been using a microwave - something we don't even have at home. Combined with a lack of refrigeration facilities, this rather limited our menu repertoire, and we mainly lived on tinned vegetable chilli and Uncle Ben's microwave rice. I have to say that, if you ever find yourself in the position of having a microwave and no other cooking facilities, Uncle Ben's microwave rice is highly recommended. It comes in lots of different varieties and heats to perfection in two minutes. To celebrate the inauguration of the cooker, Jim had cheese on toast for tea. This meant that I got a double helping of tinned vegetable chilli and Uncle Ben's microwave rice. Then we put the microwave in the car.

I'm a great fan of gas for cooking, at home as well as on the boat. I can't see the attraction of the 'gas free' boat - especially if it relies instead on heavy electricity use. To my mind, 240v on a steel boat is a much scarier prospect than gas - at least you can smell the latter. But then, I still find electricity in any context a little mysterious and frightening. Talking of which, we also discussed Warrior's electrical requirements, as Ian will be bringing an electrician up (or possibly down) soon. These will be entirely, or almost entirely (haven't finally decided yet), 12v.

Decisions about the engine have been going on and changing all week, but we seem this morning to have come back round to what we decided on Friday - in short, that we will do most of the reassembly of the engine ourselves, at home, rather than have pay RN rates to have it done by them, and in the meantime will get Warrior mobile again with an engine from Ian, a 1970s Lister HRW3, with a Blackstone gearbox, which we can sell on once we've finished with it. This should take the time pressure off. There will no doubt be many more hitches and changes of plan along the way, but that is the latest state of play. The latest news is that not only is our engine unusual, but that our Bruntons 1:1 gearbox is itself a very rare example. Lets just hope that we can get them both up and running!

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