The Llangollen adventure begins

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.


Newbie Takeover

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!

L-Plates-2Watch 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’s Spring new look

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.

New blind
New blind
New blind
New blind

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 🙂

Brian kindly helped wrestle off the oil filter
Brian kindly helped wrestle off the oil filter

Toby doing an engine service

Mum’s Birthday and Father’s Day – two for the price of one!

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!

Enjoying the sunshine

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!

Leaving the marina – always a bit tricky with lots of fellow boaters watching the newbies!!


Check out Sarah’s £4 special new sunglasses
A rare starboard shot of the boat in port (It could do with a clean)

Water Tank cleanout

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

Old rusty
Old rusty

I found a new home!

Down the hatch
Down the hatch

The cleaned out tank, with Vactan treatment already drying out towards the top

Clean tank
Clean tank

Jobs done:

  • Dishwasher and washing machine removed
  • Utility cupboard cleaned and tidied
  • Houdini hatches’ seals pushed back in
  • Houdini hatches’ frames sealed (it’s still leaking!!)
  • Stern gland greaser refilled
  • Water tank cleaned and painted with vactan
  • Kitchen sink drain leak repaired



Hello Oliver!

Welcome to the start of Oliver’s new adventures. He’s already had quite a few already, but now he’s embarking on new journeys with new friends…. we hope! First of all he’s got to pass his medical on Thursday, so we’re all crossing our fingers for a clean bill of health.