Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year!

This time, 12 months ago, we'd successfully fended-off the hoards of little motor boats with no anchoring skills, the wind had calmed and we were settled in prime position alongside the Sydney Opera House to watch the best fireworks in the world. There's a link to photos and story here

Things are very different a year later. Our lovely Maunie is afloat in another beautiful place but she has her winter coat on.

We've moved her to a temporary winter pontoon on the Kingswear side of the River Dart - it still needs the dinghy to access it but comes with an electricity supply so we have a dehumidifier plugged in to combat the damp air. Shame we can't find a plug-in device to fight the green algae that's creeping across the rainwater soaked decks - a scrubbing brush and buckets of seawater have to be manually deployed.

We've had a couple of nights aboard this week and were very glad of the electricity supply to power a fan heater as our Eberspacher diesel hot-air central heating decided it wouldn't play ball. It provided another opportunity for Graham to display his contortionist skills as he climbed into the cockpit locker to disassemble various bits of woodwork to access the heater and replace some corroded wiring connectors. After a couple of hours work the heater burst into life, thankfully.

Sadly, there was absolutely no wind so ideas of a sail were thwarted and we both were left feeling a tad deflated that we weren't enjoying the bright warm sunshine of Australia. However the evening gloom (it gets dark by about 4.45pm at the moment) was lifted by a whistle and a strange glow on the Kingswear shoreline.

This is the new Big Idea (and an inspired one) of the Dartmouth Steam Railway - the 'Train of Lights'. Engine and carriages are draped in multi-coloured LED lights and the effect is lovely to see. We dinghied ashore to see (and hear) it close-up:

Here's the professional video of the train - click here

We're now back home, celebrating Di's birthday and preparing for a big (1920's-themed) party at the Hood Arms in the village this evening. We're on a table of 18 so it should be a great evening.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

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