It has been quite a week. Icebound for 2 and a half days before we could leave. But that allowed us to get organized. Sally’s car was loaded to the gunnels! Sheets, towels, glasses, mugs, kitchen implements, plates, bowls, cutlery. All supplied on the boat but I wanted extra. Including a donated Ringtons tea teapot. Found places for nearly everything, just a few adjustments left to make.
There had to be some celebrations:
We have already had some adventures while on the learning curve to smooth life on board. Yesterday we woke up in Chester after a night of high winds and lots of rain, with little power, and no toilet, our cassette toilet was full. Jumped into action, moving the boat close to Waitrose, a posh grocery store, to use the washrooms. The wind fell, the rain stopped and we were off to recharge the batteries. Was able to empty the toilet a bit later. I will be using the guides I have to use every emptying station available! Managing our electricity consumption is interesting but we are getting the hang of it. The central heating works well but we don’t leave it on overnight. So first one up gets it going and we are toasty in no time. The beds are nice and warm, with hot water bottles to supplement heat. Connectivity to the web is a bit dicey. As someone at a marina said, getting a signal inside a metal boat is a bit challenging, so between getting our phones and computers charged up, and getting a signal communicating is patchy. Hence the delay in this posting! But we have been busy. Lucien insists on tying up near a pub each night which sometimes pushes us further down the canal than cold permeating my body would normally allow. In the pub are open fires, lovely, and lots of dogs, even lovelier. Helps with missing Zoey.
I am getting much more comfortable with managing the boat, its daily care, steering, stopping and starting. Doing maneuvers in the wind will be a challenge on my own, but luckily there are few people out on the canals so I can mess up and no one will be impatient while I learn. And next week I have another boat person on board, so more learning.
We had a good lesson in counting heads before setting off. Dani was in the marina building and we sauntered away on Little Star. We quickly discovered our mistake and rescued her. She is now safely back with us.
The new header is The Angel of the North. Erected after I left England, it has quickly become the icon of the north east. A real focal point, well positioned to be seen from the motorway and for miles around.