Thursday 27 October 2011

Oxford Canal. Nell bridge to Fenny Compton.

The Little Sewing Boat came down to Nell Bridge on Saturday morning. Chris & Cy got straight on with making a pattern on our front deck, while asking us what we wanted in the way of zips, windows and fastenings.
We’ve decided not to have any windows in the canvas; we reckon that we’ll have enough light with the big single window in the front. We’ll have two zips on each side and be able to roll either the doors or the sides up. The top plank is on a hinge at the back so during the summer we can roll the cover up, swing the plank back, and have a big open space again.
On Sunday and Monday they kept popping backwards and forwards between Legend and their workshop boat for fitting sessions, then on Tuesday they put all the hooks and poppers on the boat.
When we got back from the dentist on Tuesday it was all done and dusted. We are VERY IMPRESSED! The quality is outstanding and Legend looks fantastic. When we were deliberating about getting a cover made we looked at internet based companies that you send your measurements off to and we are very glad that we didn’t go down that road. Having watched the fitting process ourselves we are sure that without the actual boat to try it out on it would be impossible to get something to fit as well as this does. Legend is not perfectly symmetrical. Few boats, if any, are. The sides up to the bow are a double curve, the hand-rails finish ahead of the top plank and need to be worked round, and to top it all there’s a radio aerial in the way. All things that a set of measurements could never account for. Chris gave us a neat hole that fits over the aerial, elasticated cut outs that go round the hand-rails, poppers along the up-stand on the bow and all the hooks and straps in just the right positions to make it all neat and work properly. Yes we’ve gone on a bit, but we are very happy with it.

Fran, Sean, Harry and Phoebe came up from Portsmouth to see us on Monday. It was their first time on our boat and we had a lovely afternoon with them; we went over to the Pig Place then walked down to Aynho Weir lock and watched a couple of boats going through. Sadly we couldn’t take them boating due to the cover fitting, but they thought it was good fun and they’ve promised to come again.

You would have thought that having a new waterproof cover on the boat would have made our lives drier. Wrong. On the way from Nell Bridge to Banbury Ann-Marie, with a cry of “Not again!” left the boat unexpectedly. Twice in ten days; it’s becoming a habit. Dave got to go through a 9’ lock single handed while she was in the shower, and thankfully, once again no lasting damage was done.

Two days later we were going from Cropredy to Fenny Compton in a downpour that lasted most of the afternoon, so we were both soaking wet by the time we got moored up. Funny though, we still loved every minute of it.

Between wet sessions Karen, Andrew, Lauren & Ben came on board for the day. We picked them up in Banbury and had a sunny afternoon’s boating up to Cropredy. Andrew did a large chunk of the steering, going through several locks and bridges so Dave got to see legend from the bank for a change.
When we moored up we had a lovely casserole for tea that had been sitting on the Squirrel stove all day.

If this is our life now then we will not be asking for a refund.

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