Saturday, 29 November 2014

Our annual trip to the seals

Some photos from our annual trip to see the seal colony at Donna Nook.    Again an amazing spectacle, a huge number of seals, bulls, cows and pups and its great to know that the tidal surge last year although causing a huge amount of damage to the walkway and fencing, actually wasn't as bad a feared as to how many pups lost their life.  The warden said they found mothers with pups up to three miles further down the coast where they had moved them to safety.  Mother nature at its best.

A rare black seal about 1 in 400 are black

 We had a chat to one of the wardens about this seal who had twins, he said that they thought that she had adopted one who had been abandoned as when they realised that she was feeding both they thought there was a couple of days between the two.  Apparently it isn't uncommon they had a cow a couple of years ago feeding two but they cannot confirm that any cow has actually given birth to two pups as they have never actually witnessed it.

The bulls are huge, but they move really quickly although clumsily 

These two were making next years pups, although he was nearly drowning her!  

The cows feed the pups for about 18 days, they then mate again with a number of bulls and then return to the sea.  The pups stay on the dunes for about 5-6 weeks and then they leave.

 It looks like another great year as already the pup numbers are up on last year.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Sunday 26th October saw me travel down to Crick in order to prepare the boat to go in for blacking and some work on the Bow Thruster, the following day.  It was again rather mild if a little windy.

Mid morning on Monday and the dock was ready to receive us.  I reversed out of our rather space constrained mooring and the wind which was now howling, immediately pinned me against the bank. Only with the assistance of fellow moorers and with Lizzie poling from the bow, was I able to make way and into the dock! (Thank you to all).
Not a lot of room to manoeuvre

With the water out, Malcolm, who now operates the dock with David Hull (D.R. Marine) soon set about jet washing the Hull.  The old girl was sorely in need of blacking as the last lot applied in 2012 was rather thin.

We have this year experienced one or two problems with the "Girly Button".  This began when a pipe fender and lanyard entwined itself around the thruster prop, snapping off two of the five blades. Having sourced a replacement prop and gulped at the price of a piece of composite plastic, I set about removing the motor.  This was never fitted with maintenance in mind!  Eventually, I got the motor off, unbolted the plate below this, then tapped out the shank holding the prop into the tube.  Grilles removed, I was able to then withdraw this and fit the new prop.

Replacing it all was a two man job!  So the next day, whilst Malcolm began the blacking, David, assisted by myself replaced the unit.  At the same time the Thruster battery was replaced and some extra grill placed over the tube in the hope that it will limit the debris able to enter it. Does not sound much, but twas a long day.

We have had a band of blacking at the bottom of the tunnel band as 
the water line had taken the paint off

The blacking at Crick is now applied with a brush rather than a roller as previously, so it should have a good depth. The second coat went on during Wednesday and the weather remained kind.  Thursday saw us back out of the dock and into our mooring, without the trauma of our exit from it earlier in the week.  I made a quick visit to family in Northampton during the afternoon/evening, then back for the last night on the boat and home on Friday.

Just a full " Winterising" to complete during the next few weeks and apart from the odd visit, it's into hibernation for the boat until the spring.