Tuesday 17th July; Calcutt marina to Flecknoe
We had high hopes of a quick getaway as we pulled into the marina at lunchtime, but it was not to be. Dave had arranged an engine service, but wires were crossed in the follow-up phone call and we didn’t realise there was another problem. The oil pressure warning buzzer (more a piercing whine actually), which sounds when you switch the engine on and stops when you increase the revs, wasn’t stopping. It was all a bit confusing to me and Meg, so we left the chaps discussing it and went for a walk. Well, she couldn’t be left in the car on such a hot day, could she? The engineer thought the alternator wasn’t working, so as a temporary fix so we could go out he wired the electrics so that the starter battery alternator did the job for the domestics too. It should be ok, though we will have to take more care than usual about the power we use. Chuffed had been kept on the workshop wharf – not the usual outlook as we leave this marina.
Anyway, we got away before 4, fortunately just as another boat left the marina so we shared the locks. The canal was busy and we passed boats at each lock. We turned towards Braunston at the junction. It was hot, but with light cloud cover the sun didn’t scorch us so it was very pleasant. Now and then there were patches of purple loosestrife in full bloom.
We wanted to moor before bridge 102 near Flecknoe. These are excellent moorings, well cared for and very popular. We pulled in before the farm in case they were too full further up. Time for a few jobs!
On our last trip I realised that the curtains in the dinette were looking rather the worse for wear, or at least the linings were – the fabric was showing the effect of years of UV radiation I expect, though why the other curtains weren't affected is beyond me. So we took them home so I could replace the linings. This was one of the better ones actually; a couple had some nasty mould marks so I wasn’t going to show you those!
Unfortunately the strings on the header tapes had been cut so they couldn’t be re-used. I wasn’t too bothered by this as the old ones had started to fray rather badly, meaning that they sometimes came adrift from the hooks.
When we unpacked our bags, I had taken the newly lined and neatly pressed curtains out of the bag and placed them carefully (I thought) on the back of one of the dinette seats. By the time I got round to hanging them, they had vanished. It didn’t take long to find them – fallen off into the dog’s indoor water bowl. They had to wait till later to be hung, but they dried quickly in the hot sun.
Eventually the boat traffic slowed (this is a very busy stretch of the network) and we could enjoy a glass of wine while we watched the young swallows practicing drinking and feeding themselves and resting in the reeds between efforts.
There were dozens of them, zooming around twittering madly before crashing into the reeds for a rest.
Despite the alternator problems, and
lack of motivation to be bothered to post a blog signal, it was a lovely evening.
3 locks 3 miles