Before I go any further I have to warn you that there are far more pictures and words than ever before and, I hope, than there ever will be again, but it was a rather momentous day, so please bear with me.
We were up early this morning and collected a few bits and bobs together before we drove to Droitwich Spa Marina in two cars. One was left there and we headed back to the boatyard where after a very quick walk along the tow path to 'defuse' Monty and to take some shots of Tentatrice from that side, we were able to go ahead with the hand over.
To this from 31 Jan to 01 Jul 2013!
A few last bits had been done.
The final version of the cratch board - much better in our opinion
Blinds that fit!
Into the Saloon
What a wonderful suprise and even colour co-ordinated
Glass window for the side hatch
Clean and tidy sink
and hob areas
Monty has found his bed
Pole plank and boat hook
A few bits and bobs for today's trip
Before we set off the 'work force' joined us to toast the boat - we had not realised just how many there were tucked away behind the scenes!
Tentatrice had to have her share as well. Thankfully the hose was still out from her wash and brush up this morning, so all traces were washed away to avoid stickiness.
At last we are off! Bob came with us which was a great help as well as being part of the 'acceptance cruise'
Monty has found his perch, but is not a hundred percent happy.
Tentatrice's first lock - Astwood Top Lock
Monty is a good supervisor
This is such a pretty garden at the fifth of the six Astwood Locks
Going into the lock - still with a supervisor ensuring it is done right
Maybe this boating lark is not too bad or has the stress just exhausted him?
Hanbury Top Lock - the little hut is the VLK's (Volunteer Lock Keepers) hut
We arrive at Droitwich Spa Marina
Plenty of manoeuvring space! No boats to bang into!
Monty is still ensuring it is done correctly - we are nearly there
Fitting the Tonneau cover
All tucked up for her first night away from the boat yard
It was tempting to have dinner on board and stay the night, but we were both too tired to find the bedding etc amongst the huge pile of 'stuff' that has to make it's way to Droitwich over the next couple of days. So it was back home, a ready meal (we had thought ahead!), a bottle of wine and very soon we will be heading up the wooden hill. We hope to be able to sleep on board on Thursday and head off round the Droitwich Ring on Friday. Then it will be back to Stoke Prior for the oil change and general check up.
To be honest it is hard to believe that this day has come. The dream has been a long time in the planning. Once we had decided to buy a new boat the search began to find a boat builder - not an easy decision, but we made the right choice for us. We have a wonderful boat to our spec, that is designed to be used as much as possible. A very big thank you to Bob Southerland and his team at JL Pinder & Son (http://www.jlpinderandsons.co.uk/) for being so patient and welcoming to us over the last 5 months and for building us our dream boat. I am sure she has a couple of scratches already, but we are not looking! Narrow boating is a 'contact sport' and we will have paint to touch up as necessary.
So please wish us well as we embark on a many long trips over the coming years. If you see us on the cut, please say hello! We have a kettle - no tea pot yet, but plenty of tea bags, coffee, sugar (very necessary for a composting loo!) and mugs!