Thursday, 3 July 2008

Wild camping

Well, sort-of wild! While Blackbird was in dry-dock, I wasn't allowed to stay on board so I stayed in a tent in an obliging clearing by the canal. It was a really beautiful spot, tucked up high among young trees and surrounded by the gorgeous spires of common spotted orchids. They may be 'common' as the book calls them, but I think they're lovely! My 'Food for Free' book says we in the UK used to make a drink from the root called 'saloop', back in the days before coffee became popular and available.
It was like being in a hide as birds perched so close and snuffly creatures rustled past the tent in the middle of the night. But it wasn't very restful as my dog wanted to investigate every noise, so I was very glad to get back on my boat after 3 nights away.

The good news was that it didn't need a steel plate after all - hurray! Once the needle-gun had blasted away all the rusty parts, it wasn't so bad as we'd thought. They cleaned up the whole engine/bilge space and treated it and it all cost a lot less than I'd feared. More hurrays.

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