DolcieBlue was in the
and now floats on the ‘Cut’ A beautiful peachy queen. A fine feat of 68 feet (20
metres) of steel and we are delighted with the new material member in our
family. DolcieBlue arrived on Friday 12 July 2013, under the heat of
the midday sun, at Mercia Marina. She has captured the interest of fellow
moorers, as we have talked, often, about her arrival these past 2 months. I
don’t think anyone envisaged such a eclectic grand package of beauty. She is
suitably long and will give us the space to live our new dream of being water
gypsy time travelers on the Waterways and Rivers in England, and who knows
where else this adventure will take us.
I’ll recall the day of her arrival. We had a few close encounters with delivery dates and at the eleventh hour on 2, or was it 3, occasions she wasn’t quite ready. During the week beginning July 01 we had confirmation that she would be delivered 12 July. Three days before her delivery date we had double confirmation of her definite arrival on 12 July 2013. I completed the C&RT form (4 pages) to register her and posted with enclosed cheque expecting it would be a couple of weeks for the Admin process to kick in.
Delivery Day Dawned! We were moored in AM, on the Canal, metres from the Mercia Marina entrance arriving there the day before following our short cruise break! We woke early and cruised the calm water to our usual berth in the
I phoned Colecraft who clearly told us that DB was on the transporting truck’s
trailer (say those last 4 words fast!)
and would begin her road journey at 11 am. We anticipated it would be 1330hrs,
at the earliest, that she would arrive. I put my laundry in the washing machine
at the Facilities Block, it’s a girl thing, and marched off to the road
entrance that only opens for boat deliveries/removals and took a photo. Well it
was open for our boat! I wasn’t going to hang around waiting for the first
sighting of DB. During the meanwhilst, I moved the washing into the clothes
drier and an hour later, it would have been midday and I was in the Laundry
room folding my washing with a smile of anticipation on my face. Maureen aka
Mrs Mercury entered the laundry and asked “Is your new boat being delivered
soon?” I replied “Yes, this afternoon”. She said “Well a boat on a trailer has
just gone by on the perimeter road.” My mouth opened in surprise, I squealed
and raced outdoors. Sure enough in the distance on the launching pad was the
grand view of DolcieBlue. I was overcome with emotion and had to hold back the
tears. Finally DolciBlue is here. It’s not that I would cry over steel but the
value of her name is priceless. I walked to AM, as fast as my big feet would
safely take me, to shout out to Chris “DolcieBlue has arrived!!”.
I raced back to the Laundry to collect my washing before it went to the Moorer’s ‘help yourself’ table! I remember being told of a moorer who left her ‘best’ towels on the table and when she returned to collect them they had been rehomed!!
Back to DolcieBlue arrival. I hitched a ride to her and the truck! Chris ambled the 350 metres and got waylaid chatting. Della stayed on AM as she would have overheated outdoors! DB epitomized my idea of ‘cool’, that day. The Truck Driver said they had left Colecraft at 10 am. It did cross my mind that if they had left at 11am, they would have set a new land speed record for carrying 18 tonnes (18,000 kg) of steel. Now we had to wait the arrival of the Crane! Rumour has it that crane companies never tell the truth about their arrival time. Two hours later the crane was in position. Action stations under the burning sun. I had pictured DB being hoisted off the truck and swung over the water.
What happens is…..the crane has a couple of slings dropped from its hook which are fastened around the breadth of DB at two balance points based on her weight. The crane lifts DB a few centimetres to clear her hull from the truck and the truck drives away! DB is now swinging above the ground and is moved by crane and ‘man’ handled into position so her length is over the water. DB is dropped GENTLY into the brink, avoiding any contact sport with other moored boats!! As expected when her hull kisses the water she floats and the hoisting slings go slack. WOW. Impressive to watch, even more so when it belongs to you! Now here’s the video!
She is some length to manoeuver and it will take me at least a month of Sundays to get a modicum of comfort and ability with steering her. (I’ve only recently got used to steering 53 feet.)
I was a bit perturbed with observing Chris turning the ‘wheel’ as I thought the turn of the wheel would be like steering using the tiller. (i.e Tiller to the Left to turn Right. BUT it is turn Wheel to the Right to turn Right!!!) Luckily Chris knew what he was doing. He says the wheel is not as responsive as a Tiller but we have the Bow Thruster!!
We cruised DB to her temporary mooring beside AM.
DB has now been battened and spray foamed, thanks to Chris and Lloyd.
We took her out to her new working space on the Cut last weekend. She’ll be moored there for however long it takes for her to turn into our home.
|DolcieBlue at work!|
The daily question, from helpful and interested people, is “How long will it take?” We are not rushing. We will do an organic fit-out. Chris certainly has his work cut out for him, but he sees it as an easier task than his previous life of renovating houses.