Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Handover Day & The End of The Boaty Blog :-(

Yesterday,we finally finished clearing out the boat, Sammie did his best to hang onto the pillows ...

So,, now that the motorhome was fully loaded, I wanted to find a weighbridge to check that we wouldn't be breaking any rules.

We found a very helpful scrapyard in Stafford, no worries he said bring it over ...

We weighed the complete van ...

Then the front and rear axles separately ... whoops we were over weight by 90ks and over on the back axle by 60ks!  We weighed in at an impressive 4340ks ... bearing in mind that I filled up the fuel and water tanks to the brim and the water tank hold 130litres or 130 ks, so  I wasn't too fussed.  If I step outside of the van when the authorities weigh it it will be under weight!

Last night we ate at the Aston Marina Bistro and used up all our 'food club' reward points - the food and beer were superb. We then slept in the motorhome in the carpark!

Today was handover day so we came over to the boat to give it the final once over ...

It was probably the first time that it sunk in that this was it, it was all over.

She looked fantastic, if a little bare ...

The only thing left on board were the dogs and the laptops ... we were making the most of the last chance of power for a few days ... (mainly to get this blog done!)

And there she is sitting in the sunshine.  Thank you, Caxton, you have been a superb reliable boat.  I hope that George and Susan have as much fun onboard as we have.

George arrived at 11.30am for the handover but Susan was unable to attend today.

We spent the next couple of hours going from stem to stern explaining her workings, except we did stern to stem!

Caxton will be based at Braunston for a while, so if you see George and Susan around give them a hoy!

George also bought with him a twin tub washing machine for us, that will fit in the garage of the motorhome!  One thing that we were dreading was to suddenly have no washing machine but now we are sorted, plus it
only weighs 7ks so only a little more overweight!

She is all yours, George (and Susan) ... enjoy her!

So what to do with the blog?   

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the blog over the last few years and through it we have made some fantastic life-long friends.  I still cannot believe how many people read it from all over the world, and would like to thank each and every person who has read it over the years. 

Obviously the 'boaty' content is now over, but I will try and carry on the 'Manly Ferry' Adventures in the motorhome.  It isn't going to be as simple to do especially on the continent, where we will be relying on wifi connections in bars etc.  It may become more of a weekly update.

Finally ...

Have we enjoyed our narrowboat adventure??  From my perspective I have enjoyed every minute of it.  It has been far better than I imagined when we started to plan the adventure a lot of years ago.  I don't regret selling the house and moving the other side of the world one iota.  The only thing we would have done differently would have been to sell the house and downsize it straight away rather than waiting two years to buy again as the property in Sydney went through the roof in those years, but you can't pick that, it could have gone the other way!

I have loved visiting literally hundreds of different pubs ... I think it just one if not the only way to properly meet the locals.

We have met two tossers on the canal system and only one of them was in a boat!  Not bad odds!  Probably met hundreds that reckon that I am a tosser :-)

One thing where we differ from most boaters is that we have loved visiting the big cities more than being in the middle of nowhere in the sticks.  London will always be our favourite, followed by Manchester and Liverpool ... you just cant beat being moored up in your own boat in the middle of a large city. 

Elaine's Bit ...

Well, what to say?  For me, it has been two years of massive experiences --- some good, some not so!  While this adventure was always instigated by Paul, I am glad we did it.  It would have been very easy to have stayed in Sydney in our respective professions but I do have to say that I have really, really missed my Natural Therapies business and my old clients and friends.  As regards the Narrowboating experience it was great ... it did take us a long, long time to slow down and 'sniff the roses' (and to stop feeling guilty for doing so!).  For me, the best things were ...
- meeting some completely and utterly amazing people and making some lifelong friends 
- meeting herbs and flowers along the towpath, that I generally use from a brown bottle in my practice!
- being able to moor up and visit major cities ... as Paul said the most fantastic place was London, for us! 

So that's it ... as I write this was are feeling strange that we are soon to lock up Caxton and never live in her again ... an odd, wrenching feeling but we know the time is right :) 

Thanks from me to everyone who has been so kind and supportive since I have had a bit of a health 'slip up'.  The NHS has been nothing short of world class and Paul and I will be eternally grateful for the care, support and absolutely brilliant service we have received.  

Toodloo for now from me ... hope you are able to follow our motorhome adventures too !

Final Finale

Thank you all and goodnight xxxxxxxxx


  1. At first we didn't think you were a. tosser and now know it. What a great time we have together and we are looking forward to carrying on doing it all again in a few more locations and different countries. Now it is off to start the next phase of your travels. Enjoy it and we will sneak up on you when you least expect it.

  2. I don't know about 'sur le continent' but in the UK the rozzers won't let you step outside on a weighbridge. When we were pulled over they even made sure the dog was back onboard for the weigh-in. For peace of mind, I'd err on the side of caution....

  3. Gill and I have enjoyed your entertaining boatie blog, a cracking adventure, so entertaining that I went back and read it all from the beginning. Good luck and good health in your next adventure and take care of the dogs and cats.
    Andy and Gill.

  4. Well done and good luck for the new adventure
    Meeting up with you guys in our first week on the cut certainly made the transition easier for us and showed us you can have a Bloody Good Time living aboard.... Cheers Leonie & Ray...NB FireflyNZ...

    1. Thanks guys, we will have a catch up somewhere.

  5. Hi,
    We will certainly be following your adventures in your motorhome. Keep up the blogging as we enjoy your stories.

    Robin & Jenny

  6. Have really enjoyed your blogs.. Although our boats met on a few occasions we never did get to have a beer.. But that is the way it is on the canals and something we all accept. Either you are in or out at the time.. Maybe just passing on a blind bend..

    Have a great time you two and the K9s, I hope you continue blogging about your travels, seems the trendy thing is to be in Europe at the moment..

    Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :)

    1. We did have the beer on the Thames with the smoky BBQ. I want to try and see you before we do the off!

  7. The end of an era. Drive safely!

    1. Thanks Adam, we will be listening to you in France and Spain!

  8. Have a great time on your new journey in life together. Why not call the Motor home "The Manly Ferry"? :)


    1. That is exactly what it is going to be called.
      Paul xx

  9. Thanks for all the good wishes, we have now left the marina, today I dropped some keys off the boat and went through for one final time...a few tears were shed!

  10. Good luck on the new adventure guys! The end of an era for sure. When one boaty door opens, another motorhome one opens.
    Elly and Mick

  11. Hi Paul and Elaine (and Bombo and Sam)
    Really sorry that we are not going to meet up on the cut now! Enjoy your new life in the motorhome, and we look forward to hearing about your adventures in that - keep blogging!!
    Della and Gary
    NB Muleless