We took the scenic route to get to the north east over the long October weekend so we could put the covers on the boat - we're leaving her up near Carrick-on-Shannon for the winter. We were in the camper van which has an astonishing amount of storage space, especially if you use the shower area as a very big cupboard. Out of the boat came duvets, cushions, memory foam mattress toppers, tea cosy, wooden spoons, charts and books, all carried across the handily laid shortcut across the gap between pontoon and grass.
Putting on the covers takes longer than you expect, even when everything goes according to plan. It's these things that make it so tricky:
Shock cords that are easy to pop over the knobby bit that sits just under the rubbing strake (undoubtedly it has a proper name but I can't even think what to Google to find it) when you're standing on the jetty, but devilishly difficult when you're kneeling on the deck and feeling for said knobby thing while trying to stretch the elastic over it.
Joe began that job up at the bow where there's a nice broad deck, but when I offered to do a bit he said yes rather too quickly. The closer you get to the stern the narrower the deck, difficulty compounded by the stanchions linked by chains that hem you in ever tighter to the coach house roof. There are many of these shock cords.
The job was almost finished in a stiff breeze and sunshine, but the black clouds approached. Hurry hurry.
Not quick enough.
But finally the back was zipped up and the final touch of the piece of twist wire secured the zip.
At which point we decided we needed to put on a spring to stop the boat drifting back and scraping herself against the pontoon. The spare line was in the cockpit.
All wired up again.
Deck shoes still inside.
All wired up ...
You get the idea.
But finally all done. Winter Solstice tucked in for the winter.