A Bird in the Chandlers is Worth Replacing the Grease in the Bilge Pump…or something.

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.

There’s no caption with this photograph, because I’ve explained what it is already.

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.

This is us, moored up near Nateby Hall Lane. I told you so!

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…’)

Glasson Dock, or Glasson Basin, or somewhere with a lot of boats with masts in it anyhow.

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.


7 thoughts on “A Bird in the Chandlers is Worth Replacing the Grease in the Bilge Pump…or something.

    1. That’s nothing. Last week I put a plastic milk bottle into the ‘glass bottle’ bank! It was a mistake, obviously, and I took it out again when I realised ten seconds later, but fortunately there were no coppers about or they’d have probably banged me right up.


      1. My god man – what will it be next? Toppling small South American governments? If you need a dodgy banker and some ugly muscle I have contacts, just let me know. Grandma wasn’t known as the Big Bad Boss Bitch of Grimsby Docks for seventy years for nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. We did the six locks down and six locks back last year, hard work, but after braving the Ribble Link in a little thirty-five footer we felt ready for anything and at least the rest of Owd Lanky doesn’t have locks. What made it worth while for us was the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse. Did spend a fortune though …


      1. We weren’t on marina visitor moorings though. CaRT signs so difficult to fathom from the boat that we moored over in the corner of the basin where we thought visitor moorings were and got scowled at by a load of fishermen. But we’re used to that!

        Liked by 1 person

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