We have had a number of things to sort out today. First of all, we needed the key to the boat. We discovered that there were two engine keys, one in the office, and one in a drawer that we discovered this evening. Today we were meeting the previous owners (well the previous owner’s children to be precise, as their father had died three years ago). But we were not due to meet them until 2 pm, so we went back to the shop to fetch a few more provisions that we forgot to get yesterday. However, the most unusual checkout operator met us when we went to pay.
We had a small hiccup with a money transfer issue, but it was soon sorted (thanks to Norman sorting it out from the UK end), and use of Wifi on the marina we went to check our emails only to find the next conundrum that we had to solve. During the Hull survey we were informed that the rudder would need repairing. As it is still intact and useable we thought that we would get this done at some point after our return to Lechlade. However, the insurers do not take the same view. They have insisted that we get the repairs done before we cross the English Channel, and in fact refuse to insure us until such repairs have been made. After a lengthy phone call to them, they agreed that as long as any temporary repairs were signed off by the surveyor and that they had evidence of this in writing they would insure us. Basically getting a completely new rudder made and fitted could have taken a very long time.First though, we met the previous owners. After unloading their trailer of the mast and various other ‘boat parts’ that they had stored at their homes we erected the mast and had many of our questions answered about our new home. The boat had been in their family for 35 years, and naturally they were a little sad to see her go, and asked us to keep in touch. We also finally got the heating sorted…..hooray!! So we are warm tonight.
We still needed to find someone that would repair the rudder for us. So Martin went back to the marina office, where one of the staff mentioned that she knew someone locally that might be able to repair it. So she phoned him. After measuring up Martin cycled round on one of the marina bikes to the workshop of the ‘metalworker’ with one of the marina workshop staff to talk about the repairs. It would seem that he is able to do the repairs on Monday next week. This of course is good news that we can get the rudder fixed so soon, but it does delay our departure for the UK at the moment by 3 days.
After this we busied ourselves tidying the boat and making her ship shape. Later we practised taking down and erecting the mast, with the First Mate (Sarah) on winch and forstay duty, and the Captain (Martin) on mast lifting duty. All went well, and we hoisted three ensigns: our Jachtbemiddeling pennant presented to us yesterday, an RNLI pennant, and our Dutch Barge Association pennant. Retiring to our warm boat we ate a hot meal whilst listening to the rain outside.Our attention then turned to the sofa. We had meant to ask the previous owners whether the sofa was a sofabed. After some exploration, we discovered that it was indeed a sofabed, and that it was very easy to convert. In fact, it was so quick to convert that I timed Martin. He can change the sofa into a bed in 8.25 seconds!