Saturday, 27 June 2015

First loo emptying

First thing this morning, I thought it would an ideal time to have a look in the composting loo, given that it hasn't been used for a couple of weeks. I'd been a bit concerned that the contents were a bit wet, so the plan was to take out some of the wet material and replace it with dry.

Dismantling the loo was easy, and I began scooping out the contents. Thanks to the global shortage of cocoa shells, we'd started the loo off with garden bark in the bottom. Later, we'd added coco coir, which is the shredded shells of coconuts. When I got down to the bark, it really was very wet indeed, so I decided I'd empty it completely and start again. Although you'd never describe the emptying process as pleasant, it wasn't unpleasant either. The smell was of strong fertiliser, which is what I suppose the liquid in the bottom actually was.

Having emptied the loo, I walked up to the Cosgrove sanitary station with the bag of contents to put in the skip. I took with me the base unit of the loo, so I could give it a good wash out at the elsan. Back at the boat, I put the loo base back on its brackets and began thinking about the base contents. I crumbled a brick of coco coir into the base. This comes as dehydrated and compressed bricks, and needs some added water. It expands like crazy with the water, and a brick usually takes 3 to 4 litres to turn it into compost. I added just one litre, and gave it a good mix, which meant it was just damp and became quite light and fluffy. Importantly, it also expanded enough to come up to the level of the loo's agitator. Then I put the loo back together, and we'll see how we get on now things aren't so wet.

That done it was time to set off. I went along and winded just before The Galleon pub, and then headed back to the lock. It took about 45 minutes to pass my overnight mooring spot. A bit before that, Phil from Vital Spark, which is moored on the offside, had set off in his little tender.

A hire boat had just come down the lock, and Phil opened the gate for me as he walked past. Then the day boat arrived at the top so they also helped work me through. Once through Cosgrove, the cattle were lining up to drink from the canal. No wonder the level is low!

Back at the marina, I did my best ever spin and reverse into the berth. It was as if the boat knew exactly what to do; all the way in without even touching the jetty. I was flabbergasted! I'm now waiting for Adrian to arrive, so we can head off for the next bit of the weekend.

3 miles, 1 lock. (4 miles, 2 locks)



Harryman said...

What make is your loo? A friend is thinking of having a Separet(?) on his new boat.

Adam said...

Hi Kevin, ours is an Airhead, which is a bit smaller than the Separet, and looks more like a normal loo. There's a picture of it a couple of months back, on the post blacking cruise.