I took advantage of the fine weather on Sunday and yesterday morning to do a bit of paintwork tidying. The black paint below the gunwales was looking a bit shabby after a winter of knocks and scrapes, and the aft bilge and swim was in need of some TLC too.
Sanded and spot-primed ready for rubbing back
Rust scraped and cleaned ready for 2 coats of Hammerite.
Aft bilge done.
I was planning to get a coat of black on the right side as well this morning before we moved down to Middlewich, but the showery forecast put me off. I shouldn’t have taken any notice of the weatherman; we’ve only had a gentle sprinkle which hardly even reached the ground.
In between the painting Meg and I have been chatting to the locals…
The grebes are a bit shy…
…and the swans are a bit anti-social…
…but the cygnets are cute!
Yesterday afternoon we were lashed by heavy showers, which put an end to any further work outside.
I could happily have stayed at the flashes another day, but we’d run out of bread and were down to a cupful of milk. The former I could have dealt with, but I can’t make milk!
So this morning we were away at around half ten, after I’d reclipped the pipework and cabling I’d shifted to paint in the engine ‘ole.
Looking back at the flash, really a very pleasant mooring.
Don’t be fooled by the inviting expanse of water on the right, It’s only a foot deep!
Whatcroft Lodges are always well worth a photo.
A beautiful wooded stretch above the River Dane.
Great Crested Grebe and zebra-striped grebelings
No-one moored at the popular Brambles Cutting, but I’m sure there would have been last night.
We stopped at the household waste site on the edge of Middlewich to dispose of several containers of used engine oil, then followed two boats around the corner to Middlewich Big Lock. While they were going up we topped up the water tank at the handy tap below the lock, then joined NB White Harriett to go up ourselves.
We moored near the small park, and I studied the sky with a view to doing the paintwork I’d planned for this morning. But I got talking to the couple on the boat in front…
They’d just come back from collecting their two wire haired terriers from the local dog groomer. I’d been considering getting Meg clipped, she gets quite hot with all that hair in the warmer weather. So I called Sarah at Waggs Boutique (really???) and she was able to fit us in this afternoon. I dropped her off after being told in no uncertain terms by Mags to make sure she wasn’t scalped, then went shopping before picking her up again 90 minutes later.
I nearly didn’t recognise her; she looks a lot smaller shorn! We discussed it on the way home and came to the same conclusion – Mum’s not going to be happy!
She wasn’t. But It’ll grow again, and she’ll be a lot more comfortable if it’s hot, and a lot easier to dry if it’s wet. And it’s barely long enough to tangle and form mats.
Another call I made was to Dave at Taft Wharf, down near Rugeley. As we were heading north I noticed that he was doing Boat Safety Scheme examinations at £100.
That’s considerably cheaper than the going rate of around £150. The BSS is the boat equivalent of an MOT test, but only needs doing every 4 years. Our second check is due at the end of the month.
We weren’t expecting to be passing on the way back, but as we are now, I wanted to make sure he’d be available. No problem there.
It’s going to be wet overnight and tomorrow, so we’ll be stopping here, moving on to Wheelock on Thursday.
Locks 1 miles 4