Sunday, 14 April 2019

A week on the slip.

Every other year FL gets a week on dry land to have her bottom cared for. A good week for it weather wise allowing four coats on her bum, the gunnels and tunnel bands repainted too 

I also managed to rub down a rear cabin panel that has had two deep scratches in the paint, these have been there since before we owned the boat. They had been patched up but not effectively. 

Coming up the slip

Blasting crud off the hull.

Decided to sort out those cabin side scratches.

Scratches rubbed back and Aqua-steel applied before filling.

Panel rubbed down.


Waiting to go back in the water 

Friday, 5 April 2019

Hoo Mill

Stayed put at Burston yesterday as the wind and rain hammered the steel. Today is dry, much better for standing at the tiller, wind has abated too.

Sandon lock was our first lock of the year and of this trip, there would be two more this cruise, the quaintly named Hoo Mill lock would be the last. We also used four small aqueducts although they go unnoticed, just small bridges that let small brooks or streams pass under the canal - an indication of the complexities of building these canals by the navvies of the day.

Another two hour cruise tomorrow will get us in position for the slip out at Stafford boat club on Sunday.

Weston lock.

Dam boards.

Once we have taken the turn off the Trent & Mersey on to the Staffs & Worcestershire two larger aqueducts take FL over the river Trent.

FL has just turned off the T&M canal.

A three hour seven mile cruise.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

First cruise 2019

Sue did the last bit of supermarket shopping before we readied the boat for the first cruise of 2019.
Stones new canalside M&S.

Only a short cruise, 1.5 miles was all, but a fantastic trip, a cacophony of bird song accompanied us from the budding trees along the way and we were blessed with the presence of a kingfisher darting from tree to tree along our route. It's good to be back.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Changed your clocks?

We have been back aboard in the marina for a couple of weeks, the mediterranean sunshine seems yonks ago, rain and wind from named storms have battered the boat, but today is sunny and thoughts turn to a list of jobs I want to get done before we leave at the end of the March.

We had a boat full for the last day of the Six Nations Rugby, Wales (Roly) Scotland (Fergie) England (Me & Sue) and Ireland (Dot & Me) were represented. The Welsh contingent was a very happy man and a little bit wobbly on his way home a few feet away.

I rigged the 12v fuel pump from the spares box, a length of copper pipe, some tubing and cable/clips to drain the bottom of the fuel tank to test for water and the dreaded fuel bug, happy to report that the fuel is all clear.

Much easier with this and no chance of getting a mouthful of red diesel

My homemade tank drainer clips on to the starter battery. Copper pipe reaches to the tank bottom - clear hose to a suitable container.

The cratch board was rubbed down and accidentally painted with ebony ronseal that I use for the engine boards instead of the mahogany ronseal I would normally use. The cover had a coat of waterproofing too.

On a sunny Friday we had afternoon tea at Weston Hall, along with the usual sandwiches, cakes and scones they do a gentleman's afternoon tea which was excellent - no poncy sandwiches with their crusts removed.


Next week we set sail for Stafford to have FL hauled out of the water for blacking, it doesn't seem like two years have passed since we last had her out on the slip.

Friday, 15 March 2019


'Hi Guys, it's all over'

Was the last message we received from Paul two days before he died.
Succinct and to the point as always

We will miss him and remember him.

Some lovely blogs honouring Paul

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

New year

It was a quiet new years eve for us only broken by the fireworks that woke us up at midnight!

We needed clear heads for the first day of 2019 to take part in the new years day dip, a phenomenon that is played out on beaches  the world over.

A bracing start to the new year, there are many places warmer than the Med to take the plunge and a considerable amount a lot cooler.

I used to be towel man as I watched Sue taking a swim in the Irish sea on this day year after year - I could never be tempted to bare skin in those frigid temperatures.

Here in Mojacar  in honour of our mate Elaine McBride who this annual event is named, around 100 dippers took the plunge to raise money for good causes. Organised by Brad the unofficial mayor of this parish and his wife Ann. Well done to them both.