Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A short cruise

Yesterday we made a short cruise down to Nantwich staying overnight on the 48 hour moorings before returning today.  The main reason for the move was the blackwater tank needed to be emptied.  Jan was the first to use the loo and after the action came out to inform me the tank indicator LED had gone from Green to Red. 

My first comment was “No breakfast for me then!” 

Kelly-Louise was facing the wrong direction so we took her up through the lock to the winding hole where I did a reasonable job of turning her.  We then when back down through two locks and I again winded her in the entrance to Swanley Marina.  I did an even better job with this movement; not touching any of the banks despite the wind.  Actually I used the wind to my advantage.

We then completed the pump-out without any assistance from the marina staff.  The first occasion we’ve done it on our own.  No doubt there will be many more!  I then had to wind the boat again.  This time I reversed it off the pump out station and used the wind to bring the bow around whilst I manoeuvred the stern into the entrance to the marina.  Again I did it without touching the banks which made me fell rather pleased with my boat handling skill. 

We cruised to the Hurleston Locks and found there was no lock keeper on duty.  One of the pounds was very low and we had to run more water down as one boat coming up had grounded.  That’s when I realised the top lock had no by-wash.  This meant all the water entering the flight of locks has to enter and leave via the top lock.  Unless this is carefully managed the lower locks and pounds can run low on water.  I assume this is why there is usually a lock keeper on duty.

We found there were plenty of vacant 48 hour moorings just beyond the NCC marina and settled for the night.  I eventually managed to get an internet signal on the android phone.  It was my fault; one of the settings wasn’t correctly configured. Both of us had a rather broken night’s sleep with the boat bouncing around in the wind.

Today was clear but blustery.  I managed to get a better photo of the horse before making a Skype call

back to my dear old mum in Perth, Western Australia.  We had our weekly natter and solved the world’s ills.

The wind had started to increase in strength so we decided it might be prudent to get back to the home mooring.  Of course this meant I had to again wind the boat.  A new technique this time.  I stopped KL at the winding-hole and held onto a stern rope allowing the wind to push the bow of KL around. 

Whilst the technique worked I was embarrassed to watch another boater come down after me and effortlessly wind his boat in the same spot without getting off it.  Note to myself………. More practice required!

We then “crabbed” our way back to the mooring in the wind.

The two major pieces of information from all of this are:

  1. The capacity of the blackwater tank on KL is 26 days
  2. I need to practice my winding technique.

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