Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Blacking done; a revelation at Foxton; and a photo at last

Today was the day when the newly cleaned hull and baseplate would be covered in nice black sticky stuff (Rytex). Two coats were applied to the hull sides and one to the baseplate. I had thought that we would have had to be off the boat during the process, but we had to move only when the boat was raised for the underneath to be done. We'd been ready to go at 0900, but stayed on to supply Dean with coffee (I had one too). I put the topcoat on the front doors where I'd primed and undercoated: they look much better now.

When Dean was ready to lift the boat we hung around just long enough to take a couple of photos of him blacking the baseplate, then we cycled off down the towpath to Foxton Junction. Here we sat on a bench and ate our sandwiches in the sunshine. I sampled a half of Bridge 61 at Bridge 61 (near Bridge 61); Jan had an ice cream. Then the revelation.

I went into the shop next to the pub, and found a treasure trove of boaty bits and pieces. There was a large array of painted canalware and souvenirs, there were books, maps, guides, waterproof clothing, rope, windlasses, mooring pins, mooring rings, hammers - hang on, did I say mooring rings? Yes, there were even mooring rings of the type people attach to their end-of-garden mooring. And a selection of oil filters, shackles, screws and all sorts of more esoteric items.

Stop press: I've managed to upload a photo! Jan showed me how she has discovered how to get photos from her camera into the computer, and the "edit" function includes a resizing option. This is just what I wanted. Now there's no need to download an external resizing program. The photo is Jan took of Jubilee being lifted out yesterday.

See how green it is below the waterline! Tomorrow I should be able to get my photos into this computer, and then I'll be able to do proper blog posts.

Back to the story of today. After managing not to buy anything in the shop, we made an exploration by bike of Foxton village. There are some rather nice houses! We looked round the church and checked out the two pubs not at Foxton Junction, the Black Horse and the Shoulder of Mutton. The latter does Chinese food, with a menu as extensive as any Chinese restaurant. The Black Horse does more traditional pub food.

We had a few things to buy from a larger town, so I cycled to Market Harborough while Jan cycled back along the towpath to Debdale Wharf. Back at the boat Jan cooked another gammon joint for tea, then we went for a walk through the fields of oilseed rape to the Black Horse where we enjoyed a drink and a game of darts(!) We walked back along the towpath in the failing light to spend our last night up in the air. We should be dropped back in the water tomorrow morning.


Martin said...

Glad to see the blacking's gone well, Halfie. But I have a question about the solar panels you bought last year. I wondered if you were happy with them, how they're performing, how you ended up fixing them, and is there anything you'd do differently now?


Halfie said...

Great question, Martin, and I'll have a good think about how to answer. As this is the first real test (away from electric hook-up) I'd like to give it until the end of out cruise (in a few days' time) before giving a proper answer. Hope that's OK.