A huge benefit of the clocks going forward into BST is that we've ended up with much lighter evenings.
As a result, we can move the Duck whilst there's still daylight, which makes things a whole lot more fun- it can become cruising again, enjoying the sights of the river, and not merely a dash between moorings in the dark. On Sunday evening we moved up from outside the Fort St. George towards Clayhithe, after Amy finished work at 5. A small, homemade speedboat behind us provided some comic relief, as we winded on ropes at the Fort and headed off. Unfortunately the very shallow and dirty bottom of the river there stirred up some rubbish into the intake, so we stopped at the new waterpoint by Stourbridge Common to flush it. Springing into action like a well-practiced machine (which we are by now!) we had it clear, and after a stop of slightly under a minute were on our way again.
Going past the Plough pub, we passed nb Hornblower and nb Badger. The former are Cambridge residents, the latter their visiting parents- and now, grandparents, as one of the cabins on Hornblower is turned into a nursery! After some good-natured banter- "Hurry up through Baitsbite, we want to get to Clayhithe today!"- we headed straight into the lock and passed through in record time. Amy closed the bottom gates after us, and hopped on at the landing stage, with the lock already being filled for the family pair behind us.
After Baitsbite, the river becomes deeper (so we can travel faster) and the scenery far more picturesque. A few herons flew majestically by, and we enjoyed the evening sunlight.
Turning the corner towards Clayhithe, we were greeted by the sight of the moorings- completely empty! That's a rare sight indeed, so we moored up right on the end and, as we were cooking dinner, our erstwhile companions slid by to moor up also. Amy watched the "Number One Ladies' Detective Agency" on the TV, I read the Sunday Times, and we went to bed contented and happy.
The propshaft works well- indeed, the oil seal isn't dripping at all now, which it was earlier. I was worried that the plastic R&D flexible coupling would transmit more vibration to the hull than the far more flexible rubber Centaflex that was in previously, but there's no noticeable difference.
Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, and everything else, now- the coupling seems alright, we really really hope it stays that way!
If the rest of the summer's post-work cruising is as relaxing as Sunday's, I shall be happy indeed.
Step we Gailey
5 hours ago