Feeling reflective on Buddy’s pre-breakfast walk on Wednesday morning
Once the morning jobs were out of the way on Wednesday there was nothing for it but to get the pump out done once and for all.
Poor old Buddy must be getting confused with these mini short cruises every day, half of each one going backwards. I had found my grommet that I use for these occasions when pump out machines don’t have enough suction so I was in a hopeful frame of mind.
I’ve been subjected to pump outs and their workings for the last few days so you’re not going to escape either!
The silver disc on the gunwale, in the picture below, unscrews and the grommet goes into the exposed hole and the pump out hose into the grommet to make an airtight seal.
The pump out machine
Anyway, it was third time lucky and I managed to get the machine to work properly. It could have done with a few minutes longer but at least we now have a practically empty tank.
I took the boat back to the same mooring we have been at all week and decided to go for a long walk with Buddy to celebrate.
We walked south down the Stratford canal, checking out likely places to moor that would be near convenient parking spots for Karen.
I mentioned the other day that SONACS (the Stratford on Avon Canal Society) have placed mile markers along the length of the canal from Kings Norton down to Stratford. The original mile posts are sometimes still in place but without any signage.
Originally there were also half mile markers and some of these can still be seen.
This buzzard stayed around long enough for me to get a fuzzy shot – quite unusual especially as I had a dog with me
When we got to Lowsonford I bumped into Sally who was carrying water bottles from the water point down to her boat. I carried one for her and we chatted as we walked along. She is the other half of Peter who Karen and I met when they were stranded in the middle of the Hatton flight whilst it was closed for winter maintenance. As they both work in Warwick it was quite fortuitous for them at the time.
Just past their boat is the spot that Karen and always like mooring up at for a few days. We won’t be mooring up there on our way down this time as it was so muddy.
Hopefully, by the time we come back up the canal after staying in Stratford for a while it will be well into spring and everything should have dried out and we will get our mooring spot back. It started raining just before we got home and we spent the rest of the day indoors.
Fortunately for Karen she has been at work all week during the pump out saga – she always keeps well away when that job is going on and I don’t blame her. I was reminded of a conversation Karen and I had with boat friends once (they will remain nameless for obvious reasons). We asked the female who did the toilet duties on their boat and she replied, “Oh, it’s me, he’s far too much of a princess for that sort of thing”. It has always tickled me and for those of you who know Mike and Aileen you will know it’s not them, even though Aileen loves writing about it in their blog and always takes pictures of stockpiled toilets when passing the Armitage Shanks factory on the Trent & Mersey canal (as do I).
Reflective signpost on Buddy’s pre-dinner walk on Wednesday evening