Thursday 19 April 12.30pm
I was inevitable I guess. Just as soon as Pat and I decide we would set out together the weather would change and it hasn’t stopped raining since we left Trent Lock on our mini cruise to Nottingham and back two days ago. Not sure what is going on in other areas of the country, but here in Notts it is has been torrential, with just the odd half hour gap, before it starts again. The roof sounds like there are 1000 woodpeckers up there tapping away. But has it got us down? Has it .....!
We are nice and cosy in a great mooring in the centre of Nottingham, a city we have got to know pretty well over the last year. What more could we want, a John Lewis and Waitrose about a mile away, god knows how many decent pubs, selling decent beer, a Sainsbury superstore just 100 metres away, and a bus stop opposite. It’s a five-minute hop into the city centre and I have my bus pass warmed up and ready to use.
Directly opposite us is our neighbour, a female swan on her nest. She hasn’t moved since we got here yesterday lunchtime, and there is no sign of her mate... Hang on, I’m a liar, he has just turned up and they have swapped over egg sitting duties. The view from the side windows of the boat is rather like turning on “Spring Watch” as we observe mother nature up close and personal. Hang on. They are starting to re-line their nest. I'll get my camera.
|Our neighbours across the cut|
Talking about TV brings me to the only issue I am having with the boat, and that is getting any sort of decent TV reception. I knew it was going to be marginal, especially out in the sticks, but here we are in a city centre. I know where the nearest transmitter is (I have downloaded an app and a compass to my phone) and I have turned our 12ft high aerial to face it, re-tuned the telly and still nothing. Luckily I spent a good part of the winter copying and accessing a huge library of TV and films, so last night we had a bit of “Ello Ello”, followed by the first episode of “One Foot In The Grave” and then a bit of “Downton”, a series I never watched. We can download via my “Mi Fi” dongle, so if there are odd TV programmes we want to watch, we can via i player, though a couple of times it had to refresh. Quite frankly, though, there is such a load of rubbish on TV, I am really not missing it. It just frustrates me that I cannot get it to work.
That apart all is well. We have a leak via the side hatches, which will need to be resolved where the rain has found its way in, but that is it. I had some engine issues over the weekend, when our pals Penny and Bob joined us for a day, where we were belching out black smoke and there was little acceleration. Mick discovered it was due to a luggage-label that the engine manufacturers had attached to the block, that was flapping and had got stuck to the air filter. So that was cut off and now The Cat’s Whiskers purrs very nicely thank you. Jan, the sign writer also managed to put our licence numbers on before we set off.
|Jan adds our license number on TCW|
It’s the First Mates birthday today and we decided to pop out last night for a bite to eat at one of the excellent pubs on this stretch of the cut for a steak each. I had a beer called Sunburst. I think it brewed at Banks. It was superb.
I am not minding meandering down the canal system in the rain. I can crouch under a large golfing umbrella, but I do not like cruising on rivers much. The rain is OK, but the wind really blows you about, and while I am a lot more confident on the helm, it is a bugger to moor, when it is hitting you side on.
I have been a bit snappy with Pat at a couple of the locks we have negotiated. She is still finding her feet, and doing OK. All the boaters I have met have adopted a sign language to communicate with, so we will start working on ours, but I guess in a week or two, we will not even think about what has to be done. By then we will have our own system that will just roll out as I moor.
Today the forecast is for more heavy showers. At the moment the plan is to stay here for another 24 hours and make a dash back to Trent Lock tomorrow morning. By then we should have done our 50 hours. Mick can do the service and checks and then, rain or shine, we will head west into the sunset.