Thursday, 16 March 2017

Lapworth (spring cleaning the cratch)

What a gorgeous day Wednesday was but still no butterflies seen on my travels!  A bit of a poor show really, as ten different species have been seen around the UK already this year.  If I didn’t know any better I would be getting worried that my eyesight was beginning to fail me.

Our misty Wednesday morning mooring before the sun broke through

We are moored facing due south which means I have to move the solar panels several times a day to track the sun.  It feels like I’ve not had to do this before but I can’t believe we’ve always moored facing either east or west.

When the sun broke through I went for a bike ride with Buddy.  It seemed that everyone was out walking, both with and without dogs.  As we’ve been in the area for nearly seven weeks we have got to know a lot of people and most seem to want to stop and pass the time of day.

A really nice couple run the business that has taken over the old British Waterways offices at Lapworth junction (just up the lock behind us).  They have a Gordon Setter, called Bridie or Brodie, that gets on really well with Buddy.  They bring it to work every day and take turns taking him out for walks.  I can’t help wondering what they would do if any of their employees asked if they could bring their dogs to work.  Coincidentally the guy lived on a narrowboat in his early 20s and had a mooring at an old wharf on the Digbeth Branch canal in the centre of Birmingham.

In the afternoon we went for a walk along the Grand Union canal for a change.  The blackthorn blossom has really come on this week and was particularly in evidence along the walk we took.

Blackthorn tree in full blossom – could almost be snow

I spent most of the afternoon checking for condensation build up.  This is a regular job that must be done to ensure things are not getting damp and mouldy. As we live aboard we have many items stored away inside the boat which you wouldn’t have to if it were just a holiday boat.  Every space is taken up – under beds – under seating - below wardrobe floors etc.  As long as there is good ventilation then things tend to stay dry.  Sometimes items shift about, e.g. when the boat gets knocked, and then block off air circulation and thus causing the start of condensation.

I drilled out a few more air holes in a couple of places under our bed, just to be on the safe side, and then replaced everything.  After that I completely emptied the cratch and gave that a good spring clean.

Later in the afternoon Helen from nb Pipistrelle sent me a message saying that lock 30 has been opened ahead of schedule and she will be moving on to Stratford on Avon.  I am in two minds about when to set off down to Stratford.  I think we will probably stay here until Monday as we have a family get together over the weekend and we can have a top up of water and a pump out before moving on.  That way we can take our time without having to hurry to the next place for a pump out etc.

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