Sunday, 9 May 2010

Slow boat to nowhere

Slow Boat to Nowhere
May 2010

I know some people take their boating slowly, but for us last weekend was something of a record. Two days to travel three miles!

Jeff was away on camp which left Belle and I unexpectedly on our own, and where better to spend the time than on the boat?  The thing was, Belle was mid assignment for her Masters and needed to keep her head down, and I fancied attending to a spot of much needed paintwork DIY so we opted for staying close to home.

NB Caernarfon

I had sanded and primed the gunnels the week before so when we arrived on Saturday afternoon there was just enough time to apply a coat of red gloss and blacking to one side at the marina before trundling a couple of miles down the canal for the night. The plan was to christen the new boat BBQ, but as I tied up the heavens opened and showed no sign of letting up so that endeavour will have to wait for a drier evening.

Sunday dawned cold with a northerly wind, but no rain so we decamped to a favourite painting spot where I can reach down to the waterline and on went a first coat on the other side. The weather held long enough to get two coats of Ferrari Red on both sides whereupon a gleaming Wand'ring Bark moved on to the Fox and Anchor at Coven for an evening meal.

This boating game is a sociable and close knit affair. Derwent 6 was at the pub moorings and by an amazing coincidence we moored nose to nose with an identical boat for the Floating Homes stable. The paint job is identical to the original Wand'ring Bark, and she lives at Great Haywood.

Narrowboat Caernarfon was also out from Calf Heath. This is a really distinctive boat looking like a traditional butty, but with a cunning propulsion system built into the full sized rudder. It is driven by hydraulics and if you look at the photo carefully, there is a little underwater uxter plate to minimise cavitation. The stern is both beautiful, unusual and ingenious all at the same time.

Come the Monday Morning I finished by engine adjustments and was about to head back to Calf Heath when along came Robber Button. It's the first time we had seen S&D out on the water so in they came for coffee and a good long chat. 

With that the weekend was over, as always it was far too short and what had taken us two days on the outward journey took a bere 40 mins.
And the paint job? Well, I predicted that it wouldn't stay intact for the journey home and I was right. Another boat approached a blind bridge a bit fast and couldn't quite stop before he hit me. The first of many scratches I am sure.

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