Not much of a blogger am I? Cannot even keep you up to date with the Summer Cruise.
BUT IT"S NOT MY FAULT!
The power supply to the laptop FAILED. Amid crackling noises and the smell of electronic components frying, the little green light waxed and waned and the battery power fell to zero, the machine hibernating for the last time!
Without a computer, the dongle was useless with or without signal. I attempted to get a new one in Rugeley but found that the quaint little market town has only one outlet that could possibly help with a computer power supply and it was closed as it was early closing day. We didn't divert into Coventry or another metropolis just for this.
So what have I been doing for the last ten days. Dodging showers, some heavy and some thundery as predicted by Mike MBE, the lock keeper (now lengthsman) at Atherstone locks. We have had various incidents with boats in bridge holes and have been passed at speed by some very expensive looking boats.
Pub visiting has been very limited and moorings have been mainly rural. We have heard song birds singing, cockerels crowing, cattle lowing and a bull bellowing, swans hissing and trains rattling past. In the main we have remained relaxed and enjoyed some very early starts and some very late finishes. Some days have been shortened by rain and some washed out completely. There have always been bright periods.
Coming back today was very much coming home. The familiar sweeping bends and narrow towpaths of the South Oxford, the familiar wooden lift bridges and the overhanging willows all looked much the same as always but the sky was far angrier than when we left. 117 miles, 6 flg and 64 locks. 3 moveable bridges this leg. The total cruise was 266 miles, and 156 locks and 10 moveable bridges
Now is the time to do all the things that need to be done after a cruise. We need to re-paint the gunwhales! Brushes with lock sides, piling, a boat called Sarah Jane (on a bend after a bridge hole when she didn't seem to want to turn at all) have left their marks. We need to locate and seal all the small leeks that rain and wind find out. Around windows and the swan hatch in particular. We need to replenish the diesel tank and re-stock with stern tube grease; an engine service wouldn't go amiss and an oil change is essential. A niggling diesel leak still needs attention.
Really, it's back to more of the same!
Sunny Mercia Marina
3 days ago