Tuesday, 25 April 2017

New covers

Thurs 13 April - Kathy and Fraser from AJ Canopies have been visiting us for a few weeks now, measuring and templating for our front cover (this being a replacement for a badly made leaky cover by Karl of KC Covers) and creating a new pram cover for the rear.

We went to see them back in October at Braunston, we looked at materials, Kathy was very good at going into detail about the wear of different material types and letting us know what was most suitable for our intended use. 

Orders placed and deposit paid Suzanne from the office was on the phone again in March arranging available dates with us to meet Kathy and Fraser at the boat.

Having made and fitted both canopies the only thing left was a thorough walk through of how to take the rear canopy down and put it back up.  We thanked them both for the smart new look we have, it's also meant that when the rear deck is in canopy up position we gain a further 8ft of useable space, result.

So if you are in need of any canopies I cannot recommend them enough, good communications, stuck to their timescales and kept us informed throughout, as well as forwarding us some photos of both canopies before the walk through. photos curtesy of AJ Canopies, Braunston.

Front canopy, using the existing fittings to the boat, with the added bonus that water is kept out!

New rear pram cover, 10 mins to take down/put up.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

First cruise with visitors

Friday 7 Feb - Sunday 9 Feb - We got to the boat at midday on Friday, having collected two friends en-route., Jimmy and Lindsay.  The cloud started to break as we neared the marina, big smiles all round at the prospect of such a perfect boating weekend.  After unpacking, which was done very quickly indeed, we untied and turned left out of the marina.

The weather by now was warm and sunny with more blue appearing with every second. The woodland areas alongside the canal were alive with birdsong, and the hedgerows bursting into life, hawthorn blossom, catkins and pussy willow all visible.

Lunch was taken alfresco style on the back deck, just by bridge 47, after 3 we pushed off.

After a couple of hours we were at the end of the Ashby and turning at the winding hole.  The moorings here at the end were busy, a boat that had been back at the rubbish point while we turned had a mild panic when they thought we'd be mooring, to many boats here for our liking and all now in shade, so mooring there was not our intention.  We carried on through the short tunnel, out the other side, past the tree lined part of the canal and out into the sunlight, still quite warm at 6 o'clock.

Having settled in to the mooring we went for a short walk to the Globe, where we all had a lovely evening meal with good service.
Trying to impress a lady in the morning sunshine, Snarestone

Saturday - We had a lazy breakfast, enjoying the sunshine.  Our guests reported they had a comfortable night on the dinette bed, good news, it's the first time it's been used!

Todays trip was to be along the canal, past the marina and on to Stoke Golding where we hoped to moor for the night.

What a perfect day, made by the still dry, warm and sunny weather, we passed by plenty of happy walkers, and met one or two boats along the way.

We moored just before Shenton Aqueduct in a peaceful location, overlooking fields of gold oil seed rape, and the sound of the steam train in the background.

We pootled on to Stoke Golding, passing a very busy Sutton Wharf, everyone was out enjoying this rather lovely weather.  Having moored a walk to the village was on the cards to get a paper.  drinks on the back deck reading and relaxing were the order for the rest of the afternoon.  We walked up to the White Swan for the evening , having booked a table a couple of weeks ago, a lovely warm welcome and great food.
Three days of perfect weather, keep the liquid intake up

Sunday - Sunhats and shorts were the order of the day, along with sun cream, glad we still had some on board.  We travelled past Ashy boats, the hire fleet were all out, so it was easy to get through the bridge, usually we have passed here and they hire boats are moored three abreast, making it difficult to manoeuvre. Just before bridge 22 we winded (turned) and moored outside Spinney Bank Farm Shop.  Ice creams sausages and hot cross buns amongst our purchases we returned to the boat to enjoy the ice creams.

Pootling on again, with hardly any other boats on the move we moved on towards our lunch stop, Sunday roast was enjoyed moored at Shenton Aqueduct.  A shout out from a someone on a nearing boat saw us exchanging comments with the Marina Manager Chris, such a happy chappy :-)

The afternoon was enjoyed before we reluctantly made our way back for the last hour to the marina, in true fashion the wind had picked up especially for our return, but on the second attempt to get back onto our pontoon there was a perfect manoeuvre that saw us tying up with no problems at all. 

All that was left to do was a quick pack up and transfer of stuff to the car and the drive home.