At lunchtime we took the boat for a short cruise to the services block at Cosgrove to empty the Elsan. The wind was fairly strong and behind us. While there we topped up the water and had lunch while the tank filled. Even with my newly kink-free hose it took a long time - well, time enough for us to have lunch. The wind assisted us round above the lock, and we returned to the marina. To get back on our berth stern first I usually reverse in from the canal as our mooring is, conveniently, directly in line with the marina entrance. On this occasion, however, I went in nose first, overshooting the pontoon, then allowed the wind to catch the front and bring the boat round. I then let the wind blow us sideways until we were in line with the pontoon, then reversed in. At this stage, of course, the nose carried on moving in the direction of the wind, and so we ended up nudging the next-door boat a bit, but I was pleased to get back into position without too many problems.
The business of the meeting was concluded fairly swiftly, then it was half time when we were invited to partake of the refreshments laid out on tables at the back of the room. We half regretted having already eaten tea as there was a feast of vol-au-vents (vols-au-vent?), olives, spicy sausage slices, sandwiches, cheese etc. There was wine too, but I stuck to fruit juice as I was driving.
After being called back to our seats it was time for a talk by Richard Parry, the CEO of the Canal and River Trust. He took us rapidly through a series of slides full of facts and figures. I think he was trying to show how CRT is committed to canal restoration as well as maintenance, but I'm afraid the presentation went on too long and there were too many slides with not enough time to take everything in.
Meanwhile I'm going to have to get a short-term EA licence if we're to attend the Northampton boat gathering this summer.
Grà on test - The September *Canal Boat* is out, and includes my boat test on *Grà* by Finesse Boats. It will be their Crick Boat Show exhibit.
17 hours ago