Our intention today was to stock up the boat with food; collect the dog food we had ordered through a local vet in Stone; drop off the car and collect our two folding bikes. All of this happened according to plan. A nice change after yesterday’s debacle. We did a reasonable food shop at the local Morrison’s and it worked out to be approximately the same price as what we pay at home. We are told that things are slightly cheaper the further north you go from London – we will find out over time. We drove to Stoke-on-Trent to drop off the hire car and taxi it back to Stone. Our new friend Hugh who we met through Gumtree dropped off our two fantastic folding bikes along with a lock and a pump. This really was great service from him. We are hoping that he and his wife might join us for a day on the boat at some stage as an additional thank you for their generosity.
I guess we do need to mention here that the last two days have been two days of glorious sunshine. We have had our shorts and sandals on and it has been hovering around 20c. This has made all the tasks we have needed to complete so much easier.
We have had two thorough handovers for the boat which covers the technical aspects and the day to day running. They have put brand new batteries on the boat and set it up a little differently from the usual as most of the hires are from a week to two weeks. We have additional linen, vacuum cleaner, motor fan belts etc so that we can stay out for a long time. The longest hire they have had has been 12 weeks so we are testing their limits on this hire. The nb Lucy is very comfortable with a good sized fridge and after spending a few hours today sorting out our belongings and storing the food we think there will only be the odd tweak going forward.
We are most happy with how the girls have settled in. We’ve left them in their normal routine of sleeping in their crates on the floor and their food bowls well away from one another. We have been running the motor today to charge up the batteries and warm the water and they were not in the least freaked about it. We are told that some dogs do not do well with the sound of the motor – a little like dogs that are spooked with fireworks and thunder. There has been some movement on the boat as we are currently tied up to other boats in the marina and people are moving from one boat to another. Again, they do not seem to be worried about it. We have been out investigating our local surroundings a lot to get them use to foreign environments and of course we have visited the Star pub just up the canal. Canal pubs are very tolerant of dogs in their garden areas and even though they are eating areas they are still allowed in.
Still suffering a little from jet lag so once this is posted we are off for an early night in readiness tomorrow to begin our cruising holiday.