I was in several minds about what to do today. I pretty much finished writing the boat test last night while watching the Manchester concert, so I wouldn't need to spend today writing like I'd expected. Also the forecast for today and tomorrow wasn't great, to say the least. I decided that I'd find out what the situation was with our broken Eberspacher boiler, and that would determine what I'd do: if it was ready to go back in, then I'd stay up here; if it wasn't going to be ready today or tomorrow, I'd head home.
I spoke to Gary at Boating Leisure Services, and the Eber was indeed fixed. It had had a number of things wrong with it, and each part would have been expensive to replace with new, so they've raided their extensive collection of bits and pieces and replaced all the parts with second hand ones. He said it might run for another ten years -- or it might not!
I said I'd return to the marina, as it would be much easier for Dave from BLS to visit. So I walked up and set Cosgrove lock, then set off from my mooring. I could see another boat coming along the straight section from the aqueduct, so once Briar Rose was settled in the lock I closed that gate and opened the other one. I recognised the bow as a Wyvern hire boat; it took ages to arrive, then a crew member jumped off with a rope before the lock and tried to wrap it round a bollard, even though the helmsman was trying to get in the lock. There were two Australian couples on board, who rather gave the impression that the couple of days they must have taken to travel from Leighton Buzzard had tested their friendships! Still they took the locking very seriously, and were keen to pick up tips. They stopped at the services in search of a rubbish bin, and I carried on to the marina. There was a stiff breeze blowing but it wasn't in an unhelpful direction, so I was soon in our berth and secure. Fortunately, two boats on the outside of us are out, improving the view no end.
I made some check calls on the boat test, and also managed to set ul a couple more for later in the month (weather permitting). After lunch, Dave turned up with the Eber, and installed it back into its little cubby hole at the stern.
Dave is one of only about eight regional Eberspacher gurus around the country, so he really knows what he's doing. He was telling me that the idea is that engineers who are having problems with Ebers come to him for advice; if he's having problems fiximg something, he can go straight to the mother ship. He was also telling me about someone who took his Eber to an engineer who wasn't really sure what was wrong it, and who kept replacing perfectly good parts -- running up a four figure bill -- and still not fixing it. this chimes with something I heard a little while ago (it might have been at the Crick show) that Eberspacher are increasingly annoyed about unqualified people working on them, because their mistakes give them a bad name. So the lesson is, make sure whoever works on your Eberspacher knows what they're doing.
It was about 3pm by the time Dave left. Andy the photographer had sent me a link to the ohotos from yesterday, and I really wanted to download them -- but not on our mobile connection. So I drove to Tesco where there's a BT hotspot. I planned to have a tea at Costa there, but discovered I'd left my wallet on the boat, so I sat outside on a bench -- for 15 minutes! -- while the photos downloaded.
In spite of the forecast, it's hardly rained at all today. It has been very breezy, though. I have arranged a bit of exercise for tomorrow, but more of that then.
1 mile, 1 lock. (86 miles, 44 locks)