Saturday, 30 May 2015

Post Crick: Day 5

Not long after I'd published the blog yesterday, I heard the distinctive noise of a big old engine followed by a couple of blasts on a horn.  I looked out to see what was going on, and found Tone and Julie on Muchgigglin were going past.  I stuck my head out of the cratch and said that rather than try and have a conversation as they drifted by, I'd go down to the lock for a proper chat.

At that moment we were having one of the afternoon's sunny spells, but as the boat rose in the lock another sharp shower came over.  Once the top gate was open, we all went on board to get out of the rain, and just sat in the lock while it tipped it down.  We must have been there for a while, and eventually another boat arrived wanting to come up.  So Tone moved the boat onto the water point to fill the tank.

It was two years ago when we met Tone and Julie, first going up towards Marsworth, and then as we were going to Crick, up Buckby.  So there was a lot to talk about.  Eventually we moved the boat onto the Cosgrove moorings, and continued talking (and drinking, did I mention the drinking?) and eventually they also very kindly fed me.  The time flew by, and I eventually left at some time after 11pm.  So a quick chat at the lock had turned into about six hours of nattering.  And not a single photo.

So this morning was boat test day.  It was bright and sunny, and calm, all of which were welcome.  I decided to leave Briar Rose where she was, and walked to the marina to get the car.  The drive to Heyford Fields took the usual half an hour, and the boat test went well.  I dropped the car off at the marina, then walked back to the boat.

I've spent a very pleasant afternoon writing up the boat test.  It's been sunny and reasonably warm, there have been plenty of boats past, and the side hatch has been open so I've seen numerous walkers, runners, families, and dogs.  It's been a good office to sit in.

Later I got out the Hot Spot stove polish, and tackled the Squirrel stove.  Now it looks a lot blacker than it did.  Then I had something to eat, washed up, and got ready to set off.

It was almost 7pm when I left my mooring.  I really do like it down by the aqueduct: a nice wide verge next to the towpath, plenty going on, decent views, quiet.  When I got to Cosgrove Lock, there was a horse there.

I had to turn the lock, but as I brought the boat in a passing lady shut the gate behind me, which was a help.  I got back to the marina in perfectly calm conditions, and reversed into out berth.  I've connected the shore line, filled the water tank, and brushed all the bits of tree off the roof.

One particular female mallard has been having a tough time.  A drake keeps trying to have his way with her, much to the distress of the ducklings she's already got.  Then a swan came after her family, and she had to chase it off.  She's really not enjoying her evening at all.

Tomorrow it's back to work, then back home.

2 miles, 1 lock.  (67 miles, 44 locks)


Bruce in Sanity said...

Hi Adam

Have you used that polish before? I did exactly what you've done last year, forgot all about it until we lit the stove in September. The cabin filled with smoke as the polish dried out. We had to open all doors and hatches to stop the smoke alarms going off.

It's a good idea to fire up the stove on a sunny day when you can sit outside while it sorts itself.

All the best


Adam said...

Hi Bruce

We have used it before -- there was a significant depression in the polish in the tin, so we must have done. I don't remember anything untoward happening when we lit the fire afterwards. I noted that the instructions say to use very little, and buff off all traces of the polish. Maybe you put it on a bit thick?


Neil Corbett said...

We've had the same problem as Bruce each time we've used that polish. It seems to take ages for the fumes to stop and it's quite eye watering. Maybe I'll try less polish next time. We used to use something called colloidal blacking which was a liquid. Much better. Got that from High Line if memory serves me right.