Monday, 14 October 2013

Rain and Meetings

I walked back to Waiouru after returning the car to Enterprise this morning and then we pulled out the pins so we could start heading south.  There was a brief stop at Clifton Cruisers to confirm our winter mooring arrangements with Victoria who also kindly gave Jan all the post received in our absence since May.  Now we haven’t given anyone their address for our post so it was somewhat of a surprise.  In the end we discovered it was all NHS junk mail received as a result of us registering with a local Rugby medical practice. 

One of the water taps was free below Hillmorton Locks but because both taps share the same pipe it’s quite a slow filler.  Then the light rain got heavier and I was reminded of how miserable life could be living on the Manawatu Plains right against the western side of the Tararua Ranges.  The heavy clouds would be pushed off the Tasman Sea and be forced to dump their precipitation on us to get over the top of the range.  It was a rotten place to live and despite being born there I’ve no desire to return! 

After the tank had filled we moved off to the the bottom lock in the rain.  The flight of three locks are narrow and duplicates.  As we were going up the adjacent lock was being used by a boat going down.  It was nb Figment with Malcolm & Julia.  We last met them at the beginning of May <blog post here> half way between the Napton Flight and Wigrams Turn.  They were heading back to their mooring at Calcutt Marina whilst we were going to the same destination to have our Hurricane heater looked at.  There was only time for a very brief chat before we departed in opposite directions.  We may pass yet again when they return and we head back to our winter mooring.

There wasn’t a vacant mooring immediately above the flight so we kept going.  Jan checked Paul’s map (Waterway Routes) on the PDA and identified the next suitable mooring was just beyond the M45 bridge.  We cruised on the in the rain where I noticed one seam in my lightweight rain jacket opened and the shoe salesman had lied to me about the Gortex liner in my new joggers made them waterproof.  The map was accurate and we found a length of armco suitable for mooring using the ‘nappy’ pins.  We’re all on our own.  I guess that means we can run the engine after 8.00pm.  A passing boater at the beginning of the Hillmorton Flight had told us the forecast was for very heavy rain in the afternoon, this is why we continued cruising during the morning showers.  He got the forecast wrong because the sun came out in the afternoon.  The forecast is for showers tomorrow.

Jan put on a load of washing whilst we cruised and because of the rain she also ran the drying cycle.  We’re actually quite pleased at the small quantity of water the machine uses to do one complete cycle.  We’d just finished all the chores and settled down when the sound of a passing boat horn dragged us to the portholes.  It was Bev & Andrea on nb Whisper, our Hatton Flight companions. They too were heading in the opposite direction.  We guess they are heading back to their mooring.

One thing we have noticed when entering and exiting Waiouru via the rear steps is that the timber on the face of the steps is acquiring unwanted black marks from the heels and toes of our boots and shoes.  To overcome this we have purchased adhesive backed non-slip pads from Midland Chandlers.  I’ve cut the pads to size and affixed them to the face of each step.

These pads appear to be working and we’ve not “acquired” any further marks since they were fitted.  We’ve also decided we need a set of hooks on the rear doors to the cockpit so they can be secured when they are open.  I also need to fit two rubber door stops to the rear cabin doors so they don’t damage the paint when being opened.  Looks like we might be visiting Midland Chandlers at Braunston on this cruise.

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