Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Work Day - Sunday 9th June 2013

The weather was just right for polishing the boat, not too much sun and not too warm, so we set about giving the boat a good wash with the hose and brush and then polish. I had purchased a car polishing machine from Toolstation which we were able to use on the sides and what a difference it made both to applying the polish and buffing it up. No more crippled arms and we were able to complete both sides in one day. This getting old is no joke you know. We used a Carnuba polish this time as it seems to be the recommended polish to use on most forums. I must say it brought a good shine to the boat but we will have to see how well it lasts and protects.
Could not  resist taking this picture of the Swans taking their now five signets over the field and road from the pool for an morning dip in the marina.
A SwanS
Later in the afternoon Neil and Ruth from our neighbouring boat came over for tea and cake and a catch up chat.
We headed home tired but well pleased with our efforts for the day.

Family Day Trip - Saturday 8th June 2013

Today we had arranged for June’s brother, sister in law and nephew to come over for a trip out on the boat. We had been trying to arrange it for a long time but things had never been right for one reason or another. The weather forecast had been for a nice sunny day but as usual it turned out cloudy with a cool easterly wind. Never mind we set sail and headed towards Rugby passing several boats on the move but the popular mooring spots at Newbold and Rugby were almost empty, a rare sight indeed. We moored up for lunch on the park at Rugby so that Cassie their 7 month old Retriever could have a good run about.
Neil took the helm for most of the way and soon got the hang of steering even though it was his first time aboard a narrow boat.a neil at helm
Cassie was not so sure about the boat, particularly about getting on and off and  reminded me of Tucker at the same age. Next time she comes I am sure she will have gained the confidence to jump on and off without a care.
B cassie braves the deck
We turned around just before Clifton Cruisers and headed back to the marina with June, Neil and myself taking turns at the helm. The canal was busy with moving boats but still the moorings were plentiful at all the main spots. Just before the marina we passed this Rose Day Boat with the crew celebrating a party. Its a great way to spend a special day particularly if the weather is good.
C Party Boat
We arrived back at the marina in time for tea and home made cake before taking Cassie on one of the many nice walks which surround the marina. However, we had to turn back as the wind blowing the pollen from the surrounding fields of oil seed rape was so strong we could not breath properly.
Later we said our good byes as Leslie, Sue, Neil and Cassie headed for home after another lovely day.

Work Party turned to Dinner Party - Friday 7th June 2013

We decided to spend the weekend on the boat and catch up with a few of the jobs which we had not had time to do earlier in  the year. We arrived at the boat in the morning and set to on varnishing the exposed areas of the engine room, painting the pole which was too long to take home in the car during the winter months, and touching up the odd spots on the paintwork.
After a lunch I checked the emails whilst having a short rest and found that Stephen and Jayne, Nb Dolce Far Niente, had emailed to say they would be in our area and would like to meet up. As it turned out they had just moored down the cut at All Oaks Wood and so we called in to see them after our trip out to the shops.
Chatting over coffee and wine aboard DFN turned into dinner at the Bulls Head in Brinklow. The owners had just given it a makeover and had a new summer menu which we all enjoyed with the portion sizes beating both the girls. We very often have their cheap lunch time menu which we have always found to be good value so would recommend it for both lunchtime and evenings. The chatting continued over coffee on Autumn Myst  before returning Jayne and Stephen back to their boat, we just wondered where the time had gone.
So nice to catch up with you guys, enjoy the rest of your summer cruise.
The Bulls Head at Brinklow

Avocets from the canal - Thursday 6th June 2013

Today we visited Upton Warren Nature Reserve which is home to the largest inland colony of Avocets and currently has around 25 adult Avocet and 32 young from 10 broods (with 3 birds still sitting).  The Reserve is just a short bus ride from Droitwich Basin or a short walk from the Canal at Stoke Works and is well worth a visit if you like birds.
There are three pools divided by the River Salwarpe with the Flashes being a saline pool hence the nesting of the Avocets, the Sailing Pool and Moors Pool are both deeper and natural water and hence are home to a different range of birds. There are several hides which gave us a good close view of the pool and the birds.A Upton Warren
The Avocet is a lovely black and white bird with a really long curved delicate beak.
E Avocet
Its chicks have to fend for themselves almost from day one and so they were a delight to watch feeding on the shore line in the shallows.
H Avocet Chicks
There are a lot Terns on the pool which always seem get in on the act.
B Avocet and gull Chick
We saw a wide range of birds, too many to mention here, but including these Shell Duck and Ringed Plovers which I photographed.
C Shell Ducks
F Bird