...far too long in fact. A combination of not having internet access on the boat until the summer, Blogger being banned on my workplace network, other commitments (work - curse of the drinking classes!), and my outstanding skills of procrastination have meant that I haven't raised my head above the parapet for 10 months. One of my New Year resolutions is to start posting here on a more regular basis. To start with I'll give a precis of what's been happening boaty wise over the last 10 months.
My last post had us waiting for the arrival of WW at Islington tunnel, from where we would take it to our mooring on the River Stort Navigation on the Essex/Herts border. Well, I met up with the boat mover as planned on Sat 5th March and bade him farewell. The Witch was more or less as I remembered her, the only scars of the trip up from Newbury being one fewer radio aeriels and a shattered bathroom window, which appears to have happened between Paddington and Islington.
I laminated the shattered window with Sellotape and covered it with a black bag. We then set sail and on Monday 7th March we arrived at Harlow, having overnighted at Hackney Wick and Waltham Town on the way. We tied the boat up, chatted with some of my soon to be boaty neighbours in the marina and then went back to SWMBO's flat in London. A week later I actually took up residence on the boat, and I'm glad to say that that is how you find me now...settled in and still officially boaty. The marina where I'm moored is really lovely. Only about 40 boats of which about 10 are residential, and the people here are really friendly and helpful. Anyway, guess I should give you a quick run down of some of the things we've been up to on the boat since March...
Easter 2011: cruised back into London as far as Islington and then back to Harlow, picking up some family and friends on the way.
July 2011: went to the Ware Festival. Managed to truly ground the bow on a submerged tree trunk in front of the festival towpath barbecue...v. embarassing!
Late July - Late August 2011: took a five week round trip cruise up to Cropredy for the music festival: Stort - Lee - Regent's - GU Paddington - GU - South Oxford. 2 weeks to get there. Spent a week in Cropredy and then 2 weeks back. Takes about 2 hours each way in the car! A great time and SWMBO and I managed not to kill each other (although there were a few close moments!).
October 2011: GMT barbecue on the lockside at Latton Lock with marina neighbours.
December 2011: Post Christmas 2 day cruise along the Stort.
Repairs and boaty purchases:
Shattered bathroom window - replaced
Hot water Pressure Release Valve - failed and replaced
Multifuel stove back boiler automatic pressure valve - failed and replaced
Central heating circulation pump - failed and replaced
Alternator - failed and replaced
Morse control - failed and replaced
Leisure batteries replaced
New ropes - bow, stern and long centre
New 12v/240v refigerator
New stern fender
Galvanic isolator installed
Lots of coal
Dongle for boaty internet access
LED cabin lights
Improved security on stern doors
2 kittens - Bobina and Twig
I'll post some pictures soon.
So there we are! Like i said, I aim to be less of a stranger from now on.
Happy New Year!