Monday, March 30, 2015

Work starts, eventually.

It wasn't exactly "first thing" when they started on the job of blacking Kantara. Everyone seemed very laid-back about it, so we simply had to get used to waiting while the staff here did various things other than tend to Kantara's needs. John Barnard came to see us and chat over the work that he'd be doing. He was very confident that she would be a pretty straightforward job, but that we'd have to wait for him to start, too. The job he's on at the moment has been delayed for various reasons, so it could well be the 18th of the month before he starts. He did say, however, that he still reckoned on finishing by the same date as he'd previously given us. He's taken on extra help so that he can catch up with his schedule.

Finally, Grace was able to ease the boat into the bay from which she was craned up and laid on trestles. Kantara, that is, not Grace.

Then came a two-hour pressure-hosing.

So Grace and I left them to it. Strolled down the towing path towards Foxton Locks, cold and windy, lined with tiny violets. There was a man in a tree. Sitting there, doing nothing. Wearing a hi-vis jacket and a hard-hat, so obviously official. The tree he was sitting on must be quite famous amongst boaters. It is one of an adjacent pair which have been for many years threatening to fall across the canal, looming at less than 45 degrees across towards the towing path, and causing the skipper of every boat passing beneath to speed up, lest it choosethat moment to fall on them. Except now, one of the pair was no more, and the second, the one this man was sitting on, had been halved in size. He was, he told us, waiting, not to be rescued as we had imagined, but for someone to bring him a bigger saw for him to finish the job.

We carried on to the Foxton Locks Inn for lunch.

The pub was surprisingly busy, we thought, for a Monday at this time of year. Come high summer, the place will be packed daily. Stopping to buy the penultimate bottle of milk from the tiny shop where Grace had bought the ultimate loaf of bread the other day, we walked back to Debdale. The trees had gone. So had the man up the tree. Boaters will be very thankful as they glide past in future. One of the team remained, clearing up the smaller bits of tree from the towing-path. 

Back at Debdale, the washing had almost finished. We were able to inspect the hull sides and baseplate, and we were really pleased to see how intact the blacking still was that had been done two years ago.

The "bobbles" on the surface are drops of water.
Now, however, the paint rollers had all absconded, and some minion was seconded to go and buy more. But it was raining now, so the painting has to wait until tomorrow. We were escorted back into the boat. Aeroplane-type steps were provided for us to ascend to the six-feet-high club that is, for the time being, our home.

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