Wednesday 21 November 2018


The prevailing wind at Great Haywood marina is south-westerly. But overnight on Monday / Tuesday, what with the machinations of the jet stream, it had become a bitingly cold north-easterly. We got the diesel central-heating going immediately on arrival on Monday evening and that, together with the effect of the 500 watt convector heater I'd brought, meant we were able to take off our outer jackets and scarves just before bedtime, though we were rather tempted to keep them on all night.

I'd been a bit concerned about the wind the Met Office had been promising, because I wanted to take Erin Mae across to services in the morning, and thought it might be tricky getting out of the mooring. In the event, the 180˚ switch from normal meant that as soon as I had backed out, the wind caught the bows and swung them round the way I wanted to go. We got a pump-out, filled the diesel tank, and pushed off to go back to our mooring. Unfortunately, the north-easter was now pushing us straight onto the service jetty. I tried the cunning "reverse against a secured stern-line" trick, but made little progress against the strengthening wind, and was a bit worried about what I was doing to our nice, new blacking. In the end I had to push and then drive the stern out, and reverse back to a point where I could finally swing Erin Mae's nose round in the right direction. Boats in reverse frequently demonstrate that they have a mind of their own, and I think she was objecting to being put to bed for the winter.

Once securely tied up again, we went through the procedures for protecting the water system against the coming freeze. It's pretty straightforward, and it took only (!) half-an-hour for the water-tank to empty. Then I siphoned the water out of the calorifier (the hot-water-tank), and we were ready to go. Conditions on the road did not look promising, so we fortified ourselves before leaving with Staffordshire oatcakes from the Canalside Café before braving the motorways.

So that's Erin Mae in hibernation for a few months. Hope she's going to be OK. And that I haven't forgotten anything that I should have done to keep her snug.


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