Thursday, 31 March 2011

Water works

Spoke with Ellie about getting Engineering to complete the work from the sale (shower pump, calorifier leak, sink filter) and getting a response to my email about the leaky window and a quote for fitting the washing machine. Email from Jenny to confirm they would get back to me about all this.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

On board and locking up

Friday 18th March: arrived about 10 p.m., and spent the first night on board. Freezing outside, so thermostats about 3 overnight. New duvets were warm, but only just long enough. Have to think about a king-size double after all. The memory foam topper has expanded to some extent, but has not evened out where it had been folded. Need to take it home to see what it will do in the warmth of the house. Got the loo working with water from a bucket, until the water system is on.

Saturday 19th March: Great Haywood Marina to Sandon Lock and back. 10 miles, 6 locks, 5 hours engine.

Showered in the marina block. Breakfast at F&B in Stafford. Bought sandwiches for lunch from the Coop on the Weston Road, and £5 for the electricity meter (Total £10.43). Saw Ellie in the marina sales office, and agreed I would ring during the week to arrange for her to speak with Engineering about jobs already paid for by the Joiners.

Left the marina around 11 a.m. without even touching the sides of the entrance. But had to reverse furiously to not hit the far bank! Turned right towards Stone, and worked our first lock at Hoo Mill, with some friendly advice from NB Goosander. Lunch on a quiet stretch north of Weston. Turned at the winding hole just above Sandon Lock. Return journey without a stop except when waiting for the locks. Mgt did her share at the helm both up and down, and kept Erin Mae positioned while I was working lock gates. I made a bad job of getting back into the marina entrance. Main issues: mooring effectively when you've misjudged your first approach, or under difficult conditions. Did some serious scraping at one or two points.

Displayed the licence. Cleaned the bathroom and the bedroom floor / cupboards. Got the TV working (BBC1 on channel 44 in time to see Ireland stop England getting a grand slam).

Left at 8 p.m. and got home some time after 11.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Saturday, 12 March 2011

First Cruise

Great Haywood marina to Tixall Wide and back. 2 miles, 0 locks, 3 bridges, 1 hour cruising.

Left Bransgore at 0815 in sunshine. Brief stop on the M40 (Starbucks filter is better than Costa Americano). Got to GH at around 1220. Unloaded equipment: bedding and memory foam topper, crockery and kitchen tools. Decided to have lunch and then have our first cruise. So we bought a couple of mooring hooks, fired up the engine about 1330, and cruised from the marina to Tixall Wide. Lots of moored craft around the junction of the T&M and the S&W, but not much movement on the water. Moored at the Wide for coffee and cake, accompanied by mallard, coot, great crested grebe and Canada geese. For about half an hour we were the only ones there, then some other boats began to tie up. Started back at 1515 as the promised drizzle began to arrive. About 30 minutes each way. Moored bows in this time. Steering was fine, but there seemed to be an unevenness not associated with the engine itself, so I'll need to check that there is nothing caught round the screw before we go out again.

Found the master gas stopcock, so got out the new kettle and made a cuppa. Jobs on the boat: emery papered the end of the swan neck, and used silicone lubricant on the tiller bar. They went together a treat. Re-fixed the metal strip to the front seat cover, but that is rotten along the edge and ought to be replaced. Piles of interior cleaning – we had the Dyson. Got out the memory foam topper, which will need time to uncompress itself. Left the newly cleaned curtains, but brought the duvets home again. Measured the space for the washing machine – the Candy will fit, but the Zanussi would be too tight back to front.

Journey home, in the rain, without stopping - just under 3 hours.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Between visits

We've been making lists of needed equipment. On Saturday we ordered two duvets and a memory foam topper online, then went to Southampton, checked out John Lewis and M&S, but ended up buying various bits of kitchen / dining stuff from Ikea. Ordered a coolie hat, BWB sanitary key and handcuff key from Midland Chandlers.

Yesterday I spoke with Jenny about getting John to look at the leaking window. No word yet on what it might need. Today we bought some bed linen from Sainsbury's, and the order from Midland arrived.

Weather predictions for Saturday by BBC and Accuweather are highly variable, but it will certainly be worth going up. We'd like to do a first cruise if possible, down to Tixall Wide, but I'd like to have a boathook on board before we do. Main thing will be a complete inventory of equipment on board.