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Diary of a Steamboater - November

30 Nov 2015 12:00 | Deleted user

During 2015 Philip Webster will be giving us a monthly update on his adventures in Banjo:

When the weather is fine, some say,

it's fine to be a steamboat driver,
Wind steam and sun make jolly good fun
It's great to be out on the river.

But when it gets cold and bones rather old
we need a good friend like our Betsy
She's warm , round and thoroughly sound
And usually eats all we feed her.

From sticks and coal to telegraph pole
She gives us steam from her belly
At eight bells, that's noon she'll whistle a tune
To say they are open, lunch ready.

The weather is anything but cold just now, hence the predictions of a hard winter. If comfortable we will continue steaming every Friday into the New Year , then pull out for refit. I have been tooling up for an attack on the  Stevenson's link. With the design parameters to hand and a little more understanding of how it works I hope to make a better job of the valve gear.

Five brave men and a dog squeezed between Abigail and Kate and ignored the date. The weather turned foul but the strong wind helped the draught, and another tasted good with our dinner. (that is what we call lunch in Norfolk). We had to get back to BSC by three for a site meeting, (the flood defence works are now complete), we guess that the Gremlins cannot swim fast as the wind over the funnel gave us a record run home.
What a difference this week. Blue sky and sunshine but cold northerly gives us a hint that winter is 'coming. The bonus of this is the extra wild life that joins us on the river. Yesterday we saw an otter with his lunch of bream, a hare having a bath, (a first for us), also ducks galore, cormorant, shag, grebe,but no coot, where have they gone. In my youth they had coot shoots on Rockland Broad, perhaps the shot too many?

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