Monday, 4 December 2006

No more launderettes...

4 locks and 1 mile

On Friday we moved back down to Apsley marina to get the toilet tank pumped out and make arrangements to moor the boat when we are away in France just after Xmas. The marina is still relatively new with toilets, a shower and a laundry with 1 washing machine and 1 drier.
Getting into the marina is definitely not for the faint hearted. First the warden has to raise the drawbridge which is a foot path across the entranceway which is only about 12 feet wide. Next problem is that the pump out berth is immediately on your left which is a 90degree turn as you enter the marina. This is where a bow thruster comes in handy but we ain’t got one.
After the pump out you have to reverse out of the berth and then turn around to face the right way to get out again. There is plenty of space in the centre of the marina but you have moored boats on both sides. There is a sign which states “No entry allowed in high winds”. Why ever not I ask myself?

After this mind boggling exercise was completed we moored up between locks 66 and 67.
Saturday we trotted off to Wimbledon again to collect our mail which included our licence plates and registration stickers from BW. Not quite as easy to go by train from Apsley as we had to change trains at Harrow and Wealdstone, Willesden Junction, and Clapham Junction which took 1hour 40 minutes.

When we returned we called in at Comet which is an electrical retail chain to order or buy a Candy washer drier. When Derek finally got the attention of a salesman who was busy chatting up a female member of staff we were told that he was unsure of when this particular model would be available again as it was showing as unavailable on the computer. Derek then tried to barter for the display model which the salesman said he would have to consult the Manager. Surprise, surprise, he said we could have it with another ₤30 off even though it was on special with ₤100 off. As we were moored virtually behind the store but on the wrong side of the canal Derek moved the boat across the canal in the dark where we could load the washer drier onto the front deck straight off the concrete wharf. Once safely stowed aboard, we then had to reverse back across the canal by about 200 yards to where we were originally moored. No easy task especially as it had now got dark with night fall. Can’t get used to this darkness at 4pm which happens so rapidly.
Sunday saw us up early as we wanted to install the washer drier as it was in the way in the lounge. Problem, how to get it into the kitchen when it had to pass between a wall and the gunnels. Derek had measured it all up and was confident that it would fit but he had to take off a passage door and a few other bits and pieces first. He had a bright idea of putting a loose carpet down on the floor with his tool box on top. We then laid the washer on its side on top of the tool box and dragged it through the gap which went off without a hitch.
Once into the kitchen it was relatively easy to push it into the space allotted but then Derek had to re-run some electrical wiring which had originally been in the cupboard over the oven for the microwave. As we had changed our minds over where to put the microwave this power point was superfluous where it was, so he had to pull it all out and run it back under the bench. This meant all the cupboards concerned had to be emptied so he could get into them literally.
After lots of cursing and grunting and groaning he finally got it done. Bit of luck and I will give it a test run tomorrow.

Watch this space.......

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