Tuesday 14 October 2014

One man and his boat.

Gosh is it really so long since I last blogged.  We've been so busy of late we've barely had a free evening.  The sailing club AGM is coming up in November so numerous meetings and visits had to be made to start getting every thing in place.  If you have been a club Secretary you know how busy AGMs are to prepare for.

Not much has been happening on the boating front.  Since our trip to Bunbury until last weekend.  We have been doing little jobs around AmyJo like putting up a key holder, re calibrating the water level as it was inaccurate (those indicators are never accurate) but at least now it shows full when full and empty when low.

One major event that did happen was I replaced my Honda Jazz with a new car, a Vauxhall Astra Sports tourer on a 63 plate.  Its a 10 month old demonstrator but with good spec.

This is the Astra Sports Tourer in the same colour as mine
Being a 1.7TDI diesel its much more economical at 54.9 mpg than the Jazz's 42mpg, is more comfortable and roomy, but has much more get up and go.  Its performance is quite stunning considering its a diesel.

It has been a while since Chris has visited her mum so last weekend Chris and Joanne took the Astra and went south to spent some time with Mary.

Mary looks better every time we see her
Mary Seems to be thriving in the home and always has a smile for the camera.  

Meantime back on AmyJo I took the free time on Saturday to give the engine room a tidy.  I removed the last of the coolant from the engine bed and checked the antifreeze level.  It was still a bit low so I topped it up some more.  The stern door hinges were starting to get very stiff so I removed the doors, greased the pins and replaced the doors.  They swing much easier now.

As winter cometh and the temperature was now a lot lower at night it was time to wake the little Hobbit and in a short time it was keeping AmyJo warm and cosy.  I'm still not comfortable leaving it burning when we're not on the boat so its only on at weekends while the Eberspacher heater does during the week

That evening our mooring neighbour, Sheila and her partner Paul, invited us both over to the marina bar for a drink.  Being the sociable type it would be rude of me to decline so I joined them explaining where Chris was.  A a very pleasant evening was had indeed.  Needless to say it was the wee small hours before I returned to the warmth of AmyJo.

On Sunday it dawned cold but without a cloud in the sky nor breath of wind.  The sun soon burnt off the mist and at 10am I felt confident enough to slip the mooring lines and motor out of the marina on my own.  

Cold crisp sunny morning at Tattenhall
I'm still not sure if I can single hand a lock yet so turned right and enjoyed a short cruise down to the Shady Oak where I moored up. 
It was the strangest of feeling cruising without Chris but, alone with my thoughts and AmyJo,  I crept along in a world of my own with the cut virtually to myself and no boat in sight.

First trip down the Shroppie on my own
With lovely clear sky and sun warming my back
 It was still a bit chilly so a jumper was required but when the sun was clear of the trees its warmth was so apparent.  The wind stayed calm all day so made for a very pleasant cruise.   Feeling quite proud of my achievement I celebrated with a cuppa on mooring up.   I then spent the afternoon lazing in the cratch watching the world go by with classic FM on the radio. Life doesn't come much better.  

Later Amy and boy friend Rob joined me and accompanied me on the return cruise back to the marina which they enjoyed immensely. I was even treated to one of Amys excellent bacon butties along the way.   Problem was she set off the smoke detector and a poor couple walking along the tow path were not sure if it was a bugler alarm.  They looked quite relieved when I explained but were disappointed we did not offer them a buttie.  

Meanwhile Rob had put another log on the fire.  It must have been a bit damp as soon after AmyJo had a better head of white smoke pouring from her chimney than a steam from a locomotive. I would loved to have had a photo from the tow path at that point.  I was quite relieved when it dispersed back to the usual shimmer.

We have a weeks cruise booked and will be heading out on 26th November.  We plan to head off along the Llangollen so we'll see how far we get.

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