Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th March
On Monday we spent more time with family in Bucks and Berks and returned to Calcutt in the early evening. After the very poor meal we had in the motorway services last Friday we treated ourselves to something from M&S as we were rather too tired to cook from scratch.
We were up bright and early on Tuesday morning, as Tim Garland from Milton Keynes was due to measure up for a new cratch cover. The existing one, having had running repairs for the last few years, was finally giving up and we could delay the evil moment no longer. Tim spent a long time carefully creating the pattern from which he will make the new cover.
The pattern fabric was carefully pinned to the cratch board and cratch front, and magnetic fittings were used over the steelwork so the fabric was nice and taut. A marker pen was used to indicate positions of seams, retaining straps, etc.
Tim explained that he never uses an existing cover as a pattern as the fabric may have shrunk; ours certainly has as the studs on the lower front of the cover no longer reach the gunwales. The weather was luckily dry with only a light breeze. Wind obviously makes fitting the pattern very difficult and his marker pen needs a dry surface or it won’t mark.
*And B.O.A.T? as boaters know, it stands for ‘bring out another thousand’. The new cover won’t cost £1000 but is not far off.
After he had gone we finished packing up and went home. We have mostly restocked the galley cupboards but some spring cleaning will be in order on our next trip, and the outside will need washing and waxing. We still have not made firm plans for this year’s cruising but are anticipating going south rather than north.
Trip stats; we spent 6 nights on board but only cruised for 2 days, covering 1½ miles and passing through 6 broad locks. But by car our total mileage was nearer 800.