Monday, 16 October 2017

Lapworth (a little cruise, getting rid of the old batteries but forgetting something)

We’ve had some heavy stuff in the car for a while as we’ve been waiting to moor the boat somewhere with easy access.  Likewise, we still have the old batteries on the roof as we haven’t been close enough to the car to offload them.  Karen had the bright idea of taking the car into the CRT compound at Lapworth and getting it right next to the lock outside the office.  Having the boat in the lock would be an ideal place do all the transhipment – a bit like fuel boats when they deliver to lock cottages.

We went up one lock into the basin where I spun the boat round to pull up at the services.  I was going to get a pump out and so needed the right side of the boat to be alongside the service point.

Heading into the pretty basin

There’s often a lot of activity in the basin as boaters from the marina come down at the weekend to visit the services so it’s always good fun to watch people doing their reversing and turning manoeuvres, as long as no one is around to watch me of course 😉

Going into the lock up to the basin

After the pump out Karen went to bring the car down to the next lock and I reversed back into the basin and turned round to go into the lock.  There were a few gongoozlers around including four ladies who were very interested in how locks work.  They were staying in a holiday cottage for the weekend and had never seen a lock in operation before.  We let them help open the gates and they were delighted, taking it in turn to take pictures of each other.

Buddy off to see if any of the onlookers had any treats for him

Once we were in the lock and filled it up we transferred two large bags of dog food and more compost from the car onto the boat and then took the batteries off and loaded them into the car.  I say we, but I mean Karen, as we were being sensible about my back (still!).

We then went back down the lock, reversed back across the basin, back down the first lock and got back to our original mooring spot.  So we operated four locks only to end up back where we started!

Moored back where we started two hours earlier

After lunch we drove to the council tip at Solihull to dispose of the batteries.  It was only when we got there that I realised we had left all the bottles of old engine oil behind which was a bit foolish. They’ll have to stay in the engine bay until we’re next near a tip or boatyard that takes old oil. 

Later in the afternoon Karen washed, polished and waxed part of the boat.  The last time we did this was back in April this year at Luddington on the River Avon.  We only washed and polished it then but, with the bending, we both ended up putting our backs out so we’ve been putting it off ever since.

We decided to do a little section each weekend and used a little fold up table to prevent having to bend over.  What we really needed was a milkmaid’s stool but we don’t carry one of those on the boat for some reason.

A bit later on, when we were inside, there was a knock on the window.  It was Wendy with her new dog, Ziggy.  It was nice to see her; she and Austin were returning from having a few days on the boat and she was walking the last bit.  We had a good old chat as we hadn’t seen each other since March so there was a lot to catch up on.  In a few weeks they are going down to London to cruise the Rivers Lea and Stort as they hadn’t been there before.  We really enjoyed cruising those rivers and were really quite envious of them – it seems a lot more than the three years since we were there.  It was when we first got Buddy and we recalled how difficult it was to get him on the boat for the first time – it was at Ware in Hertfordshire. 

I’ve just looked at the forecast for today (Monday) and it’s meant to be sunny this afternoon with the temperature reaching 20 decrees – I clearly need to get the washing on!

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