This is our last day at Yelvertoft Marina. Tomorrow morning ‘Futurest’ and I will sail north towards Market Harborough, while my friends David and Heather will travel south. The weather remains gorgeous, as it has been throughout the week that we have spent here.... It couldn’t have been better for all the sprucing up maintenance I have been able to give to the ship.
Initially I gave her a good wash down and she looked one hundred percent better immediately. Then I touched up, or nearly, her sheer strake; that part of the hull most vulnerable to scuffs and scratches; the part that comes in contact with the abrasive sides of locks, quays and other boats. I say nearly completed the job because I ran out of ‘Oxford Blue’ gloss with only about a foot to go around the stern, the most badly affected part. I wish I had begun at the after end now as the rest of the strake was nowhere near as badly damaged.
Finally, completing yesterday, I’ve made some three part and five part ‘Turks Heads’; fancy rope work to both decorate in a traditional way and prevent chafe of the paintwork, caused otherwise when I lift the hinged steel after hatch and lean it against the ‘Swans Neck’. A ‘five part-er’ slid into the right position on the latter makes an ideal fender between the two abrasive steels. And it looks good too.
Today I’ve taken the day off and walked along the towpath and footpath across the fields to the village of Crick, about two miles away. It has a large Co op supermarket, where I collected a few provisions and a lovely pub called the ‘Red Lion’, where I stopped for a pint before tackling the journey home.
There was still a light chill breeze from the north east blowing as I set out first thing but after the Sun had climbed higher into the pale blue cloudless sky, it became steadily warmer throughout the day bringing out the wildlife with it.
My friend the Robin was singing to me all the way there and back, though I was never able to see him among the thick branches he was perched on. At this time of the year against the brown leafless background he remains well camouflaged. There was also a pair of flitting long tailed tits, which I did briefly glimpse when they timorously allowed themselves to perch for a moment before darting off again. There were also plenty of pale yellow Brimstones as well as the darker but brightly coloured Peacock butterflies using the sunshine to increase their energy levels. I noticed as well many Ladybirds. It is surprising how a little sunshine makes such a difference to the quality of all our lives. Farm tractors were revving as they were worked in the fields and as I entered the village there was the drone of lazy lawn mowers and the delicious smell of freshly cut grass.