Bartimaeus Unplugged

Yesterday we took delivery of the large table that has always officially been part of the boat.  The previous owner didn’t want it, so it ended up in storage.  When we collected the boat in July it was overlooked and we only realised it was missing when we were miles away.  Now that we have it on board, I’m happy to have confirmed that it can be used as the door for the tandem cupboard.

It can also be used to convert the dinette in to a king size bed.  So far we’ve been doing that with a complex jigsaw using some plywood I was intending to use elsewhere.  Now the transformation will be simpler, and we’ll have somewhere to store the parts.

We’d been in the marina for a few days and I was wanting to move on.  The boating equivalent of “itchy feet” is “itchy tiller” – I don’t have a very bad case of it.  One of the things I missed most was the view out of the window.  In a marina, most of what you can see is the side of the next boat.  It’s clear that we aren’t going to get any more of the jobs we want done in the next few days, so we’ve set off for a little cruise.

Clare was still feeling a little feeble but agreed to drive while I worked the locks.  We started off with the staircase.  Both locks were completely empty, so when I opened the ground paddles there was a spectacular roar as the water rushed in 17 feet below.  Clare noticed as we were leaving that the lower sill had suffered some damage.  The boats may have suffered more.

Clare and Bartimaeus in Staricase Lock
Damaged Sill at the Bottom of Hanbury Staircase Locks

This time it was Clare who drove under the M5. It’s still as low as it was in July, but we were a bit less surprised by it.

It was more of a surprise to meet another boat.  Luckily for them, they came in to sight just before I turned the lock against them.  So I signalled to Clare that she’d have to wait, and opened the gates for them.  Clare then had to hold the rope in the windy conditions while she waited.

Canal Boats Passing
Clare Casting Off to Enter the Lock

This lock took us on to the canalised River Salwarpe.  The stream indicator was even clearer today, nothing to worry about!

Bartimaeus Passing Green Stream Indicator
Safe to Enter the River Section

As soon as we were off the river section again, we moored up.  We are now in the middle of Vines Park, a short walk from the high class supermarket (other high class supermarkets are available).  We have seen a family of swans and a flock of gulls since we moored, from the other window we can see the statue of St. Richard – that’s better!

I took the opportunity of the close proximity to buy four 5 litre bottles of water.  These have gone in to the bow locker for emergencies.  If for some reason we can’t find water, we’ll not be completely stuck.