The plan is to have the lodge ready to occupy apart from fresh food, so the beds are made up with clean linen, the cupboards are fully stocked with food, wine and beer and so on. Thus, if there's an emergency, one or both of us can leave the boat wherever she is, travel back to the marina and be able to live in the lodge with just a trip to the shop for fresh stuff. Even that wouldn't be essential – there's UHT milk in the cupboard and frozen part-baked rolls in the freezer.
Meanwhile, I hauled everything out of the bow locker so as to put the snow shovel and salt away down below and extract the plant pots for Sheila to fill in due course. Getting the snow shovel out has been well worthwhile. It's one of those win-win strategies. It means that either Sod's law ensures no snow fall, as this year, or we're ready to deal with it if a blizzard arrives...
In the engine room I lifted the boards, checked the oil and water and gave the drive belts a quick looking over. I was a touch concerned that the FuelGuard had some black stuff in it, so drained a bit of fuel out of the bottom. No water was seen and the black bits looked like tank bottom detritus, but just to be on the safe side I gave the tank a double dose of Marine 16. I also sucked some fuel up from the bottom of the tank and found it bright and clean with no sign of water.
Elanor came round with Sally at the end of the afternoon and we had a walk round the marina. El had been working hard too, mowing the lawn and painting in Barley Close.
On the way back, I diverted to the lodge to collect the Garmin and the third radio which had hidden themselves in the cupboard under the TV.
I had a bit of a broken night, ending at half five when I realised I hadn't packed any spare trousers... That mean a quick dash back to the lodge first thing. Nonetheless, we managed to get away at 8.45 on a perfect boating day, fresh, calm and sunny.
It was a steady run to Branston – there are quite a few boats about already and we had to wait for a few minutes at Dallow Lane lock where an RW Davies boat was struggling to get over the bottom cill into the lock. Mind you, he lifted his fenders for the second attempt and found it much easier ;).
We've tied in our usual place on the Burton side of the new bridge works. It's a bit noisy as the building work is fairly pushing along, but hey, we're from Mercia, the sound of heavy plant reversing makes us feel at home ;) ;)
After lunch I checked out the engine hole again. No problems there, the FuelGuard now looks fine with indeed just one or two bits of scale stuck to the filter. I then set to and tidied the engine room itself, the radio cupboard and the cubby hole with the stern greaser in it.
We've had a quick stroll along the towpath for a nosey at the works. The Bridge Inn is under new management but I think we're a bit too cream crackered to try it tonight. Tomorrow, on to Alrewas.