Friday, 2 October 2015

Meeting the boss of CRT on the towpath

As it had been several days since we last topped up with water we cruised slowly along the straight half mile to the water point immediately below Cosgrove Lock. While filling up I carried a full Elsan cassette to the disposal point, passing two people wearing small CRT name badges. At the time I wondered if one of them might have been Richard Parry, the chief exec. of CRT, but they had gone before my brain got into gear.

After emptying the cassette I returned towards the boat, but there were the two CRT people by the lock. They asked me if I'd seen NB Barnet, which I had; I was able to tell them that it was moored near the aqueduct. And this is when I found I had been right: it was Richard Parry, accompanied by photographer Liz Waddington. Mr Parry was meeting up with Barnet for a cruise to Fenny Stratford.

Now we were having a proper towpath chat. Richard Parry was delightful, asking me where we were based and asking about our summer cruising, taking a genuine interest. Of course, this led to a bit of a discussion about our experience in Standedge Tunnel; I was able to express my disquiet about CRT's failure to send in an inspection boat after the Network Rail beams-in-the-water fiasco. Mr Parry asked me to send him an e-mail so we'll see what happens.

The pressure was low so it took an age for the tank to fill. I had time to wash half the roof and one side of the boat before it was done. We returned to The Galleon, tying up this time on the 48 hour moorings to be nearer the car for unloading. (NB Emjay is still there; it hasn't moved for at least a week.)

The weather has been fantastic. Here is this evening's silhouetty sunset shot.

During the day I finished the painting job on the front doors, getting both the undercoat and topcoat down. I also primed around the previously Fertan-ed areas by some of the windows; I also did some more rubbing down and Fertanning below the gunwales. Inside I fixed the stove to the hearth with angle brackets. I had thought that drilling holes in the stove legs would be difficult, but it was actually quite easy. I used a hand drill with a 3.5 mm bit. A harder job was drilling into the tiles on the hearth. The only masonry bit I thought I had was a Poundland one. I managed one hole, starting off with the hand drill and moving to the electric drill, but this is what happened on the second hole.

Yes, I know. What do you expect for a quid? But at this point I remembered that I had some proper masonry bits with the Black and Decker so I popped one of those on and finished the job in no time. I'm trying to get through rather a backlog of boat jobs before we go home. Tomorrow's important job is to derust the gas locker ready for the boat safety inspection next spring.

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