Oliver is feeling quite proud today as he managed to carry two rather elderly and inexperienced passengers from the top of Buckby Locks all the way to the fringes of Rugby. He took them through the darkness of Braunston Tunnel, down Braunston Locks, through the busy junction and on to the Oxford Canal.
Peter and Romy were most appreciative of his assistance.
We met up with “Ben” and had company down the flight of double locks at Braunston which helped to speed up our progress. Ben is, we believe, also a Heyford Fields resident.
Sarah and I joined up with Mum and Dad to give them a send off and a helping hand through Buckby locks as their grand adventure on Oliver began.
Dad’s come well equipped with lots of new gadgets and gizmos, including the mighty Hercules windlass, a super light-weight barge pole, the WiggleSnapper rope bollard hooking device and the longest selfie-stick known to mankind!
Mum’s been baking and cooking to ensure the larder is well filled and tummies likewise will be kept full and satisfied. We had a lovely beef bourguignon for dinner, before Sarah and I headed back home and left them to a lovely canal side evening.
Mum and Dad came up for the weekend to have a run out with Oliver in preparation for their epic adventure to Langollen in a few weeks time. Hire companies might do their boat briefings in 10 minutes and send you packing, but they’re only ever an hour or two away with engineers on hand to sort out any problems you run into!
Watch out, learners about!
Mum did a great job steering
but let Dad takeover for the advanced task of winding the boat
whilst Sarah enjoyed the chance to chill out and put her feet up
After lunch we did a spot of route-planning – who knew there were so many ways to get around Birmingham?!
Oliver got a good day of TLC on Saturday; after blood (literally), sweat (maybe a little) and hopefully no tears, Sarah put the finishing touches to the new blinds she’s been busy making over the last few weeks.
We’re both thrilled with them, they really freshen up the inside of the boat a lot and make the most of the light. Sarah’s also fitted some new steel rails to hold the bottom of the blinds in – but we didn’t get any photos to show yet.
Meanwhile toby was busy doing an engine service, replacing the engine oil, oil filter, diesel filter and the gearbox oil for the first time. Many thanks are due to Brian, who helped with getting the oil filter off – it was stuck solid! Dad’s old filter belt was still up to the job though 🙂
What better for a double-celebration than a trip out on Oliver for the first time!
Dad had great fun steering, including reversing back onto Oliver’s birth at the end of the trip; he handed over the tiller for Sarah to also show her expertise, neatly turning us around at Whilton marina so we didn’t have to struggle through any locks! Good job we didn’t either, as we only just got back in time for dinner at the Wharf later!
Toby enjoyed a chance to chill out, barely touching the tiller all trip – perhaps Tiller Tobes will have to be renamed something else. The new ropes made a great improvement, soft to the touch and neat and elegant too.
Mum meanwhile faces the task of getting to grips with her new Kindle – finally a gadget of her own to play with!
We had a lovely day out over the weekend, the sun was shining and it was a perfect day to pootle along so we went down towards Weedon Bec and back. The bathroom sink is now back in one piece and no longer leaking… hopefully the bedroom hatch is no longer leaking either, but only time will tell on that one!
This weekend the big clearout inside continued; we found troubles with the gas oven not staying lit, the houdini hatches got their rubber seals put back in place and sealant applied around the frames, the dishwasher(!) was taken out and last but not least the water tank got a big clean out and some rust treatment with Vactan
Here’s a few piccies:
The tank as we found it after emptying
I found a new home!
The cleaned out tank, with Vactan treatment already drying out towards the top
Dishwasher and washing machine removed
Utility cupboard cleaned and tidied
Houdini hatches’ seals pushed back in
Houdini hatches’ frames sealed (it’s still leaking!!)