I left that mooring early next morning, as it was reserved for services by the boat yard. Now all the locks were downhill, but they were deep, so I bow hauled the boat out of them, to save climbing down the dirty ladder. I did try flushing out of one lock, but as soon as I closed the top paddle, the boat came to a stop and it was a slower process.
I was reading the blog of Barry and Sandra of nb Areandare, whom I had been in touch with by e-mail for several years when they were touring the canals on nb Nothern Pride. I realised from the blog that they had just passed through the Harecastle tunnel two days before, so I texted them and found they were still in Stone and would be there for two days. Although I had met Barry previously in Brighton I had never met Sandra, who also has a daughter living in Brighton, well Hove actually!
I was invited aboard AreandAre for a home cooked curry later and some of Barry’s homemade red wine– what a treat! We then adjourned to The Star of course, which was right on their doorstep, so to speak and a good night was had by all over a few pints. I had moored just below the top lock, having been told that moorings were non-existent further down, so I had quite a way to zig-zag back to Stronghold.
With Barry and Sandra in The Star.
Barry came past with rubbish to dump the following morning and said that there was now a vacancy behind his boat, so I made a move through the two locks to moor up close to Star Lock. He wants more storage space for his home brew kits and equipment in AreandAre, as they are trading as The Home Brew Boat, so he mentioned that the Epping range had to go. I know that Narrow Boat Trust motor boat Nuneaton needs one, so I took photos and dimensions just in case we could use it.
They departed their mooring about 13.00 and I have to say that I enjoyed their company immensely and hope to see them again soon.
CRT have just replaced fencing around a by-weir here and one of the guys asked if we wanted any of the waste timber, which was full of nails. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted and we put a load on the cabin top to be sorted and sawn up later. Fortunately, I brought the chain saw with me, but I can’t saw it up here in the middle of Stone.
I walked into the chandlery late yesterday to enquire about a new TV aerial and sure enough they had just what I was looking for; a Moonraker digital aerial, similar to the one that has failed. It was only a couple of pounds more expensive than Maplins and it would save me a lot of searching elsewhere, so I bought it on the spot. This is the one recommended to me by Steve on nb Israel Robertson a few weeks ago. Sure enough it produced an excellent picture as soon as it was tuned in. I then opened up the old one to find that the circuit inside had corroded due to the ingress of water over time. I had left it out on the cabin top now for some weeks, but assumed that it was waterproof, which it was not. I will not be leaving the new one out in the rain, even though it claims to be waterproof.
So this is what's inside! Note the corrosion of the printed circuit.