Friday, 26 October 2018

A wedding, boat fettling, an outing and a breakdown! (& a plea)

Our home mooring is at the moment, at Dunchurch Pools. Like many a marina in our experience,  it occupies a somewhat exposed plot. Open to the prevailing winds, it can at times make mooring up a challenge. But we got safely in, beating the weather breaking after what had been a beautiful summer.

We returned a little earlier than normal for a number of reasons, but primarily so that we had time to sort ourselves out for the nuptials of two special people. My niece Michelle and her soon to be spouse, Dave. Ali was making the wedding cake, no pressure then! As the event was to take place on the Hampshire coast, my job was to transport both us and the cake, safely to the venue...

But all went to plan. A beautiful wedding, held within an old but still used cinema, followed by a reception at a cliff top hotel, with spectacular views out to the isle of Wight in one direction, then towards Hengistbury head with the Purbecks and Poole bay in the other, was a beautiful south coast setting for their day. Even the weather behaved, with a stunning sunset to round off a perfect day. We were both blessed to play a small part. Well not so small in my case, only just squeezed into my suit!

Once home and settled, we looked for a weather window and when one arrived, over two days, we washed and polished the boat. She is still looking good, even more so when buffed up. Ali even took the pram hood home to wash and reproof. Then it was time for the engine to be serviced. For this we elected to use Simon Pollard, local to the area and a Beta Marine engineer. He did a very thorough job and is booked in to replace the water in the cooling system with something more suited to winter conditions, in early November.

So all was good. Even the weather, so before Ali started her new job, we decided to have a few days out. Only to Napton and back, but it was good to be free of the umbilical again, but..

Just short of Braunston, the engine control panel froze . Obviously a loss of power to it and hopefully a fuse, but where to locate it and did we have a spare? Luckily, we have paid our dues to RCR over all our years of ownership and never had to make a call on their services. Beta are renowned for developing dodgy connections, so after tinkering, we made that call. Half an hour later, the engineer was with us. Fuse located and replaced and we were off! Peace of mind knowing assistance is but a call away .

We enjoyed our trip out. The weather was kind and we even managed to visit the Folly for a meal.

Napton Windmill

and from the other side!  well worth the walk for the stunning views ..

and the interesting rare breeds

Coming back though, the wind increased. Not bad on the cut, but entering the marina and mooring on the service pontoon was "interesting". Never seen Joe move so fast. Once fuelled up, it was challenging to get back into our berth, but we did it without undue stress, eventually!

So yes,  Dunchurch is exposed. You pay for uninterrupted views...

NB Penny Less For Sale - click to view

We shared the Caen Hill flight with Martine & Malcolm a few years ago, and a few beers afterwards, (when Cliff appeared and seems to resurrect himself every time we meet! ;-) ) they have decided to move onto new ventures and therefore Penny Less is for sale, a lovely boat, well worth a look if you are in the market.

and finally a plea to other boaters (& ex-boaters)

As you may have read, we lost our well thumbed and well marked Nicholsons No 1 when we were on the Oxford.  Some of the waterways we know very well however, a small plea, we will be revisiting the Thames and GU south of Milton Keynes, if everything goes to plan next year and these are waterways that we haven't spent lots of time on, so we would love to know your favoured moorings, we like to be rural where possible, but not exclusively, now we know some of you won't want to publicly share these favoured spots so we would appreciate an email or messenger on FB.  We bought a second hand Nicholsons hoping it would be annotated but its pristine!  Just our luck!  and despite trawling marina book shelves and charity shops we can't find another one!