We made our first trip back on Wednesday, with a carload of things for another year on Kantara. She was very cold - a jug of water had a layer of ice on it - but it was good to feel that this was more than just a visit. We came back again yesterday with an even fuller car, and spent much of the rest of the day and this morning simply putting things in cupboards and drawers. De-winterising was problem free except for the connection of a pipe to the outlet of the water pump, which meet each other at an awkward angle and proved rather difficult to join. But that and a bit of an initial leak under the sink were the only setbacks.
The first thing we did upon arrival was to put on the central heating at full heat, and the boat soon started to feel warmer and drier. Something we experienced this year which we did not last time was that some of the wooden surfaces in the boat, mostly shelves inside cupboards, had developed a thin coating of mould. We'd left windows open as recommended, as a precaution against this, too.
We're going back to St Albans tomorrow to collect those things for which there had been no room in the car yesterday. Said the Maiden are singing at Music City Unsigned in the evening, with the three other groups/bands who won the Lemonrock poll last year, so we'll stay to attend that, and drive home here afterwards.
On the day back in December when we left Kantara, the oil stove was working beautifully. On the day we returned to it, the oil would not flow, so the stove wouldn't work. We tried everything we knew to put this right - and few other things we made up! - all to no avail. It's just as well we have the gas heater, otherwise we'd be very cold at the moment! We'll get it fixed at Debdale next week while Kantara's having her hull blacked.
We ate at The George last night, since we had no food on the boat. Today we had lunch at Sainsbury's (still no food), then spent ages shopping, to last us for the next week or so. It's good to be back!