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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

UPDATE...still blogging

Thought it time to update the blog although not to much has happened lately and i haven`t travelled any great distances. So sitting here on a wet afternoon having just fired up the stove with a couple of logs I`ll update you.

Normally i would be down south early November to be near family for Christmas but for personal reasons the journey south has been earlier this year and the intention was to go into London and up on the rivers Lee & Stort coming back late November. But the life of a continuous cruiser is the ability to change plans as and when you want.

Two years ago, click the link pictures much the same as this blacking Nov 12th 2007 Nb Valerie was hauled out of the murky depths of the Grand Union so that i could black her hull and so the time has come to lavish some TLC on her again in the hope that she would carry on giving the pleasure i have enjoyed in the past years. My chosen location for the blacking is once again Cow Roast as i find the open ended shed ideal with no worry of the rain stopping the painting and plenty of air flow to speed the drying between coats. Pressure washer and electric hook up and all boaters services make for an ideal location plus i can still get a Sky signal, yes Andy/Tina it is possible with dish re-location.

So with several w`end slots available i continued south with the Lee/Stort in mind stopping off here and there for a few days reaching Watford(Cassio Brg) where a week passed with visits to family and a cruise to Rickmansworth with 2 of the grandchildren who were allowed to bring mum & dad along brought me back to Cassio and that is where the plans changed. A boat turned up with a lady, yes ok i can hear you all but it`s not like that at all, who with the help of family and friends had managed to get her newly purchased boat through London to be near her home and was making her way to Cow roast to have some work done on the boat. It turned out the people selling the boat had failed to show the workings of the equipment on board and she was in need of some help. I managed to sort a few things out including cutting off the padlock after she left the keys on board one night, done that myself, and so i decided to travel back to Cow Roast with her and her daughter as they hadn`t actually operated any locks themselves and having booked my w`end slot for blacking Nb Valerie set off.
Lucy and daughter Phoebe thanks for the meals and i hope we stay friends and meet up again sometime.

So sitting here alone again the boat having just gone back in the water after applying 3 coats of blacking my thoughts are a trip along the Aylesbury arm which will be virgin waters for me.
While i was here i decided to get a Boat Safety Certificate test, bit like an MOT on cars. The certificate lasts 4 years and this would be my 1st test as the boat was covered for the 1st 4 yrs by a Recreational Craft Directive- Certificate of conformity issued by the builder. The test was done yesterday and covers things like ventilation, electrical wiring, fuel lines and most important in my opinion the gas system to name just a few. The cost was £130 but remember it lasts 4yrs and i don`t know the cost of MOT`s but i imagine 4 MOT`s equates about the same. Anyway i am glad to say Nb Valerie passed with flying colours.

Other bloggers heading south are Del & Al on Derwent6 who came aboard for a couple of coffees and a long chat having not seen each other for a few months. Thanks for the help with the little electrical problem guys.
The following day gave me time to chat with Ian from NB Nobby over tea who i last saw over a year ago, it`s so nice to meet up with people every now and again and exchange travel stories.

Still raining so a couple more almost free logs - just a little petrol for the chainsaw now and then- go on the fire and i`m warm and cosy with just a memory of those big winter gas bills in the house.
Now i`ve up- dated you all i will leave you with a few pics of things along the way and all being well the next blog will be along the Aylesbury Arm.

Just 16 feet long!

Solar powered hot water.

Just one of the huge Carp in the canal.

Kingfisher gives a rare pose.

The Herons are always up for a picture.

Lucy posing.

Here come the girls.

Up up and away in my beautiful balloon.

My Boat Safety Certificate

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NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs