Monday, May 30, 2016

A lovely way to spend a Bank Holiday (real time)

Spring Bank Holiday. One of the nation's eight annual major opportunities for torrential rain. But this year, we didn't get it. OK, it wasn't fabulously warm and sunny, either, but we've had worse! And Saturday morning was positively pleasant as we drove off to the Crick Boat Show.

It was packed! We were there as the gates opened at 10:00, and very glad that we'd bought our admission wristbands in advance. We joined a fast-moving queue of those who had pre-paid and simply had to show their bands to an official as we walked past. Those wishing to pay at the gate had to wait a long time.

It's a few years since we were last at the show. We went this time with a shopping list, and had seen and done all we needed to within four hours. I bought a sun hat, hoping upon hope that I'd actually have need of it in the coming months. Grace bought some more, beautiful glass earrings from The Glass Barge, who had made some to order for her a couple of years ago. I got a windlass, recovered from a canal and refurbished - nice idea! And we bought a pair of 10 metre ropes to replace our manky centre ropes. And we bought a pair of bath towels. A bit mundane, you might think, but these are made of a lightweight fabric which absorbs water very well, but dries very quickly. And dry, the towels roll up into a very small roll.

There were some major investigations to do, too, and we spent time looking into the possibility of replacing our ancient and probably not very efficient (to be tested!) solar panels. We found some exactly the same, and these would be able to be fitted on the existing roof brackets. Useful. We also chatted with Mike from Debdale Marina about his molten zinc spray process, which we're considering having done to Kantara.

And then there was the not inconsiderable matter of the replacement inverter. We knew exactly which model we wanted, so it was simply a matter of sourcing it at the lowest price possible. It's pricey.

But our very first quote was way less than we had expected, and we left the stand with a business card bearing the scribbled details; make, model and price. No-one could match it, so we returned to the dealer just before leaving, to make the purchase.

"I made a bit of a mistake", said the man, sheepishly.

Despite our frequent references to the name and numbers involved in the description of the inverter (and he did frequently have to be corrected when he talked about the 24v model instead of the 12v one) and despite the fact that he had written the correct details on the card he gave us, he had given us a price below the price he paid for it, and no less than £400 below his retail price. But he's a man of his word, and he honoured the agreement! What a gent, and what a bargain we got!

Our friend Michelle arrived at the marina an hour or so after we got back to the boat, and we set off almost straight away to make the most of the time she had with us. We were only shortly out of the marina when a lady on a moored boat waved as we passed, calling out to us that she'd read "Life with our feet under water", and follows this blog. Unfortunately, we'd passed, and it was too late for me to see the boat name.

"Keep up the good work!" she shouted. How nice of her!

We only got as far as bridge 27, but it's a lovely place to stop, and we spent the night there. It was an evening of good food and drink, chat and card games. A nearby cuckoo declared very loudly and repeatedly that it was spring. We enjoyed a night of peaceful sleep. This is a very quiet spot.

On Sunday morning, we made our way to the Welford Arm, where we moored outside the marina. I'd booked a table at The Wharf Inn, and we enjoyed an excellent Sunday lunch there. Towards the end of the afternoon, we left the Arm, and moored for the night just south of the junction.

And this morning, we returned to Yelvertoft. We met a couple of famous boats on the way. Derwent 6, Del and Al, have been boating and blogging since 2006. Veterans, one might say.
SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2006Boat BuilderWhere do we start! At the moment we are researching boat builders (shells & fit out) and planning to make a decision at the end of this week. We need to start the ball rolling if we are to realise our dream!POSTED BY DEL AND AL AT 7:37 PM 0 COMMENTS
They waved cheerfully as we passed each other.
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Grace had seen that NB Phyllis May 2 was up for sale recently. She was the second NB Phyllis May owned by author and lunatic adventurer Terry Darlington, whose books we've read.
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We met this boat, still very clean and shiny, despite her adventures. at a bridge. As you do. As we passed each other, Grace called out to the skipper,
"Terry Darlington's boat?"

"Yes!", cried the skipper. "Just bought her!" Then he recognized us. "Kantara! I've read your book!"

We passed another boat, moored, called "Enterprise". Grace commented that if we'd bought her, she'd have painted stars on the sides. I'd have had to call myself Captain Zlog.
The weather was chilly and dull, but the countryside was beautiful. We felt sorry for those at the Crick Show today.

Michelle left us after lunch, with fingers crossed for an easy journey home, back down the M1 and M25. It had not been so good on Saturday. She'd needed the break, and it'd been really good to share it with her. It was a great weekend.


  1. That lady was me! I was so excited at recognising you that I couldn't think of anything else to say :-) Hopefully we'll be moored in the same spot one of these days and can have a proper chat

    Best wishes


    1. Well, I'm sorry I didn't even get your boat's name, Sarah, but thanks for putting a name to yourself! I look forward to that proper chat! If you tell me the name of your boat, then we'll keep our eyes peeled for you. Happy cruising!

  2. It's Enceladus, Roger, an ex GUCC Co working boat from 1935 - but slightly shorter these days having been chopped in the Sixties! Catch up with you soon, I hope

  3. An oldie! And lovely she looked, too, Sarah. We'll look out for you!