Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a difference a week makes….

I’ve just realised it’s been a week since I posted last. Sorry to all those who log on regularly, but we’ve not had a lot to report. At last the weather seems to be improving, although it’s cooler the rain seems to have eased for a while.
This means that it’s PAINTING weather, but more of that later.

Lets see; since last Wednesday; the coalman rang and said he’d deliver on Thursday afternoon, so we moved the few hundred yards to the water point near the BW maintenance depot, filled up with water and topped up just as the delivery arrived. I feel a lot better now we’ve got fuel stacked on the roof. We look like proper live-aboards again.

We took the boat down to the junction with the derelict Derby Canal and turned around to return to where we moored for the last couple of nights. The short stub of the canal that remains in water is used as a base for Swarkestone Boat Club, but they’ll have to relocate if the planned restoration of the canal goes ahead.

The boat club at the junction with the Derby Canal
The canal is dry from the first bridge on, but the route for the first mile or so is clearly defined. The towpath has been adopted as a cycle way.
One of the obstacles; the A50 crosses at what would be water level.
Further on there must have been an aqueduct crossing this stream which would need to be reinstated.
I didn’t go any further, the route disappears into a mass of new residential development. It goes into Derby, linking up with the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre. When restored it would be part of a short ring, taking in a bit of the Trent, and the Erewash and the Trent and Mersey canals.
Saturday we moved back to Willington for the services, and I indulged myself on Sunday night with a takeaway from Happy Garden. I reckon this is the best Chinese takeaway we’ve come across.

Back to Willington.
On Monday we retraced our steps, back through Stenson and stopped above Swarkestone Lock, then, after Carol arrived yesterday morning, moved down through Swarkestone Lock and moored just below. There’s a good concrete edge to the canal here, ideal for working on the boat.

Swarkestone Lock. You wouldn’t want to fill it this fast with a boat in!
Catching up with the gossip in the lock
We did a bit of final preparation work in the afternoon, then today it was mask the windows, wipe down the panels, and get painting.

The first coat goes on…
And is finished an hour later.
“What’s all the fuss about… it’s only a bit of paint….”
Weather permitting another coat will go on tomorrow, then we’ll move towards Shardlow, find another suitable spot and do the other side.

This week the Royal Yachting Association, British Marine Federation and Inland Waterways Association issued a joint statement outlining how red diesel pricing will be dealt with come November 1st. The full statement is here, but the gist is that boaters will be asked to declare the proportions of fuel used for propulsion and domestic purposes. The supplier then works out the cost, domestic use fuel at the same duty rate as now (9ppl+5% VAT), propulsion use at the higher rate of (50.2ppl+17.5%VAT).

I’ve been keeping a log of usage since March, and this indicates that we have a split of 53/47, propulsion/domestic. If a boater is unable to declare their own proportions, a split of 60/40 will be assumed.

Locks 3, miles 6

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