That’s Not Meant To Be Wet! 18th August

March Visitor Moorings to Angle Bridge Rural Mooring

As I picked up the few things that end up on the floor alongside my side of the bed this morning, I noticed a little glistening under the front steps. Then I remembered that yesterday I’d nudged the mat that lives at the foot of the steps and had noticed a few faint lines on the floor, I’d immediately put this down to the floor needing a good sweeping. Then I remembered that whilst the washing machine had been on yesterday I’d heard a slightly different noise as the machine had been filling. One should always make a comment about such noises, but one doesn’t always get a convinced reply back, so one doesn’t always mention things. I have the better hearing of the two of us, well Tilly most probably beats me but she rarely says anything we can understand.

Delving into the depths of the steps

Everything was lifted up off the floor, the mat lifted to reveal a puddle that capillary action had been holding there. The lids of the steps were opened to reveal a very wet area. Either the water pump was the cause or we had a problem with the water tank! We’d prefer the former if we had a choice.

How many nappies and water pumps does it take to fill a step?

The water pump was turned off, water was mopped up and nappies put under the steps to soak up more as we had our cuppa in bed, we’d not be moving on as being in March might prove useful should we need to purchase things.

Just have to see how the floor dries out

The kettle was filled and my paint pot before there was no water left in the pipes. Mick tinkered away inside the steps. It looked like the main body of the pump was leaking. Under the steps there were several spare pumps, which had been bought last year when Mick had found a leak. These pumps were known to have a possible problem when bought (long story, being sold cheaply I think we ended up with three), Mick had put two of them together and come up with one that would possibly be problem free, this would do for the time being.

The pump that was leaking today was the one that had sprung a leak last year, Mick had mended it and it’s lasted us nine months, so not bad. The pump was turned back on, fresh nappies put beneath it, a fan positioned to help with ventilation, Tilly locked out of the bedroom.

I worked away whilst Mick headed out to the shops. We needed a few nails to make the cat proof screen for the side hatch along with some staples to attach the mesh with. We’d run out of damp crystals so more of those were bought, two big bags to refill our containers.

Thank you March

By lunchtime we were convinced that a temporary solution to the leak was working, we decided to move on and out of town, hopefully so that Tilly could have some shore leave. I stayed up top until we’d passed Foxton Marina, having a nosy at all the numerous sheds and things that people have in their back gardens.

A group of young lads were hanging about under a bridge. We engaged in conversation, only for one of them to throw what turned out to be a none existent stone at us. We both winced unnecessarily.

The going was slow. Weed, the occasional blast of reverse needed. Mick had his instructions. After about an hour to go right, then another hour and we’d reach the rural mooring we hoped to moor at, I would continue to work below.

Hanging gunnel garden

The occasional look out o the windows showed a narrowboat with tomato plants along it’s gunnels, several ripe ready for picking. I bobbed up top to make sure Mick made the correct turn and then carried on working below.

Mick matching the sky

My work wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped today. That one scene (Petiti) still being a problem. I’m not convinced by the current solution, but need to come up with a better one. This along with not trusting Tilly to be able to work with the hatch open meant that inside the boat was getting very stuffy and fractious.

Angle Bridge

Angle Corner came up and the posts we wanted to moor to. We pulled in and quickly realised we’d not be getting off here. The depth was not sufficient to get close to the mooring poles and our plank not long enough to reach dry land. If we let Tilly out we’d not be able to get to her should there be a problem, so much to her annoyance shore leave was cancelled.

Our posts to tie to today

During the afternoon Mick had called ahead to Stanground Lock to see if we could book a passage through tomorrow afternoon. This would not be possible as at the moment there was too much water in the River Nene. Instead of the excess water being allowed to run out to sea it was being sent down onto the Middle Level where it would be of more use. Tina said we’d most probably notice a bit of a flow, this was obviously why our progress had been a touch slower than expected.

Against the bottom not the side

Along with the extra water, they had problems with weed on the Nene side of the lock, they’d had three boats get stuck there today. A booking was made for Saturday morning when hopefully the Nene would have returned to more normal levels.

0 locks, 8.33 miles, 1 puddle, 1 broken water pump, 1 stripy floor, 10 litres crystals, 1 scene not good, 1 model box requiring more mending than originally thought, 1 stroppy cat, 2 temporary measures, 2 much water ! who’d have thought it.

PS The pork pie from Upwell, was reasonable but had a few bits of gristle, it won’t be going on the must stop and purchase list of pork pies.