Thursday, 31 December 2015

Looking back 2015

Happy New Year

The last day of the 2015 I spent the morning in a septic tank helping to get the marina sewer system working after the flood they should be fully working by Saturday. The pumps are running 24hrs and managing to keeping the flood water back, the Environment Agency have brought  some larger pumps up from the Summer Set Levels to empty the adjoining fields and that should take some of the pressure of the head of water threatening us.
So now we can start 2016 on a high  note with the great expectations. The future will call the past two weeks The Great Flood of 2015 and as that has only 4 hours to run it is already in the past it will be remembered for the fortitude  and resilience of the people of North West Lancashire
Looking back on 2015 it was a really good year for us all, Starting with Maryanne’s MBE presentation a great achievement and a memorable occasion. Then the epic trip from Liverpool to Leeds along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, then continuing on to York now that was a trip to remember. Returning to find we had a breach in the  Rufford canal  preventing Buggerlugs from returning Home, it meant we had to spend a month in our second home at Scarisbrick  We didn’t have two addresses when we were Landlubbers. Then it was off to Australia  where we were made that welcome it became our third home. What a fantastic holiday we had, every time we go we always find new places, new adventures and form new friendships.
2015 saw our Granddaughter Pippa grow into a one year old bundle of smiles and joy.  Thomas our Grandson grow into a real little boy with that great imagination only little Boys possess and long may he retain it what a joy he is to have around.
2015 also saw the passing of a number of our friends and relations all I know is they will be well looked after in the place they have gone God Bless them all.
NOW we march forward into 2016 like good soldiers never looking behind us, treasure its memories, but do not let them hold you back, look forward  with great expectation and excitement to 2016.
Thank you all for following the Blog
May you have a great and exciting 2016

See you along the cut

Next year its in March we take Buggerlugs to Castleford  for a re-spray then it down the Trent and across to Lincoln and Boston  That’s the Plan??? But as usual we will end up where we end up

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Dunkirk Spirit

In this modern world of clich├ęs the title is a very well worn one and used in many mundane circumstances
However in this instance we have the original and the reason we use the phrase today
Firstly the story of the Princess Mary who started her life as a ferry boat but like many others when the
question was asked she answered the call crossed the channel and under enemy shore fire, naval fire and dive bombers  for three days she ferry our troops off the beaches and in the process saved hundreds of our troops,
After that she had many tasks through various owners. Princess Many arrived here on the Marina about two years ago with thoughts in mind of converting this time into a live aboard Now to shorten this tale and not to dwell on the WHY! I will put it down to old age, a hard life, and a small amount of neglect, the combination resulted in a pump failure which meant she took to sitting on the bottom for a week. Between the various parties it was decided that the only way forward was to pump out raise here and get the salvage crew lift her onto dry land and do the necessary  repairs. However even with the best people on the job and everyone involved giving it there 100% best on the first lift she broke her back I stood with hands in prayer but that sound will live with me for ever it sounded like the old girl was saying leave me just let me go in peace and with that goes another one of my old Comrades A very sad day but surprising how many people rallied round and shared a great loss
That leads me on to the crux of this piece that is The Boxing Day Flood. I seems strange writing about a Flooded Marina  but that is what we have.  Obliviously the boaters on their boats are sitting pretty and are much more comfortable that the surrounding villagers something we should all be grateful for and allows us time to help the more troubled. Our problems compared with theirs are minor  and come in the form of  amenities we have lost the elson point, the pump out and  diesel and all these facilities can be received very close by unlike the landlubbers we have the flexibility and the ability to move.
The picture is this: the quantity of rain that fell over a twenty four hour period was unprecedented, The marina is situated near and along side the river Douglas and a railway The river is fed by a few brooks, the nearest one to us is Ellen Brook which had a breach on Christmas day night as the river was already in full flood the water flowing from the now breached brook had nowhere to go but along a culvert and onto the Marina. By 09.00 on boxing day the marina was under a foot of water and by 16.00 it was under three foot and rising culminated in
The Coffee shop being flooded. The amenities block being put out of action, with all the consequences that go with it. But this is the point with the Princess Mary still sitting on the car park awaiting dismantling and shouting out the Dunkirk Spirit.  With a valiant effort from all the helpers using all the fast array of  local help in the area with some boaters working alongside local contractors we (not really we my roll was very minor  as traffic control??)  have now managed to get the flood level down to a manageable level and if we get away with dodging Storm Freddie due tonight  (which is now causing my boat to roll a little ?? ) we should soon be getting some of the services back.
It will now take a few weeks to get the marina back to its pristine condition with all the facilities working, But as I said before this is the Dunkirk spirit were obstacles are over come, the impossible is made possible, and friendships moulded through adversity, My opinion is that Boaters come in to guises  the first are renowned for their fortitude, the ability to get the job done, and the friendship they bring with them. And the others who tend to continually moan, think the world owes them a living and tend to disappear in an emergency. Luckily we have more of the former than the latter.
Luckily here on Fettlers wharf we have owners that care and instead of saying “Sorry there is Nothing we can do!” Here they rallied the troops worked around the clock and  went that extra mile to maintain the stability of the Marina and it should also be noted that over on the ‘dark side’ for the last 48 hours the sun has shone on a job well done.

Car park at Amenities block Cafe

A very tranquil scene of a lake pitty its the Bloody Car Park

The entrance to the Marina with Princess Mary 
displaying the Dunkirk spirit

A well earned Potato Pie 

The Che nuke brought in to dam the breach on the  River. Douglas
ferrying 100s of tons of sand  

Manning  the pump outlet & Directing Traffic