Tuesday 27 October 2009

A Wet Weekend!

Friday 23rd October 2009
Arrived at the marina at 7.30pm after a reasonable drive in what was reported to be the busiest day on the roads this year.

Saturday 24th October 2009
Heavy rain and strong winds dissuaded us from venturing out in the boat. Instead we had a ride in the car over the M6 to Wolverhampton to pick up a rechargeable lantern from Go Outdoors that will make a suitable lamp for the rear deck when arriving in the dark. We paid a visit to the marina office on the way out to pay for the next 12 months moorings – not a cheap weekend; although we have benefited from the lower rate of VAT.
The intention to have an evening walk down to Great Haywood Junction was thwarted again by the weather so instead we opted to have a steak on the boat and watch a DVD in front of the stove.

Sunday 25th October 2009
Up early (assisted by the clocks going back) and after breakfast we took a drive up to Aston Marina (just south of Stone) and unsurprisingly the marina is still far from finished (although 50% of it is in water) – despite the press notifications that is was ready to receive boats. The marina, when finished, looks to have a lot of potential with a creative design and good facilities. I also observed the new opportunity for travelling boats to wind below Aston Lock, by using one of the new marina entrances. This should prove to be an excellent facility for boats not wanting to go right into Stone before turning. En-route home we chose to travel up the M6 and call in at Middlewich as there was to be a boat rally on 23rd-25th October. We parked up in Middlewich and walked the canal from the junction down to “The Big Lock” and it was clear the poor weather on the Friday and Saturday had taken its toll on boat numbers. Apart from the Fudge Boat and Ivan with his working pair there were few notable moorers. We then continued home.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

A Short Weekend

Friday 9th October

Arrived at the marina late as a result of a late finish from work.
Despite it being cold and drizzly, and travelling down from the North East in busy traffic conditions. it was, as usual, a trip that is easy to enjoy as it always results in a rewarding outcome. (The journey back on a Sunday evening is a completely different feeling however!).

Saturday 10th October

A lovely day, sunny and mild for this time of year. After a lazy start, followed by bacon sandwiches, we moved the boat across the marina to the diesel filler and topped up the tank (160ltrs). Made the usual ‘finger-in-the air’ guess at what percentage of the fuel was to be liable to tax – settling on 50-50 – a more than generous offering to Gordon. After parting with some hard earned we couldn't resist burning off some of the ‘tax-liable stuff’ by cruising down to Tixall. We winded at the wide and travelled back to the marina.
The crew of Kaspra our neighbouring boat, a boat with whom we share a 15ft gap on the jetty, had arrived for the weekend and were about to depart. We commented on how better co-ordinated our respective arrival and departure could have been, (as it is obviously so much easier to get in and out of the berth when the neighbouring boat is absent), and vowed to co-ordinate better in the future.
We then set about the intended improvement for this weekend and applied a coat of yacht varnish to the ten internal porthole reveals. During last winter, when temperatures outside were drastically different from inside we noticed a misting of condensation could form on the oak lining around in the porthole reveal; presumably as a result of the reduced insulation at this point. In this situation we thought it would be prudent to improve the protection to the oak. Despite the job being fiddly it only took a couple of hours. We also took the opportunity to varnish the oak lining on the underside of the rear hatch as the original spray applied varnish doesn’t hold up as well as brush applied in vulnerable areas.
Just before dark, Brian and Bridgett, the crew of out other neighbouring boat (nb. Bovett’s Harvest Too), arrived back into the marina. They had been missing from the Marina since May and confirmed they had enjoyed a great trip around the network and really didn’t want to return home.

Sunday 11th October

The weather was drizzly first thing; and as we both had work to do before Monday we left the marina at around 11.00am in order to give us adequate time at home on the desktop PCs - very sad but we have to pay the bills somehow! Hope to be back soon without the same distractions.