Sunday, 23 September 2012

Digging A Hole

Gardening ranks as one of my least favourite pastimes, despite my love of the great outdoors, our green and pleasant land, gardening for me is strictly a spectator sport, I admire their beauty and prefer to leave it that way.

However, needs must and I need a home for Betsy, the closer to my home the better!

I have therefore engaged myself in some extreme gardening, not for me the clipping and pruning of a well tended garden but the turning of a garden into a building site. Gone are the overgrown trees, thorn bushes, moss riddled lawn and 43 feet of hedgerow, now replaced by fence posts, a trench half filled with hardcore and bare earth yet to be leveled and seeded once the paving is in place.

I have it on good authority that September is a good month for sewing a new lawn, but time is marching on, September is rapidly turning into October and press on I must.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Long Haul

Rising at 3.50am, the porridge went on and I went straight out... to prepare the trailer for the long haul to Norfolk.

With the trailer board roped to the rear of the trailer and all the lights checked, porridge consumed and fresh coffee downed, I set off for Norfolk at 4.45am. It was a good clear run and I was skirting Norwich by 8.45am. I pulled into a layby to contact Ken, a rendezvous arranged, a meeting and we were off to complete the deal.

Ken and I paddled Betsy around the corner from her mooring at his cottages to the local boat yard where she was due to be craned from her watery home to the high and dry of her newly fabricated trailer.

Somewhere between my measurements and Pete's welding we got lucky, Betsy fits like a glove!

It was a steady run home with a couple of stops along the way to check the straps for tension, we arrived home at 16.20, not a bad run for a 400 mile round trip.

I have already stripped the interior of sails, loose woodwork, cushions, fenders etc. but there is plenty more to do, a long haul indeed!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

It Never Rains But It Pours

We appear to have come full circle, as one project ends another begins and it has begun much the same way, with the need for a trailer.

The search for a trailer ended some time ago and became a bit of a project in itself, getting it home was one thing, making it road worthy for a boat was another and who else stepped up to the challenge... Pete McIntyre!

Spurred on by the need to move Betsy home from the Norfolk Broad, I asked Pete if he could modify a rather old trailer I had dug up on ebay, "no problem" said Pete... "how about tomorrow?", holy cow I thought followed by a frantic dash to the Post Office to get my sister's car taxed (it's the only vehicle I can use to tow Betsy), a quick bit of insurance arranged online and a 5am start the following day to collect the tailer. Then it was off to Emma's farm, meeting Pete along the way.

Two days of cutting, grinding, welding, bolting etc. (it poured with rain on the second day) supported by mugs of tea and home made buns (thanks Em!) and there we have it...

My newly converted trailer and I returned home this evening, on Saturday we head down to Norfolk to recover Betsy, where she will be put into rehab, only to be released when she is fit for purpose... the Jester Challenge 2014!