1. Written on Thursday evening:
Here we sit, on the back of Herbie at our new Ventnor berth, gazing out across the still water to the reeds beyond.
The only sound is the gentle plop of our neighbour Bob's car keys as he drops them in the water, followed by the inevitable clunk of his Sea Searcher magnet as it clamps to the side of his boat’s hull instead of lowering to the lost keys below. This is the life.
Miraculously, he did retrieve them and despite being the electronic variety, they still worked. Ventnor is indeed a magical place.
When we pulled into the marina this afternoon, Karen the marina manager was waiting to greet us on our pontoon and swiftly offered a lift in her car back to Wigrams Turn to collect our car. How nice was that? We've been made to feel very welcome.
The boat next to us is called Tranquility, when we pulled in I had to restrain myself from shouting "Tranquility base - the Herbie has landed".
Before dinner we took a walk to view the other basin. Ours is called Sunset, the other being Sunrise . Sunrise is nice enough, but I'm happy to say that there's hardly a spot in the whole marina that I would swap for the one we have. How lucky are we?
In other news, yesterday I managed without difficulty to climb the steep footpath from Braunston marina up to the village. This photo doesn't do it justice.
Those familiar with that path will testify to the fact that it takes a bit of puff at the best of times. A month ago I could never have managed even a half of it. Thank you NHS.
Down at the marina entrance the dear old Gongoozlers Rest cafe was doing a brisk trade.
At the moment service is outside and people eat in the adjacent little tea garden. Miraculously we resisted temptation and passed by opting instead to visit the Aladdins Cave of Tradline Fenders to buy some shiny stainless steel shackles for our fender ropes and some nice whipping cord to tidy up the ends of our mooring ropes. I love doing whipping - a skill I learned in my youth when I used to build my own fishing rods.
I must be feeling better because I've made a start on some badly needed jobs on Herbie. The wooden hand rails are in a terrible state, presumably because I did poor prep last time I painted them. Now paint is peeling everywhere. This time I'm being more thorough and have discovered that an abrasive flap wheel on my drill gets the old paint off nicely. It won't be quick but I'll get there.
I've been giving Herbie a wash and polish too and that's only half done as you can easily see in this next photo. Eighteen months of lockdown neglect has taken its toll on the paintwork.
My magnetic letters have been a hit with passers by this week. I've had lots of comments of approval and amusement. Everybody should get some.
Now back home for a bit. What a joy it was not to have to trek half way round the marina to pack the car.
We hope to be back to Herbie very soon, those jobs won't finish themselves.