Monday, April 15, 2024

Work and play at Cropredy

 I'm glad to report that Herbie is still afloat - well you never know these days with all the weather we're having; there's a 40-odd mph wind outside as I write.  Anyhow we spend a jolly couple of days on Herbie at the weekend and actually got some jobs done.  We didn't go anywhere of course, but we didn't need to because lots of things were happening at Cropredy marina, it being their (our?) Open Day.  There was Hook Norton beer from the Village Butty and pizzas and a few traders too as well of course lots of other moorers to chat to and make friends with.  

We splashed out on a new button fender for Herbie's rear end - I haven't fitted it yet, first I've got to deal with the rusted upon shackles holding the old fender on, then I've got to lie flat on the rear deck to reach down to the welded chain fixings and peer over the stern hoping my specs don't fall off.  The fender itself is ever so heavy, I hope I don't drop it in the drink before I get the chains secure 'cos it sure won't float.

Jobs I did manage to get done were a) polishing the one side of the boat I can get at from our pontoon and b) fitting a new radio aerial.  Actually the aerial itself we fitted last time out, but this time it was routing the cable through the roof lining and down a covered wooden channel to the radio.  I found myself unscrewing all sorts of bits of boat, then deciding I didn't need to and screwing them all back again, then cutting the cable to length whilst worrying I might have cut it too short, then finally tucking it all away out of sight.  A proper DiYer would scoff at how easy a job it is, but for a dyspraxic old git like me who gets giddy looking overhead through my varifocals it becomes a non trivial exercise.  

One job I won't be handling myself is the fixing of Herbie's MORCO gas water heater which has decided not to keep the pilot light going.  Luckily I know a man who knows all about Morcos and he was at the Open Day - the redoubtable Clive Mantt who for years was the go to mechanic and Mr Fixit at Cropredy.  Now he has officially retired but he still will do the odd bit of gas work.  Other stuff like crawling around in engine 'oles and suchlike he now leaves to the younger generation.  I know how he feels.  Anyhow he's going to fix our Morco on Thursday - good old Clive.

When Aquavista swallowed up Castle Marinas, we moorers were naturally nervous about what it might mean, but so far the changes have all been good.  Cropredy has got posh new showers and toilets, better wifi, a new moorer's gazebo 

and a marked increase in social activities, so it'll be good to come for weekends or short breaks at the marina even if time or the weather precludes opportunities to go out cruising.  But when we do go cruising there's another benefit brought by Aquavista.  Last year they allowed their paid up moorers to visit any of their 29 marinas free of charge for up to 34 days a year.  Now they've put that up to 100 days!  That opens up some good opportunities for taking on a long cruise in bits and pieces, breaking off here and there to get back home for a while before continuing.
How about a trip to Nottingham? Aquavista have 4 marinas en route ( actually one on a short detour) from Cropredy and one in Nottingham itself.  I'm tempted. We could spread the return trip over two or three months.