Sunday, 26 January 2014

From Nice to Ice and how nice it is !!

Thursday 16th January to Thursday 23rd  January 2014

I made mention that I was looking forward to the cooler/colder weather and getting back, but I neglected to also say that of equal eagerness was the return of Mitch and Sara from their holiday time in the US – visiting and catching up with family there.

They returned with a sort of look of being tired and refreshed – in any event it was great to see them back.

And then so it was time to start the journey back to Diane.

Goodbyes, aside there was little that needed to be done – the cut on what made it into the cases and what didn’t was completed – still ended up being 1.7kg over, but the lovely young lady (aren’t they all) behind the desk eventually let me through free of charge.

Luckily she didn’t see the 2 laptops that I also needed to take.

The flights were uneventful – for the first time in a while I wasn’t able to sleep all that much.

Dubai airport continues to expand – this was the first time that I needed to actually change terminals – the complex, at present has five enormous terminals – who knows how big it will eventually get.

A 50 minute journey through immigration/baggage collection/customs was very quick – gotta love Birmingham airport –and I was out.

The good lady wife was there to make sure that I found my way back to the boat.

What a quick trip it all was – the short monorail trip to Birmingham International train station, followed by a direct train through Stafford and the wonderful Phil there to pick us both up and drive us back to the marina.

From landing (at the airport) to stepping onto the boat was less than 2 ½ hours.

The usual realignment of body clock with local time took place. A reintroduction to The Exchange was the Monday assignment, but it did allow Elaine to join us – at this late stage she couldn’t risk too much exposure to the cold.

Tuesday was Christmas Day for Diane and I - we could not be together on the usual date so this was a good day to have a lovely dinner and we were very lucky to have Dot and Gordon join us. Games ensued once the cook dispensed with the dishes – naturally we had to keep playing until Diane had won – she’s a good winner.

Wednesday was tidy up day – we finally had a chance to sort out the contents of the cases that had come back; it was also back to work day – but by the end of it all, the Xmas decorations were all packed away; the suitcases were away; the lounge and dinette were once again tidy and if only we had a cat there was enough room.

Whilst I was away Diane has kept immaculate records of the use of the diesel stove and working it all through, the usage per hour is about the same as we found in October/November, but interestingly with the weather being much colder over December than the earlier period the cost of keeping the boat warm and cosy was relatively inexpensive. The stove used 180 mls per hour of use, which came out almost 3.2 lts per day and at marina rates meant an expenditure of about £18.50 per week

We had made some visits to drop off things that had been added to my list of things to bring back; we had seen just about everyone that we needed to – everything was back to normal and I was home.


  1. Ray, not much different to running the coal stove at a bag every 4 days or so @ £11 a bag.

  2. Appears to be so - when we were first looking at diesel stoves we did get the general feeling from others that they were more expensive to run, but as you know we needed to go that way - a solid fuel stove wasn't an option - so we are pleased about the installation costs, the running costs and with no ash/dust to worry about for Diane it has been a winner for us.