This is Steve & Viv Carter's log of the trips and travails on the narrowboat Adagio – liveaboards from October 2015. Then back to the shore, in Trefin, Wales from November 2019. "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)” email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
It turned out to be eight days out in the end. Six at Bridge 27 and two at Welford/Welford Junction.
John & Christine did manage to get away on the Friday and we nudged up to fit us both in at the “mooring with rings”, a perfect spot. The weather was great and we had several nice walks as well as meals together. Viv, Toby & I initially did the Winwick Walk ( nothing like the Lambeth one) – about 3 hours in a big circle.
Viv took this photo – old world and the new:
Approaching one of the big “Hises” in Winwick
Yes, all we can do is look in from the outside, Toby . . .
On Saturday, we did a big walk with the four of us – along the canal and then branching out to the Hemplow Hills – a bit of a step too far but quite enjoyable.
On Monday, we decided to pop down the Welford arm to well, Welford and top up with water and beer, of course – at the Wharf Inn. Glad to see they were serving Church End’s Fallen Angel as well as their £6 midday meals. Nice.
It did rain a bit and the stove was on – plus we had one lock to go thru . . . with our nice shiny blacking too!
Not sure why they put this lock in – it was not the original route as evidenced by the old canal in the field to the right . . .
Here we are, snug at the end of the arm.
Back to the Junction for Tuesday and to rejoin John & Christine.
Wednesday, it was time to head back – Poppy Eyebright first. It was a windy day!
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.