Monday 9th to Sunday 15th August 2010.
Mon 9th August – River Weaver, Devils Garden
The weekend over, we bid farewell to Bob and Jenny on Ivy-May and set off for the water tap and shops down river.
Dropping V at Sutton Swing Bridge I continued on my own to explore the far reaches of the navigation and to see if I could squeeze under Whites Bridge and enter the docks at Weston Point. I knew it would be tight but the recent rise of 6 inches in water levels hasnt helped and it was no surprise to find the way was blocked.
Like most dead-ends theres rubbish and overgrown vegetation but unlike other places theres no one living here, no boats no dossers, nothing. Perhaps its something to do with the smells and leaks from the chemical works next door.
Returning to Marsh Lock I checked the shipping movements on MarineTraffic.com and noticed that the ferry Snowdrop was approaching Weaver bend on her way up the Manchester Ship Canal. I assumed she was doing the Liverpool to Manchester cruise, judging by the commentary drifting across the water.
Looking back at Marsh Lock (on the left) and the canal to Weston Point (on the right) I wondered how long it would be before we were back in these parts, perhaps next time well book a passage through the lock onto the ship canal and pop across to Liverpool.
By the time I got to Sutton Bridge V was on her way back from Frodsham, on the bus.
Minutes later we were down below sipping hot drinks when suddenly all the lights went out. A black boat crept up close and blocked the light completely which sent me scurrying top-side to find out what was going on. Imagine our surprise to find nb.Trundle with Dave and Dil millions of miles from their marina at Raynsway on the River Soar.
We sat outside and nattered and caught up on all the news from back home Leicester way before parting, us upstream to Devils Garden while they continued down to the end.
Ive been putting off doing the dinette table for a while but Vs frequent glances at the calendar reminded me that we dont have too many days left to get the boat ship shape for the winter.
Sanding varnished wood is a messy job so Ive decided to strip instead. I have to say there are merits using chemicals instead of sanding machines, everything comes off in one go.
There is one small problem, last time I did this I went too far with the sander and gave the table a light spot in one corner. It doesnt look too bad until the varnish goes on, when it suddenly becomes too obvious to ignore. This time I thought Id be clever and stain the light area before applying the varnish.
I tried wet tea, coffee granules, lipstick (Vs not mine), shoe polish and eye shadow (again, Vs not mine). Its better, not perfect, but it will do until another idea comes along.
When Vs not busy clearing up my mess shes doing wonders making new push-in covers (porthole bungs). I get to do the heavy duty stapling but shes a whiz at cutting, sewing and covering, is there anything she cant do?
Checked the paint locker up ford for signs of leaking around the bow thruster tube after hearing stories of tubes rusting and boats sinking. Fortunately this compartment is sealed off from the rest of the boat so even if it does leak we shouldnt sink. A good design point by Reeves.
Its rare to see two boats together on the Weaver so when we saw 8 boats in a convoy going down river we knew something was happening. A Mersey crossing perhaps?
Thursday is market day so we pottered off down to Sutton Bridge and caught the bus to town.
The man on the paint wagon had remembered me and stocked up on floor varnish floor. A 2.5 litre tub of varnish at half the shop price should do me for a couple of years, good man.
We quit fighting the weather when we were upwind of the smelly farm and pulled over to rest up and hang the boat with waterproofs.
Friday turned out better so we took ourselves off to Barnton Cut.
On the way I got talking to Duttons locky Fred Coppenhall who said hed find me some old ship photos that Im always on the look out for. He used to have a website for them but now hes concentrating on his book writing.
A quote from Seyellas Blog:-
.Fred Coppenhall .. Hes the lock keeper at Dutton Lock down on the Weaver who writes in his spare time. I picked up his second book today, Untying the Knot, having enjoyed the first, Fools and Villains.
How unusual, something was moving at Acton Bridge. Divers were walking about under water so we crept up so as not to snag our prop on one but as it happened they were all taking tea in the works van.
I couldnt wait to see what was in the floor varnish tub and once Id opened it and smelled the delightful chemicals I found I couldnt resist slapping some on the bathroom floor.
But it wasnt all work, by 4 oclock the clouds had gone and the barbeque was spitting into life.
A couple of local boats joined us for the evening but it was so quiet on the river that you could hear voices in the village a mile or so away.
Sunday 15th August
A light breeze with hazy sunshine makes the river just perfect.
We are so fortunate to be here, theres no rush, no competition for moorings, no anglers and no mountain bikes belting down the towpath. Ok, the water is dodgy, you wouldnt want to drink it, but there are no signs that anyone or anything has ever fallen in it and suffered.
Unlike canals we have no plastic bottles, no polystyrene KFC trays, no size seven shoes (why is it always a size seven left shoe?) and no Sainsbury carrier bags.
Whether thats because things dont get thrown in or the chemicals dissolve them quickly I wouldnt like to say.