Polishing and partying …

The Captain had a complaint: “When are we going to get chance to get stuff done on the boat. Why is my diary so full of other things?”

His frustration was mounting – with daylight increasing every day and plans for extensive cruising already made why wasn’t there time to take Cleddau out of her winter hibernation?

Then came a breakthrough,  a proposal from Cheshire Mum.  “You come up here to Macclesfield for Mother’s Day weekend,” she suggested “and you could do boat jobs and have Cheshire One time…” With only a bit of diary jiggling it became a feasible plan.

The north west is blessed /cursed (choose your word) with regular and plentiful rainfall. So what a surprise then to be able to utilise three consecutive dry days for washing and polishing a 60 foot long boat!

On Friday afternoon while the Captain washed the roof and starboard side of the boat

15-06-01   Boatwif did a stock take. The galley cupboards had been cleared of all perishables and short life items in November, so what was left? Amongst other things were 9 cartons of chopped tomatoes, 8 tins of tuna and 7 jars of cooking sauce.  To refill the tank with water, to light the fire, 15-06-02  to boil up the kettle and make a pot of tea  15-06-05  somehow brought the prospect of summer cruising a little bit closer.

Saturday dawned, dry again. “Are you ready on the bow?” called the Captain. “Fend off next door’s boat.” The usual hand signals were deployed, there was a neat reverse, a swinging of the bow to the north, a chug of about 100 yards  15-06-03   to the winding hole, a three point (or more?) turn, and a 100 yard trip back south  15-06-04   to the pontoon… End of mini cruise 1.

Morning wore on to afternoon. The boat’s port side and roof were washed. Polish was applied – and the buffing machine unearthed from underneath the front deck.

  15-06-07       15-06-06

“Are you ready?” Again the deck crew resumed her fending off position. This time the bow was turned south and Cleddau headed down past The Trading Post, under the bridge, past the football pitch and play park,   15-06-08  oh, past Lonesome George (not really on its own!) 15-06-09   all of half a mile to the winding hole  15-06-10  – and turned around. Noisy Canada geese patrolled the offside bank. 15-06-11   Then it was northbound again, and within fifteen minutes or so of casting off Cleddau was again secure at her mooring.   15-06-12  End of cruise 2.

On Sunday, while the Captain continued his polishing marathon, Boatwif was allowed a Mother’s Day treat of a slow morning, a dance performance from the Cheshire One  15-06-13and a birthday party of sorts. Two years ago a small purpose-built box containing books was installed out in the open up at Tegg’s Nose Country Park. (See here) Despite wind, weather, snow and rain still it stands, much loved by those who know where it is. At 2pm fans, families and curious visitors trooped out of Tegg’s Nose Visitor Centre to the site.  Shutlingsloe  (Cheshire’s highest peak) was just visible to the south.  15-06-15    “Take a look at this,” invited the Ranger, revealing a tiny dead shrew lying in his hand.  15-06-14  Down through the quarry,  15-06-16 on towards the Library.  15-06-17

15-06-18        15-06-19

Two years on and led by the Ranger (aka Techno Son-in-Law)  15-06-20  voices were raised: “…Happy birthday dear Library in a Landscape...” sang the small crowd.

Chilled by the wind, some folk now with borrowed library books,   15-06-21  the group returned to the Visitor Centre, all very ready for tea and cakes.  15-06-22

Quite a productive weekend then – with boat jobs completed, in-house entertainment in Macclesfield and some outdoor partying on the Cheshire hills.

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