Sunday, 8 May 2016

Fettling before the off

Fetfling before the off
May 2016

You may be puzzled by the lack of boat movement and if you are not aware, this deserves some explanation.

Helen was diagnosed with cancer some months ago which resulted in successful surgery to remove the area concerned. Whilst she is healing well it has been deemed prudent to undergo a course of chemotherapy which will run from June to September - all of which put the kybosh on our summer travelling plans and effectively limits our boat movements (including trading) to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton Levels at best.

We never anticipated that this would be the way we use my sabbatical!

The new oak table in place

However, a window of opportunity has presented itself to latch onto the first BCNS Explorer Cruise of the season which passes through Aldridge tomorrow morning and, as usual, I am scheduled to lead the historical walk to Bradeley Workshops on Tuesday morning. As I have  the time I thought "why not make the trip by boat?" staying with the flotilla at Broadwaters and then again in Walsall before returning to base via the Wyrley and Essington.

The carbon monoxide alarm suggested by Bones

I am being supported by Fed, a boating friend so its very much a lads trip and just for the hell of it we are taking The Jam Butty out for a spin. Fred will sleep on the motor and I will enjoy the cozy environs of the butty back cabin for the first time.

An adaption to hold the cushions in place

In the meantime there was some washing and fixing to be done, including trying to squeeze some power into the butty battery (probably wrecked by a careless full discharge), fitting a carbon monoxide detector (less said about that problem the better - but three cheers for Waterways World) fitting a restraint for the new cushions and finally having another go at sealing a leaky corner of a window initially with creeping crack filler but most effectively with two inches of insulating tape!

The forecast is good but as I was preparing the boat it went from 24 degrees of sun to this in 5 minutes:

I have packed by shorts and my fleeces - I will let you know how we get on.

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