Thursday, 9 February 2017

Lapworth (was this the last of the pump out saga?)

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.

The grommet

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.

Pump out point on the gunwale.  Breather on the hull below.

The pump out machine

The hose

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.

Proof that we’re now empty!

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.

One of the original mileposts alongside a SONACS one.

Originally there were also half mile markers and some of these can still be seen.

13 ½ and 14 ½ mile markers

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.

Muddy towpath alongside one of our preferred mooring spots

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


  1. Glad to read you've sorted out your PO problems. Was the water tap working? The pressure there is never great and it's further reduced if someones having a shower at the facilities.
    That looks like genuine GW bridge rail in those distance marker pics.
    I think I forgot to say that the bar in the Navigation is dog friendly but perhaps you have found that out already.
    NB 'Red Wharf'

    1. Thanks again SamThe water wasnt working on Monday so I ended up going up the lock to the enxt point. I don't want to worry you bt I haven't seem your boat anywhere

    2. Yup - seen Red Wharf this morning :)

  2. Hi Neil,
    Regarding the grommet may I asked where you sourced it from? I have been trying find something similar without luck.
    nb Bottom of Arden

  3. Hi Geoff. From Shobnall boatyard on T&M (well Bond End canal technically speaking). The only place I have seen them. Can't remember how much but not a lot. Cheers, Neil