Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A nice week with welcome visitors

It was widdling down as we ate our breakfast, then came a knock on the roof, Sue from narrowboat No Problem, had called over with the girls (their dogs) she stopped for a coffee and a chinwag.
They were heading back down the Nene for London.
Then a few days later I got a facebook message from some friends but as I was not expecting them on the Nene I didn't twig who it was at first. It was our friend Mitch Adam's parents Tony and Janet in narrowboat Aylmer
I was listening for the telltale squeak of the Upper Ringstead lock guillotine, I was sawing and routing our new cratchboards when I heard the squeak, I jumped on my delivery bike and was amazed to see no boat in the lock, I turned to see a tiller vanish downstream. Bugger! missed them!
I rode back to the marina in case they had called in, no sign, so I rode to Lower Ringstead lock, no sign, weird!
Just then they appeared and I helped them into the lock.
Tony steers Aylmer towards Ringstead Lower lock landing

Tony & Janet came with me for a quick visit to the excellent  Woodford Mill Tearooms
Their son Mitch ran the award-winning Thatcher's Arms in Mount Bures, Essex with Tony and Janet before they sold up and Mitch took over The Bull in Highgate, London

Making new oak cratch boards

Our cratch boards are rotten (surprise, surprise!) making new oak ones is proving a challenge. Here I'm giving myself a headache trying to work out all the conflicting angles and keep the dimensions

The top section has to be central and the same width as the top plank

A mixture of modern and traditional tools were used

After routering an architrave edge, and a rebate to take the oak planks in the centre of the cratches, then I'll need to champfer the rear bottom edge to allow it to clear the lip on the forepeak cabin when the cratchboard is folded forward

A nice little cruise and a beautiful evening for a barbeque

A nice sunny day to be on the river
A nice barbeque and believe it or not I'm happy! LOL!
Denford mooring at sunset
Suddenly the Earth turned upside down and I just managed to save our sausages from those pesky aliens! Or then again, maybe I held the phone upside down to take this pic, you choose!

A maintainence trip to the Friends of the River Nene's Woodford Mooring

The Friends of the River Nene's lovely Woodford mooring looking a bit overgrown

F.OT.R.N. had held a work party while I was on tour, as there were rocks and debris under water which were stopping boats from mooring close to the bank and which risked holing any cruisers that tried to moor, they even pulled a steel cattle feeder out!

My hydraulic crane is handy for lifting the petrol mower out of the welldeck

Glenda strimmed the bits that I couldn't get to with the mower

Getting there! ;o)
I mowed a path up to the gate that leads to the village's cracking 'The Dukes' pub, chipshop and convenience store. When we past by, the following day, the farmer had mowed the whole of the top field for hay! HoHum!
The FOTRN welcome sign

Not quite like a Thameside lawn but good enough for this useful mooring.

Now that's what you call a dovetail joint.

I dovetailed the long top plank into two more managable lengths and then dovetailed the oak carrier to take the end of the plank.