Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Caio, Arriverderci, Aufweidersehen, Goodbye and Farewell

Sunday 6th April to Wednesday 9th April 2014

The time has come for us to finally say goodbye for now to more of the group - Sunday was the last day that we would see Roly for sometime - he joined us for lunch at The Clifford Arms; sadly Bev was still too ill to come too, but we send our very best and hope that she is well again very soon.

Sweet-tooth Roly

The naughty kids couch - and they were just that - making all
sorts of noises by sliding around on the couch - luckily it was
just the sounds - not the smells as well
We are just simply going to miss Roly so much - he is such as nice guy; willing to help anyone; a person that you love to have a beer with all the time.

Enjoy the summer Roly !

We returned to the boat after a filling lunch - with intentions of a bit of nap - the engine would run for an hour or so to top up the batteries. All started well but then the engine died - by the sound of it there was a fuel problem - no nap !!

Into the overalls and down into the engine bay, spare fuel filter in hand along with tools.

Took the entire fuel system apart (it seemed) - the filter was dirty as was the water separator - finally got it all back together, but it still wouldn't start - damn it!

Superior help was required - only one person to call upon - the guy on the boat in front, which would be Paul (nb Caxton).

Luckily he was awake after his "nanna nap", so overalls slipped on, down the engine hole, listen to the engine turning over - problem found - electrical connection to the fuel pump had come loose - 2 minutes later and it was fixed.

Thanks Paul !

Monday morning and time to wave farewell to Elaine and Paul - headed off at 8am - yes, you read correctly - 8am - they were up even earlier than that.

bye bye Elaine

the pedal to the metal ehh Paul!!

see ya later!
Not sure when we will see you again, but it will not be soon enough - we felt a little sad as you rounded the corner and slowly disappeared from sight.

We headed off just after 9am, just after Dot and Gordon who were filling with water at the junction.

Gordon and Dot heading off
Cruising was lovely until we got to Colwich Lock - the top gate wouldn't close properly and therefore the lock could not empty. Two C&RT guys had only just left as we approached, but after a call, they were back fairly quickly.

A great lump of tree and three bricks later the gate could be closed and we were on our way again.

one of the C&RT guys - please not the three bricks on the lock edge
We really enjoy the peace and open space mooring on the Rugeley aquaduct. About 30 minutes later we were joined by Ewn Ha Cul and later on we journeyed by foot up to The Stag's Leap for dinner - Diane likes the meals here, especially the rotisserie chicken.

Tuesday was a reasonably early start - the girls were off to Tesco, Gordon following on the boat and I finished off a bit of work before I headed off as well.

With perfect timing I passed through Bridge 66 just as "she who must be obeyed" emerged and hopped on without stopping a little further on.

We carried on, with just a short stop for water at Brereton, and then cruised down to Fradley Wood.

the last picture of toilets - but as boaters we will keep talking
about them
A little later we locked D&G through the 2 upper locks at Fradley, they stopped for water just around the corner and we said our goodbyes to them for now - we will catch them on their return from Coventry as we head down that way - their timetable means that they need to travel further and longer than we need to do at present.

One of the surprises that sometimes happens occurred on Wednesday morning as I was returning from the service block - a guy sitting on his motorbike suddenly said "Hello Ray, how are you?"

I do  have a problem recognising people out of original context, but this time I was not able to make the recognition - "No we haven't met - I read the blog" - that was a relief for me.

His name is Paul and was on nb Just the Job - moored just in front of us -we chatted for about 5-10 minutes - very pleasant in the morning sun. Thanks Paul for the chat and causing me some concern about my recognition skills - will keep a look out for you in the future.

We headed off just before 9am with an interest in getting as far as the Ventura Retail Park for a few purchases.

The first ducklings of the season (for us)

Just plain lovely!

There is always someone watching

the stalagmites starting

With only 2 locks to do and those being down straight away, followed by 10 miles of cruising in the warm sunshine, the effort was small, the enjoyment large.

Au revoir to good friends; goodbye to Aston Marina and farewell to winter.

22 Miles, 5 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 1 Swing Bridge

Totals: 2259 Miles, 1669  Locks, 75 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 146 Swing Bridges

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