This is Steve & Viv Carter's log of the trips and travails on the narrowboat Adagio – liveaboards from October 2015. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)”
Well, was it being back in marina land with all the people living so close or perhaps the break in the weather – don’t know but we have escaped. Poppy Eyebright was due to come too, in fact it was their idea but prescription problems held them up – we may still see them soon, hope so.
So, a test drive for the boat – will it leak? How does it feel?
In fact the boat does feel different – maybe it’s the smooth hull gliding through the water? Maybe the prop being a cm further out? Don’t know but it is nice to be out again. Just an hour’s chugging along to bridge 27 – ideal for so many reasons: peace & quiet, good angle for the solar panels, a wood nearby for Toby and just the hour away. The boat had no leaks and we felt less under stress. Yes, a few days here would be great.
Here’s Bridge 27 – the marina is near Bridge 18, so not far!
After what seemed a very long week, with sanding down, 2 coats of enamel paint plus Gary doing the blacking. Monday came around and it was time to go back in the water. Not a moment too soon as it was weird being 10 feet up in the air. It was very peaceful with no one around you but a bit odd not being afloat. Monday saw drizzly rain ALL DAY! With the bow being lower than usual, the rain poured into the cratch making everything wet, ugh. Then the tractor wouldn’t start. In fact they couldn’t get it started until 3 pm when the farmer’s lads came over with a pick up truck and used chunky booster cables. Then the green boat trailer was slid back underneath and we were away:
A cooler day today – Friday – and the end is in sight! All the major paintwork has been completed. Gary has done an excellent job on the blacking and Viv & I have had a go at the grey enamel paint above the waterline – 2 coats and it’s not too bad – “a blind man would be pleased to see it” as our old friend in Devizes used to say.
Two coats of black – including the rudder and weed box – got Viv’s national flag flying and yes, we do still live aboard. Weird being about 5 feet higher up and it doesn’t wobble.
This was after one coat.
And this is the finished article – good as new (almost). Two coats of grey. Could do with a third – we’ll see if the weather holds (rain today) and if we can really be bothered! Knowing what a bashing it’ll get in the years to come.
The stern tunnel flashing gets a coat or two of red and we’ve had two extra sacrificial anodes welded amidships, this stops the erosion of the boats metal surface.
Final job is to get that dripping stern gland done and Justin Green from JG Marine (Braunston bottom lock) is coming over later today to sort that.
Then it’s back in the water on Monday, hurrah. And plan A is to go out for a short sortie with Poppy Eyebright – bridge 27 and beyond!
Scorchio day with temperatures in the 30’s in the boat – Gary puts on a waterline coat of blacking and we get on with sanding down the grey paint above the waterline – thanks to John for his sander! Viv has a go at sanding down the wood on the cratch . . lots of rust bits get the Fertan treatment then a coat of red primer . . . all go!
We invested in a nice new Panasonic bread machine and have turned out several tasty loaves – our favourite is 50% wholemeal, 25% white and 25% spelt. Today I had a go at soda bread – mixed by hand in a bowl and then into the machine just for baking ! Brilliant! On our way towards making an Ulster fry . .
Yes, Adagio was lifted gently and taken out of the water. Expertly guided by Gary and the tractor was magnificently driven by Neil (here’s hoping for that discount??). A whole week here for repairs & painting.
I have to drive the boat carefully onto the trailer, which was semi-submerged. Once aligned Neil can hoist the base, lifting the boat clear. Neat.
Neil powers up the hydraulics and the trailer lefts the boat away. At this stage Gary can pressure wash the bottom of the boat – removing all the crud from 2+ years of boating.
Our resting place for the week. Gary will be back to paint the hull in bitumen black whilst we get on with the line of grey just above as well as all the various rust spots.
Well, it’s bank holiday weekend and rain forecast. What are we gonna do? Let’s head off to Atherstone and the Church End brewery’s Tap, only 45 mins away and an easy drive up the A5. Plus, we can walk Toby on the canal and down past all those locks wot we did!
The Tap was not easy to find (CV10 0RD) but was quit a pleasant surprise, a modern place with two bars and a green.
Through the windows sit the mash tuns for the beer. And what beer! We’ve never had one that we didn’t like? Here’s their list for this weekend:
Stout Coffin was delicious!
We strolled down the five locks and came across our old friends Leah & Norman on their narrowboat Brindley. We were with them in Liverpool and spent a happy week getting to know them, and they thought they’d got shot of us eh? We hope to see them again soon. And then the forecast proved all too true with 2 hours of torrential rain with thunder and lightning.