Lockdown Mooring 3
The forecast for today was for sun, warmth and maybe a bit of cloud, but no rain. Would our towpath here in Calveley fill with dog walkers and others out for their daily exercise? Or would we be able to take over a strip alongside Oleanna?
As we had breakfast Tilly was allowed an hour of shore leave, as soon as she returned all the doors would be closed for her own safety. The disinfectant spray bottle today would be needed for a different job. The contents were rinsed out very well and then the days chore started.
It’s a year since we last had a go at our boat covers. In that year they have turned quite green in parts and because they get folded down whenever we cruise muddy ropes get laid on top of them. So they were in serious need of some attention. Last year we took over some benches at Pollington Lock on the Aire and Calder right beside a water point to give them a soapy scrub. This worked but was serious hard work.
Naughty Cal had suggested we tried Wet and Forget a product that you mix with water and spray onto your covers, then once dry the elements do the job for you. Sun, wind and rain gradually clean off the muck and green. I thought this a wonderful idea and ordered a bottle to give it a try. I picked it up from my brothers a year ago and it has sat gathering dust since then. Today it was time to dust it off!
The towpath here is reasonably wide so I wouldn’t be blocking it. The cratch cover was first to be laid out. 1 part wet and forget to 5 parts water mixed and I started. A good soaking spray was required , so this took quite some time. Decision made soon after starting, if this works I’ll be buying a pump spray bottle for next time, my poor hands can only take so much of a spray trigger.
I was being so interesting that Tilly came to have a look. Not a good idea! Wet and Forget isn’t so good on paws that will get washed. She was very quickly whisked up and handed to Mick through the hatch. Lockdown time for Tilly. I also kept an eye out for dogs and made sure people knew to keep their woofers away.
The spray lingered in the air a touch so I decided to see if I had a dust mask anywhere. A good look in amongst the boat painty things and I found one. It had been in there so long that the elastic had stopped being stretchy and was just long, too long! This now necessitated a knot being tied to keep it in place. So for an hour or so of spraying the rest of the covers I joined the mask brigade. Have to say it did help to keep walkers away from me.
My faithful assistant passed me a bucket of soapy water so that the cratch board could have a good wash down before the covers went back on. There was a lot of soapy suds so I couldn’t see them go to waste. Oleanna’s horns had a scrub. Then I got a touch carried away!
I was meant to be pacing myself doing boat jobs, they usually make my back ache and lets face it there will be plenty of time this year to get them done. But here I was with a bucket of soapy water and a very muddy boat bow and well deck. It would have been daft to leave them for another time.
The well deck was emptied and there around the anchor in amongst the torn off tops of coal bags I found autumn! Autumn had moved into our well deck and concealed itself for a few months. A good sweep, the bow thruster locker lid was lifted (repainting of this added to the list as it’s got a touch rusty), washed around, down below was still nice and dry just how it should be.
The bow got a wash, round to the sides, then all that is the well deck, rinsed off, windows cleaned. Job done.
By now the covers were just about dry, so the pram cover went back on whilst the bow dried off nicely for the cratch cover to go back.
The look of the covers is exactly the same as before, so it looks like I’ve done nothing, we just have to wait now and let nature and what ever I’ve sprayed on them do their magic.
More loads of washing passed through the machine today and the whirligig was kept full until the breeze grew too strong and the sail effect of duvet cover and sheet was too much, so they had to come down and wait till later.
A shoulder of lamb headed for the oven late afternoon and was ready for just after the Queens speech. An actor friend of mine found himself just by chance eating a Christmas pudding as the Queen asked us all to be good and follow the guidelines to Stay at Home during this challenging time.
0 locks, 0 miles, 1.5 hours shore leave, 1 cat in lockdown, 4 covers well and truly sprayed, 3 loads washing, 1 well deck lovely and clean, 1 well deck in need of a repaint, 1 dust mask, 16 paws still safe to lick, 1 paint list growing, size 10 socks on the go, 1 Queens speech, 1 shoulder lamb, 1 bottle crabbies, 1 sunnyday.