I arrived in Manchester last Saturday where Wendy and her daughter Kate picked me up, which was an absolute godsend. I had quite a load of luggage! It’s been a busy but fun few days in Birkenhead (well, Oxton/Prenton actually, don’t say to a local that you’re in Birkenhead!). It’s just across the Mersey River from Liverpool, and is a pretty village. We went on a history walk the other day and learned all kinds of scurrilous details of the area in the 19th century. Sandstone walls around every home, beautiful brickwork, lovely gardens. I’ve had a great time visiting with her family and exploring the local pubs.
On Friday I jumped on a train down to see the boat (for the first time!).
It was out of the water and looked huge (but so narrow!). They launched it the fanfare of a howling wind.
We drove out to the Thames River, puttered up and down for about an hour getting the feel and then crashed our way back to a slip in the marina. And had company on the way…
I mean it really was windy. I won’t be trying to squeeze into a marina slip on a windy day, with a flat bottom and slab sides to catch all the wind, it’s a bit of a chore manoeuvring. Also, since it weighs in at about 15 tons, it’s not easy to manage by hand. At least it’s made of steel so pretty hard to damage.
The banking took a bit of time, even electronic money travels slowly. And the HSBC in Canada set up the wrong kind of account so it wasn’t easy (or cheap) to transfer directly to the HSBC-UK account. It’s all done now though and I’ve passed over remaining money. Once they confirm it’s received then we’ll sign the final papers and she’ll be mine by the middle of next week. I’m really happy with her, she just needs a good cleaning. I believe the previous owner was living aboard and not moving at all, so the inside is fine but the engine compartment and outside are a little ‘forgotten’. Never mind, won’t take long to spruce her up. A little sanding and touch ups will be easy. Inside it’s really only a matter of getting all the essentials and she’ll be ready for me (and anyone else that decides to make the leap and join me!).
Oh, and only two pubs today.
I’ll have a few days of paperwork left once I’m aboard, I’ll get into that in a future blog. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the train ride back and contain my enthusiasm! More later….