Saturday, 20 July 2019

WaL day two ... In the rain ...

 Our mooring above Sandon Lock ...
 late Thursday afternoon (18th) ...
 just before we visited Margaret and Geoff for drinks ...
 and the amazing moon as we left them at 11 o'clock!
 Yesterday (19th) the rain came ... and boy, did it rain!
 It was set for most of the day and rather than sit about for it to stop long enough for us to move in the dry we all decided to go for it at about 10:15.  We encountered drizzle for the first 15 minutes or so and then the heavens opened and we really got wet!  I was steering and George was holding the umbrella but before too long the rain stopped and ...
 by the time we reached Stone our waterproofs were practically dry.
 Moored up on the five day moorings ...
behind narrowboat Seyella.
After lunch we went into town for some bits of shopping and
in the evening shared a fish supper in the company of Margaret and Geoff.

We're on the Trent and Mersey Canal and it's bendy round here, lining up What a Lark (70') on a right hand bend into a skewed bridge followed by a sharp left hand bend was challenging, but all done without even a kiss on the sides (or top/chimney) of the boat.

I thoroughly enjoyed being on the tiller again even in the rain.

I wonder how Lisa and David are faring?

Thursday, 18 July 2019

What a Lark this is!

We're at Great Haywood Marina at the moment (Wednesday afternoon 17th) with Lisa and David where we met up with friends of theirs (now hopefully friends of ours too) Louise and John at the Saracens Head in Weston on the Trent and Mersey Canal.  We spent a great couple of hours chatting and getting to know a bit about each other over a very nice meal and we left wishing them happy travels with their new addition Lola.
Still there this morning but that's not David (or Lisa) in the cratch ... it's George of course ... but why?
We're on a boat swap with them!
They are enjoying life on the wide side on the Thames whilst we cruise in a cigar tube on the narrow ditches of the midlands.
First we have to stock up the cupboards with a Tesco delivery ...
and then George takes a deep breath and reverses WaL out of the pontoon ...

Heading for the Marina entrance
and a tight left hand turn, then a very tight right turn and then reverse ...
to moor behind Seyella with whom we will travel for the next few days.
After a cuppa on-board with Margaret and Geoff we pull pins and follow them upstream
It was Tuesday 28th January 2014 when I last touched a tiller ...
and today, understandably, I was a tad nervous.
All going well as I pull over to let George off to set Hoo-Mill lock for me as Seyella leaves it ...

No problem!
He was enjoying being out and about on lock duty.
Looking back from whence I came!
I am soooo enjoying this too!
Like a hot knife through butter at Weston Lock!

Two locks done just one more to go today
Passing the gate leading to the Saracens Head which we visited yesterday afternoon
I recognised this bridge as soon as I saw it ... Salt Bridge!
We have reached our destination ...  we've caught up with Margaret and Geoff at Sandon Lock and have now moored for the night.

I am so proud of myself steering on the narrow canal and through the locks without touching the side after being away from it for 5½ years.

Must go now ... there are drinks and nibble to taste next door!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The next step ...

 Monday (15th July) it was time to move ... back to Abingdon.
We'd left it until 10 o'clock hoping that we'd miss the rush (?) of boats leaving after the weekend but think that everyone had the same thought in mind as it took us two hours before we finally got moored up on the visitor moorings above the lock ... just where we wanted to be.
 Tuesday morning at 10 to 5 ... an early start, there's still lots of sorting today and today is our last chance
(remember ... changes afoot?)
 We were very lucky to see Chris, fuel boat Merchant as we could do with a top-up of diesel ...
 Chris will come and service Still Rockin' after the tanker has filled Merchant's big fuel tank ... the wide beam abreast of him is also waiting for diesel
 Here he comes now ...
with the lovely Stanley!

We're expecting visitors this evening and there's still lots to do ... must get on ... watch this space.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Changes afoot ...

 It didn't take long to get to our mooring on Tuesday (9th July) 
 it's peaceful here but there is some boat movement occasionally 

Coming for a meal ...

 but not ours!
We've not been idle either ... George has fitted a new shower as the old one had started to 'stick' on the thermostat so was difficult to change the temperature ... this one works a treat and looks nicer too!

Still Rockin' has had a bit of a make-over too ... scrubbed and polished inside and out.  Cupboards and drawers sorted and lots of space made by vacuum bagging and storing under the bed ... as the title suggests ... changes are afoot.

 Last rays of the sun ...
 make the fields and trees glow

We'll be returning to Abingdon tomorrow to finish off the outstanding tasks.