It took us an interesting hour or so to work out how the whole thing functioned; to realise that the wooden rods had probably swollen over the damp and cold winter and to apply firstly WD40 and ultimately stern tube grease (!) to get them working again. Despite the delay it caused to our lunch we were pleased to have overcome another unexpected problem of the sort that boats (particularly oldish second-hand boats) throw at you from time to time.
It was on Sunday, heading home, that we had a less rewarding experience. For some time we've been aware of a slight possible leak somewhere in the bathroom area on Starcross, but had put it into the "one day, we'll get round to looking at that" category. For some reason known only to her, Hilary decided that Sunday was the day. Whilst I steered us back towards Norbury, she set to in the bathroom to trace - and cure - the leak. I was a bit surprised when she didn't emerge to assist me in tying up when we arrived. Our mooring space is very tight and a bit tricky to approach when everyone's home as there is not much room as you can see:
Nevertheless I managed to get us tied up only to find Hil still battling away. Inevitably the problem lay in the most inaccessible place - behind the wall that separates the bathroom from the kitchen. To reach what appeared to be the damaged pipe we would have to cut away part of that wooden wall and the tools we had on board were just not up to the job.
Hilary would not give up though, and went off to Norbury Wharf Ltd to borrow some better equipment. Although this allowed us to reach the probable source of the leak and to attempt a repair it eventually became obvious that we were not really able to solve the problem and were in danger of making it worse. Eventually (and very reluctantly on Hil's part) we gave in and asked David at Norbury Wharf if he could get someone with some plumbing skills to take a look for us, thus maintaining our ongoing attempt to become NWL's best customers!