Wednesday 10th May.
Sunshine at last, although another strong easterly breeze, which dropped off about midday.
There has been an influx of large flies hatching out in the boat this morning and I suspect they are coming from beneath the locker where the mink dragged the remains of a bird some weeks ago. The mink got in through a ventilator which seems unique to this boat and was on and off board for about six days when I left the boat on its winter mooring. I know this because it left a calling card that many times on a carpet tile – always on the same place – how convenient! I did eventually block the ventilator with chicken wire and bricks and remove the cratch cover, which stopped it. Two other boaters on my moorings had a similar experience. Anyway, I tried to remove the bottom shelf of the locker, but it was all built in. I vacuumed as best I could in the limited space and sprayed the area with wasp and fly killer, which seemed to do the job as a drunken fly crawled out afterwards.
The offending ventilator where the mink got in.
I was all set to make up a Thai Chicken and prawn curry, but it seems that I forgot the coconut milk, so that will have to be made tomorrow. I have forgotten this before, so made an alteration to the menu, which is kept on my laptop.
More time was spent on the hot water system, but I think I have hit the buffers there, unless I install a thermostat in the entry to the skin tank. Thinking about it, that will only delay the hot water to the calorifier, which will cool down as soon as it opens. Another alternative is to take the hot water from the cylinder head through the calorifier on the way to the skin tank. That will involve major plumbing work that cannot be done on this trip, but it’s a thought that needs further investigation. I did at last find information on the net in Canal World Discussion Forum, which has been so useful over the years that I had owned a boat
I paid a visit to The Kings Head this evening – well it would be rude not to as I am here already. The food menu looks more attractive than what I remember and the Lasagne at least was homemade and NOT served with chips. A good choice of beers, so it appears to be a free house. The entertainment list is quite impressive too and even a beer festival for good measure..
The Kings Head, Hunton Bridge.
Thursday 11th May.
I slipped the moorings about 11am heading for Apsley or thereabouts and passing through North Grove Lock. I well remember when I owned a camper van and looking at this lock and house from the M25 well before I ever thought about buying a narrow boat. In all I did another five locks on top of yesterdays ten on my own. Unfortunately there are very few boats going my way.
Stopping off at Apsley Marina for coconut milk, i was very surprised at how cheap it was in a small Premier shop, compared to larger supermarkets – maybe it was old stock.
After six locks I had had enough and moored up between the “New ‘Uns” as the old boaters used to call them at Apsley. It was time to cook now that I had all the ingredients, before a trip to The Paper Mill for a pint.