Friday, 20 June 2014


So, after much delay, Blackbird has had his bottom blacked. It was done in the charming little dry-dock at Bates Boatyard, above the Marsworth flight near Tring and a very reasonable price it was too. The dry-dock featured in the old film 'The Bargee'.
I also had to get the hull surveyed for insurance renewal as Blackbird is about 28yrs old now. I must admit, I was a little nervous at what state the hull might be in as I haven't done the blacking for about 4 years but the surveyor said it was in good condition and the anodes still had some life left in them too! The only work he did recommend doing was to have new outlets to my 3 sinks welded as the steel was eroded under each outlet. The boatyard did the work promptly so I wouldn't have to pay for an extra day in dry-dock. I was away when the boat needed to come out the yard and they moved it for me to somewhere convenient. So yes, I'd definitely recommend Bates Boatyard for good friendly service and reasonable rates. I also like that all their prices are on their website so you can work out up-front what it's going to cost.

Monday, 2 June 2014


Ever since Sarah from nb Chertsey posted about the Sheffield University webcam, that watches over a nest of Peregrine falcons, I've been hooked. It's only been about 5 or 6 weeks since they hatched out, but it looks as though they are about to fly. In fact I've just checked back to the page and one has either taken off, fallen off or is hiding off camera! Hope it reappears!
Here's the link:

And here's a screen-grab: