Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Change of Venue

Wednesday 3rd September to Wednesday 10th September 2014

We have travelled just a bit further than the usual, so much so that by Friday morning we had landed in Melbourne to be greeted by Samantha, our daughter - yes we are back in Australia.
And it was Sam's birthday as well - I won't give away the age, but next year it will make her mother feel old(er).

The flight was relatively uneventful - we did have a 2 hour delay taking off from Dubai as first the baggage system failed and then the onboard air-conditioning system had a fault and finally the tug that pushed us back from the terminal stopped and we couldn't move until it had been removed.

The 13 hour part of the flight then went by fairly quickly.

A swift 20 minutes to clear immigration and customs and we were out - the air was a bit chilly for 7:30am but the sun was quite lovely.

We caught up with our son Mitchell and his wife Sara at home - Diane and Sara had not met before but it was pretty evident as soon as they did that they would get on like a house on fire - and it has been that way since.

We have a fair bit to do with the house as we are going to clear it out arrange for it to be rented out.
Mitchell and Sara will be off to the US in a couple of months to live and Sam is after something a bit smaller - so we will look around for her.

Saturday came and we went off to watch Mitch's club play in a finals match - if they win then they play in the Grand Final next week - well after looking like being a sad day for them, they rallied in the last 5 minutes and kicked 3 goals to win it and we have another match next week.

Some work has been done along the way; there has been some visiting of people and more to come; we have started with some packing and chucking out; there was some minimal cleaning needed at home, but we are happy to be here and seeing everyone, but at the same time missing being on the boat, which is having some work being done.

With it being the start of spring here we have some finer weather to look forward to which will certainly help to further enhance our tans.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

What do boaters want?

Thursday 28th August to Tuesday 2nd 2014

We spent some more time in Nantwich, during which we started work on some rust patches above the front locker and indeed got a bit carried away and stripped the paintwork on the gas locker lid right back.
The grinding went well but we needed a new wire brush to go on it - having worn the other completely out.

Easier said than done to buy a new one - the only ones available were the spindle-type that fit onto a power drill - not enough power/torque/speed for the job.

Eventually by asking around we were directed further away from the main centre to an area we had not ventured before - finding a large Sainsbury in the process as well as some other shops that may be handy in the future.

But still no luck with the wire brush, until we were sent in a different direction to a small power tool rental shop which also sold accessories - one of which was what we needed.

By this stage we had trekked the equivalent of halfway across the county and lunchtime had almost past by, but luckily a pub was just across the road - The Leopard (a Joules pub) - so we headed across; the menu looked good, but not half as good as the food tasted - what a little gem!
It's amazing the things that you find when you venture a bit further on.

We moved off on Saturday but only with the intentions of getting through the Hack Green Locks and then to moor up - more work to do on the front deck.

There was little boat movement when we headed off and precious little through the locks - just the one boat coming down at the same time as we were going up - so we crossed in the pound and into locks ready for each of us.

A couple of hundred metres on we moored up and got to work.

The boat traffic increased during the day - many more boats on the move at the moment - fortunately we had missed all of that.
Not so fortunate was the angle grinder I was using - couldn't stand the pace and burnt itself out - but enough had been cut back and so the painting began and by Sunday afternoon the primer coat and the undercoat had been applied.

The boat traffic increased even further on Sunday - it was strange - Saturday had boats coming from Nantwich and Sunday they were all heading towards Nantwich - at one stage there were 8 boats queued for the locks; we were chatting to one couple on a boat - the skipper of which had broken her leg but was able to steer.
We had finished our work so the windlasses came out and we helped them through the locks as well as a couple of other boats as well - to speed the process up - everyone was in a good mood and plenty were helping as well - just as it should be.
runaway sheep on the towpath or were they out to greet us?

Monday and we managed the final 2 miles of our journey and now very happily moored up as we start get ready to leave the boat.
the skipper has been out enjoying the sunshine, but for now
she has gone back inside.
The final coat was applied to the gaslocker and pleased with the outcome - certainly a lot better than it looked before.
the front looking much much better...

...and the lid too!

There is always a list and we have been and continuing to cross things off and now all has been done.
Beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine - did we miss the summer?

There are precious few things in this world that boaters really want (or need) - access to water; full gas bottles and diesel tank (and access to re-supply); somewhere to properly dispose of the waste; and our power supply, however that might come; understanding and consideration.

So far so good and they're friendly to boot!

5 Miles, 2 Locks

Totals: 2843 Miles, 2069 Locks, 97 Tunnels, 34 Lift Bridges, 151 Swing Bridges