As I start to type this it is 5.37am and I am looking out over the weir at Evesham, and listening to the canada geese getting ready for their day of swimming, duckdiving for weed, preening and generally looking pretty cool in the heat.
We've had two nights here near the lock (above) and while the moorings are not attractive, they have had the bonus of a wall and trees to create shade we have sat in for most of the last two afternoons.
Evesham is a very lovely town where we have done a small amount of exploring. If it had been slightly cooler we would have done more, but there is always next time!
The weather over the last few days has been stunning - if anyone tells me again that England doesn't do summers, I will have to remind them about this - Lisa on WAL, your David is right: summer starts late in June!
On Thursday and Friday nights we were moored across the river from Offenham at a lovely spot with heaps of mooring and ideal for a barbecue. So of course we obliged, being careful not to make a mess and cleaning up after ourselves. The area we designated for the BBQ was on private land and the elderly lady who owns it turned up on her petrol-powered mobility golfcart (bigger than a mobility scooter) to let us know the fishermen would be arriving from midnight as the season opened. Didn't hear any of them at all overnight though.
Mick and Julia had to head away early on Friday to get to Evesham, to get to Stratford to hire a car to drive home to Desborough to pick up the waterpump that had been delivered and was all of a sudden required due to total pump failure on board Unkown No 3. The rest of us blobbed that day...
It felt very strange not being able to get across to Offenham but there is no bridge across the river between Bidford and Evesham. Well, we could have forded it up to my neck, I suppose (John's knees probably) but it was easier to walk 1.25 miles (they are still working in imperial measurements here in the UK ...) on Friday to Haverton for a yummy dinner at the Coach and Horses - good pub food at a good pub which has won several awards for its beer and its atmosphere.
Dinner out was a well-deserved treat this time, instead of an indulgence, as John and I had worked hard most of the day. John had offered to lend us his angle grinder but when he heard it was to be me wielding it he offered to show me how and then decided he would do the angle grinding, and I was to follow along brushing and wiping and daubing the exposed metal with rust preventer. Back in October 2015 Barry and I had scraped and sanded the runnels, but without the benefit of an angle grinder there were some bits we hadn't seen the extent of. Thursday was an eye opener about how easily rust can take hold and how well it grows below the paint - bastard rust! It clearly never sleeps.
It was a pretty warm day when were doing this work so my shower was delightfully cool - we hadn't run the engine at all as the sun was filling the batteries through the solars. And actually, once the metal sides and roof warm up on the boat, proximity to it seems to double the heat output! I have to wear jeans or I burn my legs on the dark blue sides.
On Saturday I got up early to wash down the roof to get paint and metal dust off it, so I could prime/undercoat it. In the time it took me to make and eat brekkie, the roof had dried out so I could get a coat of paint on. That drying speed indicated it was going to be a scorcher! As it happened, I had just enough time before 8.30am to get the paint on before the roof was too hot for painting.
A cold shower this time, and gosh, it was lovely!
Then away we went heading for Evesham. Both David and John wanted to go to the marina shop in Evesham, so David travelled with John. They went on ahead and John travelled at such a SLOW pace I could have swum faster, I am sure! However I am sure the multitude of fishermen sitting on the whitebaiting stands appreciated that the water wasn't churned up. I did have to ask those already scantily clad if they had their sunscreen on ...
On arrival in Evesham, before John turned into the marina entrance, I phoned Mick and Julia to see if they were back and where to moor - instructions were that I was to hoot the mack truck horn to alert them I was close so they would come and get my ropes. Successful hooting and mooring alongside accomplished and then along came John and David - they had wended their careful way into the marina, all the way along between boats to the shop, only to find it was closed - on a Saturday!!!
Ah well, that is their loss as John was on for buying a life jacket and a couple of deck chairs. And it's our gain as we swapped a life jacket (brand new, worn for 5 minutes by me and discarded as I kept getting the straps caught on the tiller handle - not such a safety device ...) for a brand new cassette toilet. We have abandoned bucket and chuck it for the pee, as we cannot find a bucket that doesn't absorb urine and either end up smelling or rusting. There, that's a thing you know now, as Jaq's daughter Shiery says ...
We are about to join the Lautrec range of boats - you know the kind: they have two loos ... (thanks to Black Prince for that one, by the way)
OK, it is nearing time for the off - we are heading to Pershore and want to be there before it gets too warm. Trust me, I am NOT moaning about this weather - it is glorious. And it is best used in a relaxed/prone/seated in shade fashion!
Pictures will be posted in Pershore!