After what seems like a long time back at home, Grace and I would have liked to be back on Kantara last week. However, our home central heating system has decided to throw a wobbly, and we've had to call in an engineer to look at it. The problem has been occurring on and off for months, but has now developed into a full-on failure, so we'll have to wait now until that's been fixed. We're aiming for next week now, and starting to pile together the things we will want to take back with us.
What awaits us when we return?
Well, the major concern is the news that the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union Canal - the bit where we are moored! - is reported to be closed until April. What's meant by closed I shall discover tomorrow when I phone Jenny at Yelvertoft. I doubt that it will mean we won't be able to cruise at all, but it may well be that we are not allowed to leave that arm of the canal, which will restrict our movement somewhat. However...
...there is still the problem of the AC generator which Sam at Foxton Boats has had for many weeks. He's not very good at communication, and we have little idea of the current state of things. Whether or not that will be working and fitted when we return, we do not know.
Then there is the 3G router with which we get Internet connection on the boat, which had to go back to the manufacturer because of an intermittent fault we had from it from day one of using it. It's been returned to us now, and they say they found nothing wrong with it. Naturally, they say it is working just fine, and we need to try it again in situ, so... we shall see!
And there is also the matter of the shower room/toilet which we are planning to have altered so that our ridiculous wash basin becomes usable. We've had a quote from one builder, and are still waiting for one from another, but he was a bit of a ditherer anyway, and did little to gain our confidence. We'd like to get the job done fairly soon after our return.
And the batteries! I believe we will return to a set of defunct batteries. Grace disagrees.
New to the boat will be a folding exercise bike. We have such a bike at home, but bigger and heavier, and we've been doing 10 to 12 kilometres each day for some weeks now, striving to increase both distance and speed over time. It's all very well doing daily walks while we're on the boat, but it's just not going to be practicable to do a decent distance every day, and the bike ensures we exercise well wherever we are, regardless of weather. Add to that Grace's weights and my Bullworker, and we should be able to keep fit and strong in what can be at times a fairly immobile lifestyle.
Our cruising plan is to do a number of trips out from Yelvertoft, lasting from one to several weeks, returning to the marina at the end of each one before heading off in another direction. I've said before that the beauty of the spot where we are based is that we can go off to all points of the compass and enjoy months and months of cruising, with easy access to many of the other canals. This is the life!
Roll on next week!