Saturday, 5 May 2012


Something happened today which I haven't seen for a while: the sun came out.  I had an appointment with the boat painter who'll be giving Briar Rose a new look in October, so I set off at about 9.30.  The boats moored in front of the no mooring signs opposite the marina entrance didn't cause too many problems, and I was soon on my way.  Although the sky was blue and the countryside largely yellow with oilseed rape, there was a sharply cold wind.

At Baxter's, I pulled onto the wharf and tied up the boat, and Jon the painter had a good look at Briar Rose.  We talked about colours amd what would go where, coachlines, and non-slip surfaces.  With all the details sorted, I paid a deposit to firmly book our slot in October.  During this time, another boat from Thrupp Wharf turned up for diesel -- and once full took a good fifteen minutes to wind in the entrance of Kingfisher Marina.  Also, a wooden inspection launch called Kingfisher dating from 1928 came out of the marina and moored in front of the house alongside.  I was talking to the owner (although he's just sold it) who said he built the marina in order to have somewhere to keep the boat -- which explains why it's called Kingfisher Marina.

I turned in the marina entrance and set off for Thrupp Wharf.  I considered mooring up somewhere in between for lunch, but the wind was blowing away from the towpath so I thought I might struggle to get moored on my own.  Also, it appeared that the weather might get more blustery as the day wore on, so I decided to go straight back to Thrupp Wharf.  When I got there, the boat which had struggled to turn at Kingfisher still hadn't managed to get onto their pontoon, even though they'd had a head start on me of at least forty minutes.  In the end, I was moored up before they were.

After lunch, I went back to bed for a sleep as I'm starting night shifts tonight.  I had an easy drive down the M1 and past the illuminated arch of Wembley Stadium.  We'll be back at Briar Rose in a week's time for a few days out.

4 miles, 0 locks.

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