Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crick boat show and a surprise

We all got back to Crick a week before the show and boats are already gathering for the event. Some boaters were complaining about the cost of the moorings. We found a spot by the Wharf while Terry and Myra took their boat back in the marina.
Chas' mum is 92 this month and we hired a car from Enterprise in Daventry for the weekend.

We stayed with our grand children down south and took them out for a picnic in the park. The fish n chips went down a treat that sunny evening while parents went out.

On Sunday we all went to take mum out for lunch at Titchfield Mill. Mum had no idea that we would be there as well so it was a complete surprise for her. "You should have seen her face!" So there we all were, a family of seven sat at a huge round table with the mill stones below.
While we were away Dave Bassett continued to do more improvements in our boat creating a cupboard and new floor in the galley.
The car was returned safely having fed it with expensive fuel which almost cost as much as the hire itself! It is always a bit of a shock having to cope with the speed, traffic and navigation. Not helped when we discovered a diversion before getting on to the M40 and having to find our way without the aid of a map.
Crick seems lacking with just a Post Office store at one end and a shop at the other, but the Red Lion does good food.

Cottages at Crick
A medical centre with a pharmacy a bit further away. There is a bus running between Rugby and Northampton but access to Daventry is by coach only twice a week.
Now at last we have got away through the tunnel. We have been north of that tunnel longer than we had planned for seven weeks and only got as far as Foxton. But much else has happened in that time. Our friends have decided to stay for the show and get a few problems with their new boat sorted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Moving together

After the naming ceremony we were taken in Plaidy from the marina to our boat near Cracks Hill. We caught up with our friends a few miles on at Haddon. Next day we went first, all the way to the Welford Junction.

We went for a walk and on our return there was Plaidy moored behind us.
Sunday is a day we tend not to move so I set about changing the oil and filter. I also replaced the air filter. The old one was quite black after a good few years of use. Crick marina do not have a chandlery so the replacements were purchased from Kilworth Wharf. They even had milk and bread which is handy to know.

It was great to be on the move and we got as far as Foxton top lock where we turned in the wind. Backed up and filled the tank with water. It is very popular here with boats waiting to go down the locks. Boats at the visitor moorings had many gaps between them so we moved past them only to find it a bit shallow. We walked back to visit the museum, see the locks and enjoy refreshments at the top cafe. After that we both moved off to find better moorings the other side of the tunnel.

Bridge 32 has been repaired and a bird box built into the wall.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A boat launch

The event took a while coming as is usual with new boat builds delays are inevitable. Launch day arrived, we moved into moorings at Crick and met our friends at the boat shed. They had arrived in a van full of their stuff in the morning. Then the news came that the crane had a punctured tyre and would be late! We all went off for lunch at the Red Lyon in Crick.
It proved to be a long day waiting for news during sunshine and showers. First the lorry arrived then the crane.

The boat was on rollers and the lorry pulled it out of the shed. The crane then lifted the boat up and lowered it onto the lorry.

It was a short trip down the road to the marina where the crane lifted Plaidy off the lorry and she was flying again. But then the crane slowly lowered the boat into the water.

She went down and down into the water for the very first time and finally settled with perfect trim. Phil the builder from 'Strait and Narrow' jumped on board to check for leaks!
Both crane and lorry departed while we helped Terry and Myra load their stuff on board. It was getting quite late by then and we left them to settle in.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Three dimension pictures

Get some RED / BLUE specs on and look at these 'Anaglyph' pictures.

A view near Crick

From Bridge 27, Leicester section of the Grand Union.

From Bridge 28, Leicester section of the Grand Union.
A walker on the towpath is not a ghost but was moving!

I took two pictures with my camera about 4 inches apart. Left and Right. A clever program then combined them.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The gas locker and a battery

The gas locker up in the bow has two vent holes to let the gas escape if there is a leak. The only problem is that these vents are near the waterline. The bow wave tends to flood in and out making it damp inside. Every time we changed the gas bottle we noticed how rusty it was getting. There is a fair amount of ballast in there to keep the bow down making the boat more level than it would be. Our friend Vic from No Problem had helped many years ago to put it all in.
So we got around to it and took the bottles out plus some ballast, the unused anchor and much else besides. I got in and rearranged the ballast left inside. Then set about scraping all the loose rust off. The floor sounded quite thin and I was happy to realise that it was not the bottom of the boat! A coat of primer was applied and when dry a coat of blacking went on as well.

That evening another problem presented itself. The starter battery has failed. It was at least 5 years old and only the first replacement so it has done well with the boat now seven years old. River Canal Rescue came and 'jump' started the engine using a spanner to short between the starter and domestic batteries. "I could have done that!" The engineer did not have a battery to replace it but did check that the starter battery was being charged.

We then went into Crick Marina to get a replacement. The engineer, Tony Bale, got a new battery and fitted it next day. He is past retirement but happy to continue working in the mornings.
We moved about seven miles north near a bridge and good walks and settled down for the weekend. The launch of our friends boat Plaidy is now due on Monday afternoon so we will get back for that.