Today was ‘boat moving day’, one day earlier than originally planned. I’m not sure why, exactly. It goes like that sometimes. We’re a bit mad and spontaneous. Sometimes I stay up until ten o’clock at night and watch Rick and Morty. So lock me up! I’m an anarchist!
We passed the boat below en route. It was called Badger, I think. Actually we passed several boats, some of them reluctantly moving again after the comatose last few months, but this was the only one that I took a photograph of, because I’d forgotten that I was supposed to write a blog on ‘boat moving day’ for CaRT legal purposes.
After I’d tied up near Nateby Hall Lane, I noticed that the usually glutinous grease filling our stern gland (the stuff required to prevent the prop shaft from leaking and thus sinking the boat) had gone a bit funny in the heat. What do you mean, “What heat?” We’ve had a few sporadic intervals of sunshine this summer. Coupled with the rain leaking through my Houdini hatch this has generated enough humidity in our engine room to result in a small forest of mushrooms sprouting from the floor. I’m not proud of this fact. I’m just saying, that’s all.
Anyhow, the stern gland grease had gone funny and separated into two distinct states; one crunchy, the other liquid. This is not good. I don’t fancy trying to raise the boat from the canal bed much. It weighs about sixteen tons as it is. Full of water it’d be impossible to lift on my own.
So I went to Glasson Dock, the closest chandlers to Nateby now that the one at Bridge House has sunk without a trace. (They obviously didn’t look after their stern gland properly.) I didn’t travel to Glasson by boat. That would have required operating six locks there and six locks back, plus parting with fourteen quid for the overnight charge for using the marina’s visitor moorings. (I could be wrong about that last bit. That’s what somebody told me. I’ve never actually checked. My enthusiasm tends to switch off after the bit about ‘six locks there…’)
In the chandlers I was busy hunting for the tins of stern gland grease when a fledgling interrupted me. I’m not sure what sort of bird it was – a small, fat thing with more erratic aviation skills than Woodstock out of Peanuts. It came tumbling in through the door at about a hundred miles an hour, then hurled itself all over the shop in spontaneous explosions of feathers and tiny fried eggs. Well, they looked like tiny fried eggs to me. The chandler’s going to have his work cut out scrubbing that lot off his stock this evening.