How not to fix the hot water…..

December 7, 2010

Well, there we were, having had a roast chicken for supper when J finally decided it was probably time to rejoin the rest of the human race after an orgy of The Tudors on the computer.  She turned on the hot tap to be greeted by a spluttering stream of steam rather than the hot water she’d been expecting.  She promptly turned the tap off again and I turned the water pump off.  We tried the tap again and were again greeted by steam not water, so turned off the tap again.  At this point, there was a great noise of escaping steam from the port cabin, which went on for some minutes, filling the whole of the boat with water vapour.  Our very own geyser!

The whole thing was a bit alarming but eventually the steam stopped and we could investigate to find out what had happened.  It turned out that the thermostat on the immersion heater had stuck open, letting the element boil the water in the calorifier, hence the steam when the hot water tap was opened.  We should have left the tap open to vent off the pressure but shutting it had caused excess pressure in the hose from the calorifier, which promptly split just where it exited the cylinder.  This had led to steam in the port cabin where it lives under the bunk.

As this had all happened at about 1030 pm, we shrugged our shoulders and went to bed.  I thought that repairing all the damage would be a major problem but it turned out that all that was required to cut off the split bit of hose and reconnect it.  Simples.  Cleaning up the resultant condensation throughout the boat was not quite so easy, as we had to empty the contents of the cabin, spread it round the deck in the sunshine and then turn on the heating and the fan heater to dry things out – bit like a sauna in the boat, especially as today is a lovely sunny day with the temperature in the cabin at 22oC!

Out for a cycle ride round the bay


The weather since the last post has been, frankly, pooh.  We’ve had torrential rain, lightning, high winds and even a report of a water spout (like a tornado only not quite as nasty).  People who’ve been here for a few years tell us that this year the weather has been really bad, so we don’t feel too put out by it, but it does make the nice days even more special.  Last night was pants, with rain so hard that you couldn’t see to the other side of the pontoon and high winds making all the boats move round and the fenders squeal. 

Well, that’s enough for now, letting you all know just how exciting life can be in this lotus eaters’ paradise.  We’ll bring you up to date once something happens that’s worth talking about…

… The above was written about 2 weeks ago now and little of import has happened in the interim, so we thought that we’d better put up a blog entry before people began to think that we’d dropped off the edge of the world.  Time is, quite honestly, passing quite quickly out here.  Although the weather hasn’t really improved, it is at least warm.  We’ve had a lot of wind from the south, which is always laden with moisture from its trip over the sea and then it dumps a load of rain on us as it hits land again.  The rain is also laden with dust from the Sahara, so Rampage at the moment is a little grubby-looking as it’s been too wet to bother cleaning her topsides.

So, what has been going on out here?  Well, we’ve made a number of friends in the marina and have been eating out and drinking with them.  We had a particularly good supper last Thursday on board ‘Pedlar Returns’ – a truly magnificent fish stew.

The hot water is yet to be repaired, as there is a fault on the element which causes a short circuit every time it’s plugged in.  I’m reluctant to replace the element until I’ve done some further tests which haven’t yet taken place…….  I’ll get round to it one of these days.

Today’s entertainment was occasioned by a small quantity of loo paper being deposited in the loo as opposed to the bin carefully provided by the management for the purpose.  This led to a blocked outlet pipe and J decided this was most definitely a ‘blue’ job, to be dealt with by me, preferably in her absence.

So it was that I tackled the job this morning.  Taking the pipe off the loo produced no resolution of the problem, so I took the other end off the valve through the hull and there lay the cause; a nauseous build up of lime scale round the inside of the pipe, leaving only a small hole though the middle, neatly blocked by the offending loo paper.  It was obvious that the only solution was to remove the pipe and replace it with a new one.  As luck would have it, I happened to have a couple of metres of pipe on the boat, so having spent an fun half hour cleaning muck out of the valve fittings, I fitted the new pipe and that was that.  Took me 2 hours, most of it folded up in a most uncomfortable position, but the job is now done and, hopefully, should last another 10 years or so.  Now, how can I sell J the idea that she should do the same job on the aft head?

Oh, and the other thing I should mention is that J suddenly and unaccountably took it into her head to throw my bike into the water the other day.  I mean, if she wanted to go diving, she only had to say so.  In the event, she insisted that she donned her kit and jumped in to retrieve it.  Job done, no problem except……  where was she to get out of the water again?  She wound up swimming about 50 metres up the pontoons, round a couple of boats to reach the nearest ladder back up on to dry land.  The bike is OK but we lost the basket and lock.

Yesterday we got the sail bag back from the sailmaker, after having a new zip fitted – the old one was about to give up the ghost.  The sailmaker did a good job on it, renewing a lot of perished stiching as well as the zip, so the bag should be good for another few seasons.  Having once put the bag back up, we figured that we might as well put the sail back as well, hence the knitting in the picture – more ropes than I knew what to do with plus not threading them right first time meant having to start all over again.

Oh b****r, threaded the reefing lines the wrong way.....


Well, that just about wraps it up from Corfu for today.  We’ll put up another post in about a week or so, unless something dramatic happens in the meantime.



  1. Hmm, Mister Mate doesn’t really come out well in this post: blocked loo & swimming bicycle. In my own defence with regard to the loo, it is very difficult to break the habit of a lifetime ie. throwing the paper down the loo so I think I’ve done amazingly well not to have done so before now!
    Not much I can say about the bike except that had it been locked to the post as it should have been, I would not have managed to knock it off the pontoon whilst in the process of unlocking my own bike…
    So there!

  2. To be fair, he didn’t actually name you as the loo paper culprit – you have “outed” yourself!
    Lovely to have another blog to read to brighten my stressful – near the end of term but not there yet – existence!
    M x

  3. Coo, this is really back to basics when we get to learn the intricacies of your plumbing arrangements. That and the generally rubbish weather in Corfu makes me feel less envious and quite content to be living in the freezing temperatures of the UK with the benefit of central heating and constant hot water. Love the bike story – just as well the harbour water wasn’t too unsavoury to go diving in.

  4. Lovely reminders of boat maintenance/management, thank you. Great to read your blog and to keep up to date with life on Corfu. Its very much King Wenceslas weather here, ‘deep and crisp and even’. Have a good crimbo and look forward to seeing you next year. Andy & Susan

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