Thursday, 17 September 2015

Busy busy busy

Yesterday, after spending a fair amount of the pension at the chandlers, we moved on to just above Branston Lock - the moorings there are lovely and peaceful. You can hear the road in the distance but it doesn't really intrude. We had planned to move on early this morning, but I realised in the night, that if it was sunny this morning, we were in an ideal position to paint the port side between the gunwale and the rubbing strake. So up and at'em, Atom Ant quite early today. Well, that was me, David took the opportunity to stay in bed just a wee bit longer. He was called for photo duty, and to sort out the fenders.

The painting went well and was quite quick considering it has to be brushed on, not rolled. But my legs ached from being on my knees so long - unnatural position for a woman at the best of times ... And my feet got wet. I wasn't wearing my boots and the trainers let the considerable dew in.
I knew those tarpaulins would come in handy! I should have made sure my feet were on them too.

The end result. Not fancy but practical.

The hardest thing though was keeping the boat away from the armco as other boats went past. One of our go kart wheel-type fenders has a hole in it, so it no longer floats on its side, dammit!

Once the painting was finished, the part I had started on was pretty much dry. By the time I had had brekkie it was all dry and we headed off.

When we came up Barton Turn Lock last year this handsome house was for sale, and it still is. It looks like it would be an ideal B&B property given its location and style.
We decided we had better stop at Barton Turn Marina for diesel as we were on a quarter of a tank and it looked like the next available diesel is a fair way away. I have decided though, that nice though the people are, getting in and out of that marina is an arsy job. The entrance from the cut is tight. Then once in, it is always windy. That worked in my favour getting to and mooring up at the services area. Whole different story coming out though. I couldn't get the front of the boat around to head out as the wind kept the bow against the wharf. A change of approach and I decided to reverse out between the two rows of jetties of moored boats. Don't worry, John and Vanessa (nb Swift and Low) - we saw your boat but didn't hit it ... Surprisingly I had some success in reversing to be able to straighten up and steer out of the marina entrance. As I said it's narrow, so the turn on to the canal is difficult. Today David helped me by pulling the bow around, but his job was made difficult by two fishermen who were just setting up their tables and chairs right where he needed to be ... And then they gave him advice on when to jump onboard. ... He got on at the back and as we went past them, I said with a smile that they were lucky I hadn't scooped up their furniture. I am not sure if they got the message, as it wasn't very direct, but not to worry. Made me feel better.

The stressful part of the cruise today was the long portion of it that runs right next to the A38. I am sure it is the noisiest piece of road we have ever boated beside, and that includes the M1 near Milton Keynes! However once on the river section before Alrewas, it is calm and quiet and beautiful.

Another handsome building - the church on the river section before Alrewas. Nice setting.
So we are moored up now above the first lock at Alrewas.

As it is a fasting day today, I needed to keep busy. So I have now wirebrushed, sanded and Fertanned the starboard side between gunwales and strake. I won't paint it tomorrow as the Fertan needs a bit of time to do its job. But Saturday, weather permitting, it will be done.
I shouldn't really show you these as they are evidence that I ding the boat when coming in to moor. But the Fertan is amazing stuff - by tomorrow, those rusted patches will have gone black where the Fertan has reacted with it and it will be ready to paint shortly thereafter. It lasts without painting for 3 - 6 months, I understand. Magic stuff.

After preparing dinner (that seems to happen quite early on fasting days for some reason ...) we headed out for a walk along the towpath and around the village. It is such a lovely place.

New thatch looking stunning! Such skill involved, and an art that does not appear to be dying here in the UK.

Evening sunlight.
We have booked for dinner tomorrow night at The Crown** where we can see the start of the Rugby World Cup. **The people moored behind us who were in front of us last night near Branston Lock are there at the moment, and it was recommended to them by some other boaters who go there regularly. And a yound lad, Marcus, who was walking his lovely black lab called Jack, told us it is a good place. That's two good enough recommendations so we will have a go!

Firstly though, tomorrow's mission is to go and visit the National War Memorial Arboretum. We have found the way to walk there and will head off in the morning. A visit to the world famous butcher is scheduled for on the way back. Then a short rest before dinner perhaps ...


Alf said...

I have always used bitumen all the way up to the gunwale much easier to touch up the inevitable scrape,

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Alf, I agree re the ease of touching up. I found it quite easy to apply - by brush, not roller. But the guy now moored behind us uses a gunwale paint (black, matt) on their gunwales and down over the strake, and he can roller it on, which is faster and easier, although he did masking tape all surrounding bits which I didn't do - too impatient ...
Cheers, M