Today I was re-floated after a few days in dry dock. I don’t know what happened to the Skipper but typically he was nowhere around when all the hard work was needed. He just skinned off out for four days leaving me and the Tooley’s Team to get on with it.
Resting in Tooley’s Dry Dock
I don’t know where he went but he appeared again today after I was back alongside the quay, looking very smart in my fresh black underwater coat.
On Monday they took me in early and as soon as the water was drained away by gravity from this ancient dock (apparently the oldest in the country), they washed and scraped away all the accumulated grot from my bottom and I felt better straightaway. Then two coats of the bituminous paint were put on and each was allowed to dry individually overnight with the heat turned on in the dock. It was a very pleasant experience.
The sacrificial anodes on the starboard bow
Also while I was out of the water they gave me a good inspection looking for abnormal pitting and generally noting the wear of the ten anodes that I have on my sides. It is actually six anodes that are required but four old ones were left in place when the new ones were installed.
Nothing nasty was found and it was a nice rest for me. I enjoyed every minute of it.
My large rudder
Then this afternoon the ‘Old Man’ returns as bold as brass with his usual big silly grin and, like I’ve already said, after all the work was done.
He decided it was time to turn around and face north ready for a quick getaway at the weekend.
So RN was fired up and away we went down through Banbury Lock and out past Morrison’s to the winding point at the bottom of Bankside.
The balanced rudder, large screw and anodes in the starboard swim
We took it slowly because of the many moored boats on the way but it was lovely to be moving again and manoeuvring cleanly and easily on the turn. There was no wind which helped our progress enormously and it was a thoroughly satisfying afternoon out. I could see the Skipper was enjoying it too. He managed to concentrate quite well for a change (he can when he wants to) but this time it was probably because he was very aware of my spanking new coat of black and didn’t want to scratch it on its first day out.
We are now back at the same mooring, outside the Castle Quay Shopping Centre but facing north instead.
The after end on the Starboard side