Tuesday 26 May 2015

How Time Flies when you having fun

Wow is it really over a month since our last blog!! No wonder our reader has deserted us.

Where to begin, oh yes. Our cruise back from Barbridge was uneventful and in good weather. We got back to Tattenhall a little after 3pm. After topping up with diesel and pumping our the nasties we backed AmyJo onto her berth. Now its back to reality again.

Approaching very quiet Bunbury Locks

By Chas Harden's wharf  Saturn and her tow passed us by
 At one of the locks as we worked the lock an irate boater berated us for not waiting for them.  They had been following us until we passed through Calverley services.  They had not emerged from the bridge 'ole so we had assumed they had stopped at there and so after a wait we started to work the lock knowing no one was behind us.  

Just as AmyJo descended half way the boater appeared an grumbled about not waiting for them. We explained why we had not waited but promised to wait for them at the next lock, Beaston Stone lock. He was still not happy.  We waited in the glorious sunshine for them.  It took well over 20 minutes for them to arrive after AmyJo entered the lock.  The gents wife as very apologetic letting us know it really was not our fault as they had stopped for a newspaper at Calverley services.  He was stunned when they rounded the corner to see AmyJo still in the lock and us waiting.  His attitude changed for the better as a result.

Chris enjoying the sunshine while we wait for the other boat

This family had found a lovely spot for a picnic

Now we're back to our routine of work but with the less free time due to rushing about on the river Dee as the sailing season is now in full swing. Tuesday evenings we are racing in our Enterprise dinghy, whilst as an adult instructor, Thursday nights have seen me out on the water teaching the latest batch of people the basics of handling a sailing dinghy. They did well considering the windy conditions of the last few weeks but I have gained a few more grey hairs.

Two weeks ago there was an exodus of our mooring neighbours as Sheila on nb Abbey Rose, Jacky and Irene on nb Duck's Deluxe, along with Joe and Dave on nb Third and Final headed out of the marina on their annual cruise to Liverpool docks, this time to see the 3 queens sail into Liverpool. We are planning to join them for the day next weekend.

Dave and Joe on Third and Final lead the way

Followed by Irene and Jacky on Ducks Deluxe

With Paul and Sheila on Abbey Rose as rear guard
AmyJo looking slightly lonely

On board AmyJo I have continued my experiments with the fitting of secondary glazing for the Houdini Hatches using the same method as the port holes. This has turned out to be surprisingly effective. The perspex keeps condensation at bay but also allows the light from the hatches into the cabin. I do find it odd that the 4mm thick perspex appears to be even more effective than the 2 inch thick foam. This may also coincide of course with the warmer evenings and the fact we rarely light the Hobbit fire now. The Erberspacker heater on 3 hours in the evening being sufficient. Only time and the depths of winter will show if the perspex is really working I guess.

You cannot see the Perspex only the rubber surround in this photo
We are also getting round to thinking about solar panels now for when we are cruising longer when retired. I've been trawling the internet and have come up with a lockable top box design for the panels. The top box will be the standard design with a slightly pitched top with two hinged solid lids. On top of these lids will sit more hinged panels with the solar panel mounted on each one. It would be a simple case of lifting one panel up to angle it for the sun leaving both  Solar panels on the box angled as required. Not sure who we're getting the solar panels from just yet but Onboard Solar seems to have what we want and will fit them too. My plan is to have two boxes taking 2 100W panels each. This should give us about 400W when optimal and be sufficient for our needs. I'll post more on this later.

We'll not be cruising AmyJo for this weekend as, being the Bank Holiday, we have a full itinerary ahead of us. First, on Saturday we will be boarding the Belmond Orient Express train to Bristol and back as part of my works 35 year service award. The Belmond express boasts a champaign breakfast on the way out, a tour of the SS Great Britain then a 5 course dinner on the return trip. Best get my best bib and tucker on for that I guess :-)

On Sunday and Monday we're heading South like thousands of others and will of course be "doing Crick". We love wandering round the show and look forward to meeting friends old and new, so if you spot us run a mile do say hello we do so love meeting people. We have been for several years now and know the reputation with the weather that comes with the show. Lets hope the forecast is accurate as when I last looked it was looked like it will be fine. Sadly AmyJo will be home alone as we cannot convince our bosses a month off is a great idea to cruise her to Crick, that will have to wait for another year or so.

That all for now but we hope to see you if you're heading for crick. Look us up on the Fernwood stand, we'll be around abouts or you can ask them to contact us if you want to meet up. We'd be delighted to meet you.

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