Sunday, September 08, 2013

Back in the marina

We've not been idle this past week. Well, not all of the time, anyway! Washing, cleaning and tidying have been the inevitable consequence of our last cruise. Shopping, too.

We needed a door-stop to replace the one on the top of our small stern hatch, to buffer it against the larger hatch when we hinge it back. We also have still to get engine oil, which needs to be topped up a little, but have so far failed to find oil of the right specification. However, once again Canal Shop Online have come to our rescue, and tell us that they have just what we need. We'll collect it the next time we go out that way.

Yesterday, we were amazed to find what we can only think are mouse droppings on the roof, by the tomato plants (which are now bearing us a good harvest of fruits). There is no sign of damage to the tomatoes, nor to anything else, but we bought a couple of mouse traps anyway, and put them out last night. No catch yet!

I spent some time down in the engine compartment yesterday, tightening the stern gland and drying the bilge underneath it, and doing routine checks. Was it that, I wonder, which aggravated a pain I had in left side of my rib cage, which became agony at around midnight? At first, I suspected that I'd somehow cracked a rib. The pain was extreme, and breathing was difficult. Neither lying down nor sitting reduced it, but painkillers kicked in at around 2:00am, and I finally got to bed and, surprisingly, slept fairly well. When I woke this morning, it felt pretty much better, but as I type it's been hurting again for three or four hours. Very strange.

On Friday, we drove out to Stretton-Under-Fosse to see a boat painter at Oxon Boat Painting, with a view to having Kantara repainted. We've found that her paintwork is very thin, and easily chipped and scratched.

Photos don't show the poor condition of the paint...

and we're happy about that because onlookers so often...

 comment on Kantara's appearance, so obviously...

the appearance isn't a problem yet.

But, though we can keep touching up any damage, that can't go on for much longer.
Furthermore, the pictures and lettering on the sides were messed up by the previous owner, and rust is coming through around many of the outlines. We were very impressed by Chris, the company owner, and are now considering moving forward on this project next year.

Examples of Oxon's work...

Grace has for a long time thought that she might do the signwriting and pictures on the sides of the boat herself. When we were in Stoke Bruerne, we saw an advert for a two-day boat painting course, and thought that might be an excellent idea for her. She's booked now, and we'll cruise back there, starting the day Christine and Michael go home. We'll just have time to get there by the day before it starts.

Meanwhile, the car has to have two new tyres fitted on Monday, then we prepare for Christine and Michael's arrival on Saturday. There will be a Treasure Hunt and barbecue that evening, but they probably won't arrive in time to enjoy that. We'll be taking them on a ten-day return trip to Warwick. We're looking forward to that!

Warwick Castle

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