Life Is Not Always ‘Utopia’ On The Water

Since our last post, we’ve had a bit of a stressful time.

Weathering the storm ‘Fionn’ over the weekend (20th January), we experienced all of her rage; high winds, hailstorms, continuous heavy rain, snow… we had ‘the lot’ thrown at us. It was a pretty miserable weekend, and we were feeling fed up and depressed. The best we could do was to batten down the hatches, and let the ‘rage’ pass.

Monday morning promised us much better weather; and feeling tired of our ‘scenery’ we were anxious to move on. Unfortunately, life would have us tied on this spot for another four days!

We’d been in bed for just an hour on Sunday night when Rusty started! He started pacing up and down Cyan, panting, and acting distressed. John let him off the boat, and Rusty shot off down the towpath, and disappeared into the dark. The rain was pouring down! Whistles and shouts didn’t bring Rusty running back. John got dressed against the weather, and just as he’d put his boots on, Rusty returned wet and muddy. He appeared OK, he was rubbed down with his towel, and his feet were cleaned. He’d never ran off like that before. After everything appearing settled, John got back into bed.

Then Rusty started again, pacing up and down, panting, and licking John’s face to wake him up. I got out of bed, putting coat and shoes on, and this time clipping Rusty’s lead on him before landing on the towpath. It was all too clear, Rusty had ‘exploding diarrhoea’. Poor boy looked in quite a lot of pain. He was straining badly, but it wasn’t productive, except from wind exploding from his rear.

This scenario was repeated every couple of hours for three days and nights. Obviously we thought it’s best not to move, giving Rusty time to get better. We were all exhausted due to lack of sleep. The towpath was now wet and very muddy. We gave up trying to keep Cyan’s floor clean, and it resembled a ploughed field (luckily we’ve no carpets/rugs). Despite Rusty’s ‘furious’ bowels, he never had an accident – and for that we’re very grateful!

Thursday night we decided we needed help! Rusty hadn’t eaten since Sunday, and it looked like his symptoms were not getting any better. So Friday morning we made a few phone calls to a vets, to Wigrams Marina, and to Enterprise Car Hire.

We were about a mile away cruise from Wigrams, and luckily for us the weather was quite pleasant. Rusty we thought (Friday morning) was showing slight signs of improvement, but we decided not to take any chances. Poor lad was feeling really fed up, and his collar could now easily slip over his head.

Cutting a long story short, Rusty was examined at the vets, he was diagnosed with having colitis, and we came away with kaolin and probiotics. Eventually he started to take chicken breasts cooked with rice I’d prepared.

Last night was the first night we all managed to fully sleep through, and this morning was the first time we could ‘pick up’ after Rusty.

Colitis starts through something in his diet triggering the ‘episode’. I know pork and chicken skin doesn’t agree with him, but he’s not had any recently. We’ve just got to be careful and strict; it’s not always easy when a couple of doleful eyes pleads for a ‘taste’ of what we’re eating. Rusty had parvo as a puppy, so his tummy might be a ‘weak spot’.

We spent 3 nights at Wigrams, and we couldn’t wait to leave. Tottering along the jetty boards a couple of times a night with Rusty was scary. There’re gaps where there wasn’t a boat moored, so walking along the boards, in the wind, made us nervous.

Our past three stays at Wigrams have been great, but not this time. The place is drenched, and the field for exercising dogs is deep in mud.

As we’ve had a week or so of wet weather, our laundry basket was over flowing. I took the chance to do six washes (we’ve got a small load washing machine), and hauled the wet clothes to the marina’s laundry for drying. Except the laundry was busy with fraught boaters competing for a dryer (they’ve got three, but only two were working). I left my two bags in the laundry, with the plan to use a dryer when the bottleneck had dispersed. After several visits, including one at 11:30 pm, I gave up, and brought the two bags back to Cyan to dry (somehow).

Yesterday morning we left Wigrams in glorious weather.

To dry the clothes; all windows, doors and hatches were wide open, and the central heating turned up high, as we cruised along. Some clothes were placed on clothes hangers and hung from curtain poles, some draped on the clothes maiden, some hung onto a ‘peg rack’ hanging in the open cratch, and sheets were spread over our two chairs to dry. Success!

It was a lovely cruise, and it was fantastic to have the warmth of the sun on our backs! Truly a treat from the weather we’ve had to endure.

Eventually we moored by a place that’s looks to be quite a conservation area. Just across the water from where we are is an owl box! With the ‘blue’ full moon we’re experiencing tonight, we might be lucky and see an owl.

Cyan hadn’t been moored too long when we realised we didn’t have any 240 volts! While we were in Wigrams we were on shoreline electric. We double checked to see if all switches were in the correct position – and yes they were!

We use 240 volt AC for recharging two laptops, two tablets, two WiFi dongles, and the mobile phone (plus obviously other items that are not so important such as the soundbar for the TV). This is a disaster!

John checked the system, looking for fuses, and obvious faults. He was flummoxed!

Before the battery ran out on the laptop, I found three boat electricians in the area from the Internet.

This morning, after a phone call to the service manager at Braunston Marina, the manager said there was a slot available tomorrow morning. As it was raining at the time of the phone call, with the forecast telling us the weather will dry up later, we decided to stay put till this afternoon.

While waiting for the rain to pass, John studied Cyan’s electrical system plans. After further investigation with his circuit tester….. Eureka! A loose connection in the ‘Consumer Unit’! A small adjustment to the connection and the 240 volt system sprang into life.

After a quick phone call to Braunston Marina to cancel our ‘slot’, we settled back happy with the thought all is under control for the first time in a week, and with monies saved!


2 thoughts on “Life Is Not Always ‘Utopia’ On The Water

  1. Glad Rusty’s feeling better, and that you can get some sleep! Our last dog, Bruno the lab/collie cross, also had Parvo as a pup, and nearly died. We too had to be careful what he ate after that. Keep well and try to avoid the mud!

    • Awww Thanks Geoff, pets are a worry. With tummy upsets they can soon go downhill fast. We’re enjoying chilling out now after last week, and luckily we’ve a ‘sort of’ mud free towpath. Best to both of you 🙂

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