At 8:30 on Monday morning, James and I excitedly unlocked the little grey VW Polo that was to be ours for the day. After a few hitches involving unraveling the mystery of the warning light (the handbrake wasn't fully off) and the scary 'CLONK' when it stalled (its a diesel and it stalled very readily and noisily!) we were off on the A14 towards Crick. As an inexperienced driver, I needed all the help I could get and was glad of James' support and extra pair of eyes, even though he can't drive himself. As he put it, 'every overtake is an adventure!'. It took us just under 2 hours to get there (with a stop at the Bar Hill Tesco for refuelling) and it flew by.
Soon we were safely parked at the Crick Festival, and went off for our canal fix. It was lovely to walk along a stretch of proper canal, with a tunnel and everything! Soon we came across nb Alnwick, and had a much welcome cup of tea aboard, with GC sleeping off a busy night catching mice in the corner. We were pleased to see that Jane is looking very well, after her ankle operation. After that, we headed off into the festival itself, where we had a few purchases planned:
As avid blog readers may have noticed, we are always talking about the Grand Repaint but never actually get round to doing it. Well, this could not carry on, so we took the opportunity to head to the Craftmaster paint stand and speak to Phil Speight, who knows all there is to know about painting and signwriting. We want to base our new paint scheme on the 'two blues' used on the early GUCCCo boats, without aiming for anything like a replication. We just like the colours. He suggested using 'Off-white' as a liner, and a little bit of red to warm up the colour scheme. He had a tin of the dark 'Union Blue' which we bought, as well as blue undercoat and grey primer. (The Light Union Blue will come along later). Now, with our Perago, and the half term off, James (and me to an extent) can get going! No excuses now: we have all the tools and the paint ready.
Last night we got started!
Next was to find ourselves a new bow fender. Our old one was rubbish - so flat that it barely protected the stem at all. We shopped around, and found a great deal from Trafalgar. On the web, a black U shaped bow fender is £69.99. Not a bad price, but we got it at the special show discount price of £55. We are very pleased with that!
The old bow fender, about to be replaced with the new one
We also picked up some International Atlantic Grey to touch up the roof, as well as a couple of new mooring pins, and an Arnco piling hook.
While at Crick we also caught up with several other people from the CWDF forum in the Beer Tent. As well as Graham and Jane from nb Alnwick, Rosie from nb Oakfield was there, and Dr Bradley who we met at Cropredy hears ago, and a chop from the forum called Peter.
The journey back was uneventful. We we glad to be able to park as close as we could to the boat to drop off our heavy purchases before dropping the car back in its designated spot. We were impressed with Streetcar. The only hitches came from my inexperience, and they will go with practice. Other that that, everything ran smoothly, from unlocking using a card, to refuelling using a fuel card.
Boot full of purchases!