You’d be forgiven for thinking we were still docked at the boat yard battling a major boativation issue, it’s been that long since I’ve written an update.
But you’re wrong. We moved back aboard Odin 2 months after leaving her at the boat yard, 1 month later than planned and exactly 1 year to the day after buying our floating home. Of course. Remember, boat weeks are longer than regular weeks?
When we eventually got the green light to collect Odin, my patience for our temporary accommodation had utterly worn out.
Numerous small delays and weather issues compounded and slowed the work. Luckily for us, while the schedule doubled, the budget astonishingly remained the same. All thanks and huge respect to the amazing folks at 4 All Marine for making that possible. I’ll share some before and after shots so you can inspect their handiwork.
Before the wheelhouse steel extension
After the wheelhouse steel extension
Before the bedroom steel extension
After the bedroom steel extension
The journey up and back
On the way upstream to the boat yard a few months before, we’d come across a fair few grumpy lock keepers and hard stares on the river. No doubt with the state of Odin’s paint work, they were thinking ‘gypsy boat’.
The journey home with our sparkling white paint job was a different story, however. One lock keeper gave me a rope throwing lesson. I heard more than 1 person say “wow look at that boat”, “look at those windows”. High praise and something for us to finally smile about.
We couldn’t have been happier to motor home 3 hours downstream, accompanied by my youngest nephew and budding sailor, William. When we got back to the island, William said to me, “Um, where’s your house?” When I answered, “this is our house” he politely raised his eyebrows, had a mini brain explosion and replied, “Ohhhh”.
He has visited us on Odin numerous times over the last year, but he must have thought at the end of the day, we went home to a proper, normal house on dry land too. I like to think we’ve expanded his world view :).
Looking back, probably the worst part of the boativation adventure was living away from the water during peak UK Summer in July and August. Summer was supposed to be the moment that made all the hard, dark months through a miserable winter, with frosty, rainy river crossings, worth it. The Islanders told us we’d revel in summertime. Hmmm. Perhaps next year.
It turns out winter came approximately 1 week after moving home. Being Australian-born, I’m sure I will never get used to the UK’s 8 weeks of warm weather a year. (I exaggerate, but only a little).
We’re hurrying to finish battening, insulating and lining out with ply our new steel bedroom extension. Chris is doing an amazing job with fabulous attention to detail, but with the need to juggle full-time work, it’s going to take a while longer yet.
In the new space, we’re planning to build a bed with all our storage underneath. Every square inch matters, so the angles of the battens and the curve of the boat make it a BRUTAL job.
In the mean time, we’re also waiting patiently for our very busy canopy contractor to become available and install a new 5 metre canvas room on our back deck. With a bit of luck, this’ll happen before the worst of the winter sets in.
Once the bed’s done, we’ll be moving our boativation focus onto the bathroom and kitchen/galley. And and and. The boativation list never ends.