Thursday, 20 July 2017

Getting to Gailey

Looking at the weather forecast for the next couple of days suggested that Friday might not be a very good day for boating in this part of the world. Not much in the way of rain, but winds in the high teens gusting up to nearly 30 mph. We’d planned to stop below Gailey today and work up tomorrow, getting a pump out and diesel from the ABC yard above. But if we didn't move tomorrow, that would mean looking for these services from a busy hire yard on a Saturday.

Also, today’s forecast was for heavy rain first thing followed by slowly improving conditions, making the early start and breakfast on the waterpoint plan less than optimal. So we changed it, making a leisurely start then setting off at around half eight. It was, in fact, still raining, but with a fine mizzly rain. I togged up in a waterproof top and shorts (skin dries faster than trousers) and off we went, not stopping to water.

There was a steady amount of traffic about, so Sheila had help at every lock of the eight we had to do today, at the cost of me hanging about below hanging onto Sanity Again. Things went pretty smoothly except that my radio died. Knowing that they were coming up for a change of batteries, I swapped it for the spare in my pocket, but that died too. I got Sheila to take over steering whilst I did an all round battery swap, but it didn't help. It seemed likely that the fine rain was defeating the damp protection of the loudspeakers, so I gave both the problem radios to Sheila to put in the airing cupboard and we managed with hand signals for the rest of the trip.

We’d remembered Gailey as being a good place to get services, but were rather deceived in that. We got a very basic pump out for £18 and filled with just under 110 litres of diesel. The yard only offers a 60 propulsion/40 domestic split unless you are prepared to claim 100% domestic, something you should only do if moored on a residential mooring nearby. On the other hand, their base price for domestic was 64 ppl, so declaring 60/40 rather than my usual 40/60 probably worked out much the same as it would have at a yard charging around 75 ppl base price.

Nonetheless, we’ll try and avoid the place in future. The thing is, the next yard on our direct route is Napton Narrowboats at Autherley who are no better. Our alternative, since the toilet tank probably wouldn't have lasted to Brewood, would have been to go on to Oxley Marine beyond the junction, then wind at Aldersley Junction to come back to Autherley.

After all this, we pushed across to the water point to fill that tank which was getting very low. It’s a slow tap there and, as it was now past twelve o’clock, we ended up lunching rather than breakfasting on the water point. Once all done, we chugged along to the 48 hour visitor moorings at the other end of the straight. We’ve found a nice spot, peaceful (apart from the other boats mostly tanking past) and not too shady or under a tree.

We’ll sit tight here tomorrow, catching up with some jobs inside the boat that have been getting neglected with all this charging about. The good news is, the radios have fully recovered, showing the benefit of having an airing cupboard that gets properly hot thanks to that bit of finrad in the engine coolant return from the calorifier.



Mike Todd said...

If you do go to Oxley, say hi to them for us - but say that we are now Alchemy not Take Five. Might just pass them back end of season.

Bruce in Sanity said...

Hi Mike

We won't need to this time, having used Gailey, but will try and remember next time!