Monday, 29 August 2016

The final countdown

Hi, I hope you're enjoying the Bank Holiday.

This morning we finally bid farewell to our cruising companion.  David has been with us for over 5 months and it's been an absolute pleasure. But all good things must come to an end and as we were turning right at the junction towards Watford, he carried straight on towards Braunston.

We just mis-timed our arrival at Watford bottom lock and had a wait of an hour and a quarter before we could start our ascent.  This is our final lock flight (unless we divert and pop up to Welford that is) and I was counting them down.

7 to go


5 was the staircase bottom chamber

Can you see the red painted lock paddle gear?

These are used on all the staircase locks and there are also white painted ones. It's important to open the paddles in the correct order and the first time we did this flight back in 2001 we were taught a little rhyme by Crystal the lock keeper which I've never forgotten - Crystal was a real character and didn't suffer fools gladly so you had to get it the right way round.  "Red before white and you'll be alright.  White before red and you'll be dead"  - simples........

4 - in the second chamber

3 - third chamber

2 - top chamber

and finally, our last lock in this boat

So that's it lock-wise.  I'm going to tally up how many we've done and how many miles we've travelled and I'll let you know on our last day.

For the next few days we're just going to be pottering up and down the pound between Watford and Fozton until it's time to hand Fizzi over to her new owners.  Now that we've finished locking, Roger can also start tarting up the paintwork on the gunwales etc so please keep your fingers crossed that the fine weather continues for a bit longer.

Bye for now, see you soon

Friday, 26 August 2016

To Bristol for a survey

Hello again, nice to see you

On Wednesday we rented a car and went back to Bristol, as the out of water survey of our new boat was due on Thursday morning.  We spent a couple of hours measuring up and trying to work out where we're going to put all our possessions for the first few weeks while we personalise the boat and fit new cupboards and wardrobes in the spare bedroom.  I'm sure it's going to be chaos but I really can't wait.

At 8am Thursday they craned her out onto hard-standing ready for the survey.

We weren't going to bother with a survey as the boat is only 5 years old and at £500 we thought it was a bit expensive...................but boy were we glad we changed our minds! It turned out to be possibly the best £500 we've ever spent.

The surveyor was Ben Sutcliffe who came from South Wales and took almost 6 hours going over the boat with a fine tooth comb.  We'd already spent 3 days back in June while we were moored in Bristol Harbour going over every inch and thought we'd found all the faults, but Ben found quite a few minor ones that we'd missed, along with a couple of potentially serious ones hidden below the water.  These faults will now be rectified by the vendor before we pay our money and take possession. He also gave Roger lots of hints and tips as he went along which will be invaluable in the future.

So here she is...... I can finally present to you "Out Of The Blue" which will be our new home very very soon

She's a replica French Peniche and will mark a new stage in our life's adventures.  I CAN'T WAIT

Bye for now, have a great Bank Holiday weekend

Saturday, 20 August 2016

R I P Elaine

Bloggers, narrowboaters and our community have felt a big loss this week.

R I P Elaine

Saturday, 13 August 2016

My big countdown thwarted by a detour

Hi, happy weekend.

For the past few weeks David has been making me a button fender for the new boat.  It's finally finished and he presented it to us the other day.  I'm not sure if replica peniches are supposed to have button fenders but ours will wear it with pride!

As we're enroute to deliver Fizzi to her new owners I've been counting down the locks. There were 60 still to do

Then 50

And then this morning Roger and David announced that we're taking a detour down the Aylesbury Arm as David's never been to Aylesbury before so that's added another 32 to the total.  Our last lock will be Watford Top.............the last manual lock we will ever do as the new boat will only ever pass through either electrically operated ones or ones done for us by lock-keepers.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to miss working them or not.  Only time will tell I suppose.

Bye for now, see you soon

Monday, 8 August 2016

One for the boys

Hi, how are you? We're both really well and enjoying the hot sunny weather.

We spent 5 days in Paddington basin and are back on the move again.  The basin is a great place to stay, if you can find a mooring that is. Twice a week there is a street food market and every Thursday there is free entertainment. Last week it was Brazilian Samba dancers in celebration of the start of the Rio Olympics.  Here are a few photos for my male readers.

Unfortunately it was the coldest day we've had for a long while and between performances the poor girls were shivering.

We're currently working our way up the Grand Union, heading back "up norf" to deliver Fizzi to her new owners at the beginning of September.  If all goes well with the out of water survey and remedial works to our new boat we should be moving in 3 weeks. It's taking so long because the boat yard in Bristol was fully booked and we just have to wait our turn.  It's not easy I can tell you.......I want it NOW!!!

(I really must work out how to add a smiley face to the blog)  Bye for now, see you again soon