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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Etruria Canals Festival 6.

Oops! I have just been brought into line by Lynne, who pointed out that Sunday was missing from this blog, so here goes.

A short lye-in was in order this morning listening to the birds singing as dawn broke over Stoke-on-Trent to another fine day, by the look of things – how lucky we were.

The usual busying about the boats tidying this and that and getting ship shape for visitors. Lynne was self appointed galley slave, whilst the boys got on with the things boys have to do, like fixing up a working bike out of the three on board, changing over batteries from one boat to another and emptying the loo.  At midday it was time for another parade of boats. This time John took the helm of Nuneaton and we took the longer route to the winding point.

John setting off.(photo by Lynne)

Towards the junction. (photo by Lynne)
At the end of the run, when all the participating boats had moored up, it transpired that the final winding operation had been a competition to see who was best. John was honoured to be called up to the presentation and thought that the worst he could do was third place. Much to the amusement of all, he was presented with the wooden spoon for the worst performance. Oh well, we could all be there, as so much is down to luck on the day.
The Captain and his harem! (photo by Lynne)

Back at base, I went to see the lady blacksmith to see if she could tidy up some welding to a weed cutter that I had previously made and welded in a hurry. She was most obliging, doing it for nothing and kept me there talking for a long time about how she started smithing etc. I had made a similar weed cutter for my boat and it worked so well, I thought NBT should also have one, as there is no weed hatch on Nuneaton and any debris has to be dragged away from the propeller from the bank. Fortunately, on this trip, it was not needed and when we got to see the different propeller that had been recently fitted, it became obvious that it was not going to pick up so much rubbish as the old one. When it did pick up a small amount, it was easily shaken off by chucking back in reverse. Maybe I had wasted my time – we shall see.

I did manage to see the last tour of the beam engine in the Etruscan  bone mill late in the afternoon. Beam engines I am familiar with, but the method of grinding bone to add to the potters’ clay was a revelation, as huge rocks were pushed around by beams in a brick lined pan and the bone and calcined flint was thus crushed to a paste. I had expected something akin to grinding stones in a flour mill.       http://www.friendsofetruriamuseum.org.uk/index.html

After a meal on board kindly provided by Graham, he and I went off to find The Holy Inadequate pub. A folk group, all two of them, were playing in the main bar and for a Sunday evening the place was well filled. An excellent selection of beers on offer to round off the day.

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