Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Back in black at Fradley

... thankfully the bank account is also but it took a hit when we paid for Percy's blacking and anodes (not fitted) money refunded, fender purchased not fitted.

We did a three car shuffle on Wednesday last in order to have cars in the right places for people helping me move Percy back from Norbury in three days not the seven we took to get out there.

We delayed the pick up until the afternoon and Percy was in the arm back fenderless and no new fender fitted. I brought the boat onto the service wharf with some challenge due to the number of boats in the basin...

We then set to fitting the new front fender, the young lad tasked with doing it stepped back seemingly thankful to be shown how to attach his first fender. I do need to insert a couple of weak links or cut the chain part way through to help if it ever gets caught on a lock gate or the like.

So off we went destination Brewood, getting to the Bridge Inn at 8.40pm after a quick lock up. I have to say the service was very friendly and the steak the best  I have had for a long time.

It was a pleasant evening cruise. The next day after some forecast overnight rain we set off to Penkridge, another great cruise in lovely weather. Another good meal was consumed at the Boat Inn on the bridge by the lower visitor moorings.

Friday was a better day than forecast and we took the boat back to Great Haywood to drop off one crew members Mick who then drove to Scotland. He was replaced with another Tony and we ventured forth to the Clifford arms...

By now the beer and red meat totals consumed were racking up but we did not falter and had another great evening eating and catching up.

Saturday morning was a cruise I have done many times before ... between 5 and 6 hours back to Fradley moorings from Great Haywood. It was a really bitter cold morning and I was awake before 7,.... on less than 6 hours due to beer and cards on the boat after the pub ! My guests we still asleep so I swapped over the cassette and it had become full overnight !! After my ablutions I passed time by getting the oil can to the engine along with grease onto the rocker greaser caps. I then checked the oil and gave the engine a wipe down.

Still my guests slept on so I entertained myself looking through the books we keep on board in the back cabin.

We set off about 9.15 with a biting and persistent wind at our backs thankfully. We could tell how nasty it was by the looks and hats on the boats that approached us. Still the canal felt very quiet for mid May. An uneventful and gradually improving cruise back saw us arrive coats off and in sunshine back at the moorings at 2.45, five and a half hours is a good time. We had a straight run through the Fradley locks, the two volunteers being very friendly and capable on Middle and Junction locks advised much of the traffic was Burton bound, no doubt on the way up the Erewash. (this was in draft for a week or so)

A few bits of blacking will need touching up and the boat needs a good clean but all in all a good cruise. Just got to cut the grass on the mooring this week !

I celebrated on Sunday  by meeting a mate on and taking the bikes to Sutton Cheney Wharf for a coffee and to watch the boats go by !!

Approaching Tixell lock, always easier with a couple of large blokes to do the locking for you.... we did take it in turns.

Leia with her new best mate Mick

Smiles... lots of them when you are on the canals... and no beer or red wine involved in this shot. Friday was a great cruising day.

Mick gone replaced by Tony... notice the extra jumper John is wearing..... even with the wind in our rear (!) it was cold.

Your Alfie came to collect his dad with mum Nicky 

I went up to the mooring on the following Wednesday (last week) to cut the grass... this was the first cut, I did two as the grass was so high. No doubt will have to do the same this weekend.

It is motorbike stuff taking over a the moment... I will blog about that soon. But I will be back on board this weekend testing out the new mattress with memory foam topper, can't wait !!

Painting hopefully as the foredeck needs a good seeing to as we were bringing in flakes of paint as it got worn away. It is a nice easy place to paint, just hope we get warmth and no wind !

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