Sunday 26 May 2013

Hot and sunny Crick for a change

Chris and I have been enjoying the sunshine at Crick boat show this weekend. We've been going to Crick for 5 years now and the last two years it poured with rain.  This year we went armed with rain coats and jumpers but most unlike Crick, it was hot, the sky was clear blue so we walked around in t-shirts, and the coats and jumpers were left behind in the car
Wall to wall sunshine draws in the crowds
There were the usual companies present but a few well known ones were notably missing.

Fernwoods were present with the lovely Priscilla, a nicely laid out semi trad (sorry fella's Priscilla is a boat, a good looking one at that).  The purple and black colours looked stunning in the sunshine and her interior did not disappoint.

The grass bank starts to fill with those taking the weigh off their feet for a while
Just as we were about to leave yesterday we came across a pair of well known little doggies sporting natty Union Jack kerchiefs by the food stalls.  Bombo and Sam were taking a well earned rest while Paul and Elaine (Manly Ferry AKA Caxton) enjoyed the sunshine and a pint.  We were so intent on catching up on each others news I forgot to take a photo, ( I do apologise Bombo and Sam fans).  It was great meeting Paul and Elaine and lovely to see Bombo and Sam looking happy and content.  They are clearly enjoying this boating lark.

Today Chris and I returned to the Fernwood stand on the dot of 10am as we had arranged a viewing before it got busy but had already been beaten to the post by people keen to see inside so there was a lot of interest around Priscilla whilst Ken and Julia were busy as ever showing people around the boat.  We were then introduced to Tony and Sue who own The Old Masters, recently built by Fernwoods.  Tony and Sue have a super boat with all the usual quality of workmanship one is accustomed to with Fernwood boats.  Our thanks to  Tony and Sue for showing us around.  We chatted about their boat and our plans and before we knew it half the day had passed.  We said our thank you's and then hit the stalls at the show.  

Well by the end of the day we had our hands full of goodies so I think our bank manager is not going to be a happy bunny as we rather hammered the bank card somewhat.  I have to say we were a little extravagant and purchased a beautiful (and expensive) glass art piece made by a young lady who's studio is on her narrow boat  the floating pod.  Despite the cost we both fell in love with it and we simply could not resist.  I have to add this photo does not do it the justice it deserves.  The attention to the fine detail is not evident in this picture.

The work depicts snow on trees in a forest and is mostly grays, black and whites so fits in with our colour scheme beautifully.  Kate, the artist, was inspired by the recent snow in a woods near where she was moored at the time and is absolutely delighted the work is going on a narrow boat.  She informed us the three sections should be displayed as we see fit and is only mounted on the board this way for display and transportation purposes.  We have just the place for it in mind but you will have to wait and see where it ends up.  We did walk away with the intention of buying if it was still there later in the day but neither of us wanted the chance it would sell so we did and about turn and.....

At the end of a fantastic weekend Chris headed of south  to visit her mum and I have come home to finish painting the garage as it rained before I could finish it.  Not sure what would have been better....... visit mother-in-law.......... painting....... ummm difficult one.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Loggerheads and Money trees

Hi All,
After the excitement of AmyJo's move to Fernwoods we have had our friends Derek and Vicky staying with us for a long weekend.  They live just up the road from where we used to live in Essex and  Derek has been very good in helping me replace the roof on my garage as the tin roof was sweating so bad everything inside was getting wet.

After the roof was completed we had a day in hand to spare before they returned to Essex and as the weather was behaving itself we decided to go to the Loggerheads country park for a walk.

Brilliant Cycle racks

Interesting Caves

Chris and Derek take in Devil's Gorge

The long climb up hill

Whilst walking past the caves we came across evidence money trees actually do exist though I doubt this one will be much use.  This tree trunk was covered in coins along its 12ft length.  The coins had been hammered into it somehow so they could not be removed.  One can only surmise this was to appease the devil of the gorge


Chris takes the more interesting way down.

After a leisurely 4 mile walk we wanted to do something else so I suggested we tried something I had wanted to do for a long time, so, as we both were getting canal withdrawal symptoms, we then went on and had a stroll along the Pontcysyllte aqueduct   We passed over this in a hire boat some years ago but never had chance to walk it.  Having not long celebrated it's 200 year birthday the aqueduct still does not leak a drop to this day.

A crew of Canadians marvel at the sight unfolding before them

Chirk aquaduct in the distance
A popular photograph

Chris and Vicky start the return walk as another group of Canadians pass over the aqueduct

Whilst in Trevor basin we met fellow bloggers Julie and her husband (sorry did not get your name) on The Cats Whiskers We had a quick chat as they winded their boat before looking for a mooring for the night.

We have not much to report on AmyJo for now but are looking forward to Crick next weekend, then we have a meeting with Fernwoods planned after that.

Hope you are all well and enjoying the warmer weather.


Friday 10 May 2013

Part 2 - Arrival at Fernwood boats

After 2 hours on the road AmyJo's lorry pulled her into Fernwoods yard.  Tucker's driver did a superb job getting her there and she arrived without a mark on her not that we thought it would be otherwise.   The crane was soon bought into service and the strops placed once more on AmyJo's hull to lift her off the lorry.

I find it fascinating that they place the strops and lift having always placed them in the right spot so the hull is perfectly balanced.  Comes from doing it every day I suppose.


Now she had arrived Ken and the crew had to make room for her in their workshop.  It so happened that the day was also launch day for the newly finished nb "One Vision".  One Vision's owners had waited patiently for their boat to be pulled out but they had to wait for AmyJo's lorry to be able to take their boat.

One Vision was carefully pulled out of the workshop and it soon became apparent to both Chris, One Vision's owners and myself that AmyJo was blocking the way for Tuckers to completely remove and turn One vision.  No problem said the crane driver and lifted One vision higher and higher until....

We all held our breath and hearts skipped a beat as a small gust of wind gently rocked One Vision and she started to dip towards AmyJo's roof

We need not have worried though, luckily Tuckers guys were on the ball and levelled One Vision out but it was close and they soon had her settled safely on the waiting lorry

From where I was standing it looked like AmyJo had become a double decker canal boat...ummm interesting concept but the bridges might be an issue I guess.

With One Vision safely on the lorry attention returned to AmyJo and she was moved into the workshop

 Once again Ian was trying to convince everyone he was levitating AmyJo but none of us were having any of it

 It was a tight squeeze getting her in but all went well.  Once inside and with a final help pushing her to one side (on rollers I might add) she had well and truly arrived

Now we look forward to AmyJo's fit out but before that, and carefully on my part, hidden from camera they have to finish preparing their latest boat in readiness for Crick boat show.  Chris and I got a sneak preview before we left for home and can say she looked fantastic.  I think she may well be a contender for the best boat award this year.  But you will have to visit the show and see for yourself.   We will be there on Saturday and Sunday with a growing shopping list in hand.  Somehow I don't think my bank manager is going to have me on his Christmas card list this year!

So excitement over for now and we are not sure how often we'll have photos of the build for you but please do come back from time to time as we will be keeping you all updated when we can.  If you are at Crick and you see us please say hello won't you.  Thanks also for your comments we really appreciate them

Oh nearly forgot.  The saga of the escaped lion?   Was not to be I'm glad to say.  I have it on good authority from a friend who works at the zoo that Chester's three lions, Iblis, Kumari and Kiburi are so lazy they could not be bothered to try and escape, however, our local news paper has the story :-

My thanks to NeilR for the link to the report.  Did have us going for a while though.


Thursday 9 May 2013

Living close to Chester zoo is fun....not

The good thing about living a few hundred yards from a zoo like we do is getting to see lovely animals whenever we want.  We even occasionally get free complementary tickets to visit the zoo

But then again the bad thing about living close to a zoo like we do is reading on Facebook that a lion has apparently escaped tonight and the Police have had a helicopter in the air for over an hour searching for it!

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Amyjo's most excellent Journey.

Well what a fantastic time for us the last 24 hours have been.  As I posted last night we left home after work and arrived at Alexander boats at 7pm.  Jim Sparks was keen for us to see AmyJo before all the activity next morning so let us in for a preview, what do you think folks, not bad heh?

We were just stunned at how much Jim had done in a short space of time.

This morningt was up at 6.30am and breakfast at the hotel followed by a short dash to Alexander boats for 8am.  When we got there the crane and lorry were already in place

We arrived just in time for AmyJo to see the light of a mizzley grey day.  It was a little damp but luckily only light rain.

Jim backed AmyJo out very carefully on rollers.

The guys from Tuckey's got the strops in place very quickly and efficiently and then the crane took the strain

 And up she goes

 Jim guided the stern round while Ian practiced what looks like the art of levitation but its didn't fool us for one minute though

A breath holding moment as the crane swung AmyJo round into position for the lorry

as the bows only just clear the door

AmyJo takes to the air while she waits for the lorry to back under her.

Safely down and ready for the straps.  Then as the heavens opened we took to the road

And that was that.  AmyJo was off on her road trip.  I'll post some more photos later of her arrival at Fernwoods and her very close encounter with another boat that nearly ended up sat on her roof.