Yes!! It is finished. The last two LED bulbs were installed in the navigation lights and I have LEDs throughout the boat. I had to replace the starboard nav' light first though because I knocked the last one off in the Harecastle Tunnel! Don't remind me that we don't really need them anyway.
After that the clearup! Tools from front to back and so after collecting the screwdrivers, saws, drills and bits together and then stowing them in the cupboard that has everything I could ever need to fix anything that ever gets broken and a spare of most things just in case, I managed to collect the rest into a bin for disposal.
We now have six fluorescent fittings and four 12v 'reading' lights (10w automotive bulb) surplus to requirements.
Anyway, a trip to the rubbish was planned when the Best Mate said, "How about lunch in the club?" The tiller was in my hand toute suite and we were off the mooring almost forgetting that we had another crew member with us 'cos he's not at college as he has broken up for the summer. The Best Mate called him and we were ready.
Lunch was great and we swapped great weather stories and the joys of the Euro2008 tournament with the locals before planning the afternoon. I would go to the water point and the Best Mate would buy me a new mop and broom at Woolworths and we would wash the boat, lock down, turn, deposit our rubbish, lock up and wash the other side of the boat.
The tools appeared but the Best Mate needed a rest and Pooh, Our Bear of Little Brain, wanted to play football so I was left to do the lift bridge single handed (but a boat was coming the other way so I snuck in in front of it with thanks and a cheery wave to the skipper who gave way to me) and then moored on the water point. Washing a boat is an interminable job. While I was doing the job I spoke to the skipper of "Tinkerbell" who confessed to being a reader of this blog. How encouraging to know that I have one! I lent him my hose to fill his drinking water bottle and top up his tank. I left the polishing for another day.
I filled the lock and then the crew of nb"Rye" appeared. I could have missed this boat as she was heading for the lock and I started to fill it but the crew assured me that, although she was only 25feet long (The smallest conventional narrowboat I have seen), they were out of sight when I had looked. I was assured that they had enough room for the two of them and their alsation! They offered to wait for me to turn but the arithmetic 25 +57 into a lock didn't go so they carried on. Nice thought though!
Just under Tramway Bridge I watched and stopped the boat to allow an angler to land his perch. He bemoaned the crayfish but hadn't yet caught a zander. After turning I returned to the facilities point to moor behind a Napton Boat with a most helpful crew. The lady opened the rubbish enclosure for me and then they opened the gates and assisted me through the lock saying they might need a favour some day. Aren't people kind?
Back at the water point I met Raymond of "Summer Wine" and his good lady. They were filling every container they had with them. "Where is the boat?" I asked. "In Braunston", they replied but the water there is contaminated with a parasite. Some people have already got it in their water tanks!" They were filling everything they could with our Oxfordshire Thames (Cherwell) Water as their Anglian Water was contaminated with cryptosporidium. I had heard of the crisis and, in fact, only just missed being affected as we had a lovely weekend away in Northants, but didn't realise the effect it would have on boaters. Fancy driving forty miles for fresh water!
Then a phone call from the Best Mate. I had run out of time to get Pooh to his football practice! Oops. She suggested that there would need to be a bit of bridge re-building. One cannot hurry things on the canal. I had not stopped all day. The Cabin Boy (Piglet) joined me to finish washing the other side of the boat. We stepped back to admire the view and then set off once more for our mooring. Quite an eventful day.
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