1.5 miles travelled and 1 lock in 45 minutes.
After a wonderful nights sleep, I had a busy morning. After breakfast, I took Paddy out for his walk, whilst he sniffed anything that looked interesting, I picked up sticks for the fire, as I had let the boatman's cabin stove go out last night, because it was very mild and it can get very warm in the back cabin when you sleep in there. Before relighting the fire, I cleaned the chimney flue, which needed doing as it was beginning to clog up, with that job done, Keith started up the generator, so I put a load of washing on. As I got on with cleaning the ash out of the saloon fire, Keith went off along the towpath with a dustbin liner and litter picker, he picked up a bagful of rubbish, from the lock to the first marina entrance. When he got back I had swept the floor and put the polish and duster around the saloon to get rid of the mounting dust, which I put up with during the winter months because of the coal stoves. Whilst we enjoyed our first coffee of the day, I had some mince cooking on the back stove, onions, carrots, swede and leeks were chopped ready to be added to the mince, along with a bolognaise sauce, because for dinner we will be having a lasagne. Coffee drunk we walked back up the arm to the marina to see if Les was at the dry dock, which he wasn’t, but whilst we were chatting to Neil, Les arrived, so we were able to book our next dry docking for March 2013. Keith also discussed getting some removable bulkheads made to keep our loose coal in place rather than the bags of coal we are using at present. I am sure between the pair of them they can come up with an idea which will work. Keith's idea is to have some strips of steel 6” wide, and long enough to span the hold, with alternate small pieces to lock each one to the one below, same as stop planks work. It is just an an idea at this stage, so things may change. What ever we have, it has to be light enough that I can move them. We will have firther discussions with Les on our return to the Leicester Line in October hopefully.
As we strolled back to the boat, Keith suggested we make a move off of the Welford Arm and go back to the junction. With the wind beginning to blow a gale, I set the lock first, whilst Keith got the boat ready for the off, with the lock gate open Keith could then go straight in. The wind was not a problem on our way to the junction, but it did cause me an issue when trying to moor upo, because I could not pull the boat in on the centre line or hold her whilst Keith tried to get the boat in. Eventually we managed to get moored up just before the fine drizzle turned into the predicted and much needed rain. As I type it is raining cats and dogs, which is fantastic. We have a good TV signal and Have "Doctor Dolittle" on at the moment. I have not plans to do anything else for the rest of the day, except of course make dinner, feed us and mog and dog, wash up, stoke the fires and then it will be time for my bed phew.
Chat soon xx