Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday 31st. March 2012
We've moved on as far as Saltaire today. Once again it was a hard day's work, with 9 swing bridges and two sets of staircase locks.
Saltaire, as I've reported before, is a lovely place and to add to this we're stopped just in front of a boat selling ice cream, can I resist? NO.
I took a walk out with the camera alongside the river and got these few pics.

Friday, 30 March 2012

On the way at last, leaving Leeds March 2012
Friday 30th March 2012
4.30 Friday afternoon and we're moored up at Rodley for the night. This morning we teamed up with Ian in his boat Sara Louise to climb the first set of locks out of Leeds. This section is recommended to be completed in one go as stopping overnight in some of the places is not considered safe due to local hooligans. The trip was uneventful, but the weather is definitely on the change and I had to keep my coat on for most of the journey.
I had forgotten just how hard some of these locks were to operate, Some of the paddle gear is almost impossible to wind, and several of them are broken. It does feel good to be on the move again though.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thursday 29th March 2012
Well, here it is at last. After a week of furious work getting all those "last minute" jobs done it's time to call a halt and cast off.
The last week has been a hectic one. Some of it self made, and some cock ups from other quarters.
I've been doing quite a bit of painting and de-rusting. One of the hinges on our engine hatch broke last year and while I bought the replacement a while ago I've not gotten around to actually carrying out the repair. Finally I got up the go, drive, and ambition to get on with it. First problem, I decided to use 8mm bolts to hold the new hinges, but this means tapping threads into the hatch and deck because there isn't room for nuts underneath. Out with drills and taps. All going well until I stupidly manage to break the only tap I have. A quick look around for a supplier, but the only easily available one is Screwfix and I'm pretty sure that all they will have are chocolate sets. They did have a better quality set but because I only needed and 8mm one I opted for the cheap set, hoping it would last the few holes I had to do. Forlorn hope! I got one hole out the tap before it was useless. A search around found a place that stocks engineering quality stuff and I believe will supply single items. This morning I set off to get there and found that the bus service was quite good to this location. Unfortunately, while they would normally carry this item, it wasn't in stock and in the time I needed it (then and there) the only thing they could offer was a set of carbon steel ones. I had to take those and despite the fact that they aren't good quality they did the job.
Next problem, we discovered that the pharmacy had made a mistake with my prescription so, back to them to try and rectify it. Turned out not to be their fault, but the surgery's. A phone call to them and they said they could sort it by this afternoon. By 4.00 o'clock nothing had turned up so the pharmacy rang them to chase it. The replacement turned up by fax, but once again they'd got it wrong! More phone calls and another one was sent. Wrong again! So I had to go up there personally and stand there while the receptionist  collared the doctor and finally got the right one. And these people will soon be running the NHS!!!
Anyway, we're now about ready to set off tomorrow, tonight we're going out with cousins for a meal and then a good night's sleep before the off.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Saturday 17th March 2012
We've just returned to the dock from a fine day out with Damon and Daniel. This was Daniel's first real trip on the boat, three locks and 2 hours each way. The weather didn't look too promising at first but it cleared up later. We stopped at Woodlesford Lock for Daniel to have a run around and a bit of lunch before setting off home again.
We've now moored up again back in the dock, but facing in this time to allow me to paint the front bit of the boat.
We've just settled down now and seen Wales win the Grand Slam, and hopefully England beat Ireland.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday 11th March 2012
It's been a wonderful weekend. To celebrate both Daniel's and Damon's birthday, we went off for day in York and a visit to the Railway Museum. Daniel is, of course, in love with Thomas the Tank Engine, so after an initial look at the big ones he wasn't sure but he soon spotted a little engine and it all clicked.
Back home we gathered for a Chinese takeaway before Carol kindly ran us back to the boat.
Today Damon brought Daniel here to the boat and Daniel had a great run around the open area in front of the museum on his new balance bike. He's a bit short yet to ride it comfortably but he can only grow.
I spent this morning finally making a start on the painting. I did a bit of patching on the worst bit of the roof and then turned my attention to the hull side where I did one half of one side. This is as far as I can go without moving the boat because the jetty is too short to reach the front.