Needing a canal-arac fix, we dropped Mum off at her friend’s house in Daventry and continued on to Braunston to catch up with Lesley and Joe to inspect nb Caxton’s bow stretch. We have never actually met ‘on the cut’, we always seem to be travelling in different areas, but have kept up with each others’ blog since the first days of our respective builds, finding that we had a lot in common in the way we had designed our boats, and in our thinking on various other aspects of the boating life. Both our boats are our respective builders ‘No 9’. We travelled to Foxton by car to meet up with them in December 2008 and have seen them once since at Crick last year. Unable to contact them by phone (no Vodaphone coverage at Braunston!) we went on the off chance that they would be there. After hammering on the door of their caravan parked in the marina car park, we wandered down to Dave Thomas’s workshop to find Joe hard at work doing something noisy on the roof of the boat, and Lesley away with the dogs somewhere. She soon returned, however, and gave us the guided tour of their new pat-y-o! A good size hold for all the coal and wood that I know they hate keeping on the roof, and for all the other accumulated stuff that they have no room for in the boat. And, to top it all, a huge 9ft ish long well deck to stretch out on with a gin and tonic (or 4!) after a long hard days’ boating! Dave Thomas and his staff have done a great job, and will certainly be top of our shortlist if we ever need any steelwork done. We repaired to the Gongoozlers Rest for an early lunch for us and a cuppa for Lesley, and had a good old natter to catch up, and left Joe working! The Caxton crew plan to do the Fens this summer, so we will probably not see them again for a while. Have a lovely summer, both, and hopefully we will catch up and be able to do some cruising together sometime in the future.
We also bought a new Nicks and a new Pearson's in preparation for our summer cruise down the Kennet and Avon, and also a new First Mate guide which we found at the chandlers at Wilton on our way back.
Windsong’s dinette alteration is finished, the few little snags that we had waiting for Neil to sort have been sorted, and Sam from Foxton Boat Services planned to fix our diesel leak from the fuel filter today. We plan to move back sometime late next week, but are waiting for a follow-up appointment for Rog at the hospital after his angioplasty op, before we actually decide what day. We will be going up on Monday however, to take some of our accumulated junk back and to start a spring clean, as you could grow spuds in the muck after the winter.
We are now champing at the bit to be off on our adventures again, but will have to wait a few weeks until the stoppages finish, and Karen and Ian on nb Serenity are ready to move. We also need an engine service before we leave, but we should be away before the end of March.