Yup, an 8am start in the freezing cold to be able to get back to Alvecote at a sensible time, meant being up early and going equipped with a flask of coffee, warm clothes plus hat and gloves.
Properly cold and quiet at that time, but the engine started a treat, despite no glow plugs and being 30 yrs old!
Looking back at my home for the past ten days:
A nice day to be out and about though:
The essential gadget to gauge speed and whether my prop and engine were happy, showing a cracking pace of 3.5mph...
Such a good pace in fact, that I caught this single-hander up, who was towing a very short butty - a bit like towing your garden shed around I suppose. Can't imagine it was cheap to build, given the bow and stern are the expensive bits!
He pulled over for me, and I got a move on again...
I got back to Alvecote in the same 4.5hrs it had taken me on the outbound journey, but mainly due to queuing at Glascote locks - at least that meant that there were people around to work the locks for me, or help at least.
I had a mare of a time mooring in the wind that had gotten up by that point, having two attempts at it then having Rick, my neighbour, suggest that I tried it approaching from the other direction, which worked a treat. I'm sure I'll get some grief for my poor show at the job...
I legged it back to pick my hound up from her holiday - my was she pleased to see me! - and then back to the boat in the eve to collect some tools (which I forgot anyway) and to try and sort the cooker out.
I spent an hour or so taking the oil valve apart, working out that the bias pin was seized wedging it to full power, and then spotting someone had turned the high flow screw right down to try and work around it... Took ages to get it working, but I managed it, just about. Still need to set the flow screws properly though.
Got it lit:
Major relief that it's been lit finally, but it leaks smoke from the hotplate seals, and since the boat is badly trimmed, all the oil collects on one side, so I need to fix both - the latter by either trimming the boat or the cooker!