Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for May 20th, 2017

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 60 – Middlewich

Posted by indigodream on 20 May, 2017

Rewind to Tuesday 30th August

Bridge 7 to Aqueduct Marina

A glorious morning for the last day of the 2016 Odyssey…

We were up early as we had a busy day ahead, even though we only needed to move around 1 lock mile to our destination. It was a lovely morning and the hounds romped round joyfully – sometimes I think they know when they’re going home for a long rest!

It took no time at all to get to Aqueduct Marina, though I was glad that we’d finished the Odyssey with a lovely last cruise, as the rest of the day proved to be rather vexatious!

Normally, the Odyssey would run roughly from when the clocks turn in March to when they turn back in October, but this year we were finishing two months early. The main driver for this, and for our choosing Aqueduct Marina, was that Indigo Dream was going in for a long-overdue paint job with the amazing artist Andy Russell, who did our original artwork. While she was in the paint shed we’d also get the original man, Wayne Tonks previously Colorado Corrosion now MWT Engineering, in to restore the Zinga basecoat where necessary and re-do the 2-pack blacking.

Aqueduct Marina have good facilities for towing boats in and out of the water and several worksheds which are sheltered and heated for painting and other works. We’d booked the painting and the facilities and a winter mooring some two years previously and had confirmed it again in the last few months. We needed some work done to the boat before she was painted and we had arranged to arrive a week early to enable those works to happen.

Happy hounds πŸ˜‰

The first vexation was arriving and popping her into a vacant mooring while we ran into the office to check which berth we’d been allocated. Within minutes a lad came out to berate us for mooring there, but he did not know where we should moor, neither did the marina office or the marina manager; though the latter had enough customer service skills to reassure us that we could stay where we were and have a conversation with the boatyard engineers while they searched for our mooring. At this point they couldn’t even find a record of our booking!

The conversation with the engineers became complicated as there was some confusion about the list of works that we’d communicated and whether they would have time to complete them before Andy Russell needed her in the paint shop – aaargh! It became obvious that we would have to ditch our plans to come back in a few days time to finish clearing the boat – it would have to be done NOW!

Just a few photos of Indigo Dream – this would be the last time we’d see her like this – the original paintwork has done us proud πŸ™‚

While Richard talked technical, I got on with clearing the boat. It looked as if she was going to come out of the water as soon as we cleared off. This meant that as well as clearing everything that might suffer from dust/damp while she was naked in the paint shed, we had to do a quick pump out (which is very expensive here), consider what might slide around during the lift and clear everything off the decks and the lockers, which were also being painted. It became a very busy morning, but at least we’d done the car shuffle yesterday and had the car on hand for packing.

We were concerned, it wasn’t a good start to our relationship with Aqueduct and it didn’t get any better when the marina cafe served me (inadvertently) a deep fried fly with my chips! Things happen and if you tell people it gives them a chance to sort things, but alas not here. The first reaction from the staff was “there’s not much we can do to stop them getting in to the kitchen at this time of year”. They took the cost of the chips off the bill, but their subsequent quip as paid the bill was “they eat flies in China” was not appreciated! Memo to self: Eat elsewhere!

We eventually got away mid-afternoon – I suppose it was apt that we had a breathless finish to a truly epic odyssey – it’s been a busy busy cruising season. We had already decided that we would not take the boat out cruising again until the New Year, when the new paint would have cured properly and was hard enough for the rigours of a narrow canal. We sighed – although we were very excited by the prospect of a new look Indigo Dream, being sensible and not going boating for the next several months would be a challenge..


Time to go home, it’s been a busy cruising year πŸ™‚

And a few more photos of Indigo Dream in her old clothes. The flourescent markings – you will see more later – are where we wanted Wayne to be more brutal before Andy got painting.




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