Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Making progress

On Saturday, Brandy Girl left before we were even properly up and ready to work. Temperatures were rising already, and there was less wind than the day before. So, more of the same - preparing the hull for painting, and painting the roses and castles. When I'd done as much as I could on the hull, I took the windows out to give the frames a proper cleaning, and scrubbed the other side of the cratch cover of the build-up of algae. It was so satisfying to see the green stains disappear!

In the afternoon, I walked up the Welford Arm to the village shop, which proved to be rather better than expected. Google Street View showed it as being a tiny independent "store" and sub-post office with a sign outside saying "Newspapers, Ice Cream", suggesting a rather limited stock. I told Grace that I wouldn't be buying a newspaper.

In fact, the shop is a Springfield's, and it has a fair bit more than newspapers and ice creams. It turned out that the things I did buy were all rather heavy, and the walk back down the Arm provided what might be called "good exercise"., but the ice-cream boosted my energy before I started back.

I love the Welford Arm, particularly around the lock, which I think looks quite magical in the right light.

This little fellow was scratching his behind on a barbed-wire fence, and making a noise very similar to that uttered by a person thoroughly enjoying scratching a persistent itch on their back.  A sort of "ooooooooooooo!" in a deep horse voice.

Then it happened. The rain which, according to the BBC weather forecast, was only a 12% chance event, suddenly descended on us. And Grace's paintwork was still wet. I hurried to get the brolly, then sat on the gunnel next to the endangered castles holding the umbrella mostly over them, and getting quite damp myself. Grace kindly brought out a folding chair, which made my protection job more comfortable, though no drier. After about twenty soggy minutes, she returned with a cut-open plastic bin liner, some Gaffer Tape (see page 9 in "Hints and tips for life with your feet under water"!) and a handful of clothes pegs, with which she contrived to construct a very effective bivouac over her art-work. I had thought that the clothes-pegs were for hanging me up to dry.

It rained for hours on into the night, but we woke to a sunny Sunday. And guess what? More of the same. Progress was being made, but when the sun was out as it was on this day and had been so much on previous days there was a limit to the hours available to us before it was striking the side of the boat we were working on. At one point, we decided we had time while the paint dried on the starboard side to spin Kantara around and continue on the port. This involved reversing up to the Junction, winding, then reversing back. We'd never done that before!

Plans were made to meet Frankie and Andy at Foxton on Thursday, so that gave us two more days here to do as much as we can. There will be the option to stop here again after Foxton. We shall see.

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