An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

QDJ Countdown

Rodney and Valerie on
Hazell Nut in West India
on QDJ practice - Sept-11 
Well in two weeks time we'll be sitting on the trot moorings at Barn Elms with, I hope, a high degree of anticipation.  We've still got a few hurdles to cross as follows:
  • We have to get there - the plan is to leave the River Wey on Wednesday 30-May at about 12:00 (Thames Lock, River Wey, closes at 13:00 for an hour) and make our way down river to be within easy striking distance of Teddington Lock for late morning on 31-May-12.
  • Teddington high tide is estimated to be at 11:43 so we'll try and get through Teddington at 11:00 and push the tide to Richmond half tide lock.
  • Thursday evening we'll be in Limehouse for a briefing at the Cruising Association.
  • Friday off to West India with its huge lock in time for a briefing (another one) at 19:00 in the Hilton Hotel. An update on Sunday evening advises we are not going out through Limehouse lock but we will have an early start and go via Bow, City Mills and Three Mills locks and we will, I understand, be very close to the Olympic stadium which means Olympic security as well.
  • We have to pass scrutineering - I think that will be on the Saturday in West India dock.
  • We need to decorate the boat - not too much I think as we need to be able to navigate safely. I have a variety of flags (not allowed to fly the Union flag) and some St George's and New Zealand flag bunting.
  • I have the anchor chain (thank you Rodney) but due to its weight have split it in to two equal lengths joined with a shackle.  It's just too heavy to move around as one piece. Goodness only knows what will happen if we need to deploy it! I have decided to buy some new anchor warp - 35m is the requirement - I am sure it will come in handy sometime.... I could have cobbled that length easily but it would have been joined a number of times so one piece is probably better.
  • Oh and we have to complete the passage plan which I think I am now happy with and read the 35-page manual of dos and don'ts.
  • My insurance is in place - £3,000,000 public liability cover!
  • The boat is full of diesel, gas and water and the pumpout tank is empty.  The engine is working well and within date for maintenance and so on.
  • I'll wash the boat and polish the brass the day before but with so much yellow oak pollen around I am not sure if it will look as good as it could.
I am sure it will be a wonderful day - full of memories, but it is a bit stressful trying to get everything into place to meet the H&S and scruitineering requirements.  And the cost of taking part is not insignificant for a poor old pensioner - is it Rodney?!

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