Saturday 22nd June 2013
I took Friday afternoon off work in order to sort out the MOTs that were due. Take the car for new tyres and an MOT and then continue on the Di Blasi to get that MOT’d as well. Di Blasi flew through with no worries. Returned to find the car with 4 new tyres (as requested) and an MOT failure certificate – leaking rear shock absorber. A quick phone call to the VW dealer revealed that the warranty runs out on Saturday midnight and so I need to take it in so that they can start a warranty claim before it ends.
So, the plan to go to Jannock on Friday evening was replaced with a Saturday afternoon start instead and for the second time in as many weeks a meal that we had planned to be taken on our travels was eaten in our home town – how exciting!.
We arrived at the boat at 2:30pm on Saturday – slightly later than planned but happy in the knowledge that the faulty shock absorber will be replaced by VW before a retest.
Weather of the day – Wind!
At our first lock, Swanley No. 1, the offside gate paddle kept jamming because one tooth is broken on the pinion that moves the rack up. On to Baddily where we were the third of three boats ascending with an equal number coming down as well. At Baddiley No. 1 I had to teach a group of Aussies how to work the lock as it was their first since collecting their 69 foot boat from Wrenbury. Having instructed their steerer on the importance of keeping their boat clear of the cill I then found him peering over my shoulder as I instructed the rest of his crew how to operate the gate paddles. He was sent back to his post with his tail between his legs and told to keep an eye on the rudder. We only managed to delay two cars whilst we passed under Wrenbury lift bridge and continued on until we found a nice quiet mooring alongside Canal Covert.
Sunday 23rd June 2013
After a very quiet night in a very peaceful mooring with a noticeable lack of towpath joggers and dog walkers we realised that whatever plan we had thought we would keep to had in fact drowned. We were very lucky to only have the wind to contend with yesterday, today it was raining as well. Showers were forecast but we think they’d formed a union - power in numbers – and are picketing the area.
Plan C was being hatched. At least the temperature was as forecast – it just managed 16 degrees inside the cabin. Yet hire-boaters passed us by, often identifiable by the fact that they have all the doors open even if it is chucking it down, blowing a gale and the mercury is so far south it’s in the Azores!
Graham managed a car shuffle on the Di Blasi during a lull in the rain and only got slightly damp and so we eat lunch, packed up and set off to execute Plan C – a visit to the Secret Nuclear bunker at Hack Green. Tony and Jenny Brooks on nb JennyB (fellow members of Cutweb) passed us just as we were locking up and abandoning ship so we had a brief chat.
them during the late 70s and early 80s. We were quite tempted at the gift shop offer of a Geiger counter for £55 but although they were claimed to have been in working order once no guarantee is given now – so we didn’t buy one.
As we left we noticed that Hack Green Maggot Farm was for sale. Our minds boggled at the thought of farming maggots but it would appear that it is destined for demolition to be replaced with residential properties – what a wonderful address to live at – No 2 , Hack Green Maggot Farm.