A couple of evenings were passed with Song & Dance lounging at Festival Park Marina, while Sir re-familiarised himself with marina life and the joys of their amazingly long pump-out hose, while a car was relocated from home to Stoke, ready for the Chippenham Festival cum boat repairs break. With the crane and lorry all organised for first thing Tuesday morning, your intrepid FO, under the watchful eye of the Captain, took Song & Dance single handed the 1.8 miles to Stoke Boat’s wharf at Longport, while the head gardener drove the car. The boat took about 45 minutes. Due to some splendidly sited temporary traffic lights and road works, the car took over an hour and a half to cover the same journey… the crane was stuck in the same jam.
While we unloaded the boat, Sir found all sorts of exciting places on the wharf to explore and hide, so we eventually had to confine him to the car (about which much protest was made).
The lift initially went well, except…
… that when they came to reverse the lorry underneath the boat it wouldn’t start, and just said something like “System Error – B” for those who remember early ICL mainframe operating systems. After much scratching of heads, phone calls to lorry HQ, Iveco Truck Dealer HQ etc. etc., a man was apparently coming with a laptop to reboot the lorry or something. No-one knew where the Control/Alt/Delete keys were on the beast.
Expecting the laptop to get caught in the same almighty traffic jam, the crane driver decided he probably ought to put the boat down for a bit even though it looked very impressive dangling in the air. Meanwhile we decided that we’d better head for home before the Captain sacked us for keeping him cooped up in the car all day.
The journey home was uneventful, and later we heard that – after several hours delay – someone plugged in the magic laptop, the lorry sprang into life, and Song & Dance was now safely back with her makers.