The day of the Launch finally arrived and we were up bright and early. Not as early as we had expected because Lilian decided she was having a lie in and didn't wake up till quarter to eight meaning she had slept for nearly 12hours.
Its typical isn't it, you trust her to be your alarm clock and get you up at her normal time of 6.30am and she lets you over sleep.
Highline had let us know that the crane would arrive at 8am and maneuvers would commence shortly after. We didn't know the pecking order though as two boats had to be returned to the water in addition to ours and i think another 3 had to come out for surveys and blacking.
Neil and cath from Herbie arrived shortly after 8am and together we all hung around the yard waiting for action.
The crane driver was doing various things to his charge including fitting a wind speed monitor to the boom as the day was gusting very strong.
Finally, following what looked to us to be a lovely mug of tea, the driver and staff of Highline swung into action, and ever so gently and with great care each narrowboat was placed back in the water and another was hauled out ready for a hull survey.
It was then the turn of Amy
Once afloat I turned the key in the ignition and the Barrus Shire 40HP engine kicked into life on the first go. A quick check of the stern gland and engine dials and I set off for the winding hole just a short hop along from Highline so I could turn, and then return to the yard to take on some fuel, giving the staff chance to finish their first leg of craning day.
Lilian had long since fallen asleep obviously finding the sight of a huge crane and flying boats not half as exciting as a plastic rattle or a purple squeaky elephant. Our neighbour Lydia once again came to our aid as she had done for our wedding and took Lilian while we sorted ourselves out for the rest of the day. Without her help we would've really struggled to do, even half of what we achieved.
Amy cruised the short distance to the winding hole with ease and I found the tiller very responsive. I managed the turn in one go, and arrived back at Highline to meet Laura and Neil.
One of the downsides to buying Amy is that we would lose our neighbour Herbie. Thankfully they were not going far and had managed to secure a nice little mooring alongside Nb Humbug which is even closer to the car park and whose owner is a really lovely lady. I think they will get on well.
We filled the fuel tank with over 300 litres of diesel, (The heating system is a Reflexs oil burning drip feed stove) and then with the help of Neil, we moved up to our slot and secured Amy in Lady Elgars place.
The rest of the day was spent moving our belongings from LE to Amy and sorting out wiring for phone lines and satellite TV. Got to get your priorities right :)
So far, life on a widebeam is just fine. All crew members doing well and swinging cats.
Our next mission is to finish the move from Lady Elgar then give her a spring clean before she goes up for sale.
That will be a sad day