Saturday, 20 May 2017

Escaped at last (temporarily}

Last weekend we escaped the marina, Triskaideka was cleaned & polished over Easter, our escape is a trip for blacking.

Look at that smile!

We didn’t venture far, just onto the cut outside the marina.  On Sunday Ali returned home & John took himself to Watford, winded and found a nice rural mooring for a few days. 

 Ali returned on Thursday & John moved back to Crick, after a car shuffle to Braunston, we set off, heading down Watford flight.  It was good to be cruising all be it brief.  

Friday the promised clearing of the showers never happened,  but mid afternoon we had a knock on the boat, and a lovely surprise of Denise & Steve from nb Riverside Escape, they had braved the showers for a walk and found us, a lovely afternoon was spent, great to see you both again, and have a lovely time at Crick looking for new ideas & gadgets! 

This morning we had an early start, again to beat the showers, an hour to the tunnel, we met two boats as we were exiting, and a good run down the locks saw us moored in Braunston just before 10am.  A lazy day, but one needed, Ali enjoying an afternoon of rugby.

Monday sees us out of the water for blacking and returning home for a few days, back later in the week, with a list of jobs whilst we are on dry land.

It is going to be a strange year, the house us on the market, Ali is still working at the moment, the chances of extended cruising are looking limited, although we do hope to get out at some point, so the blog us going to be a bit hit and miss. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A belated Happy New Year

We spent New Years Eve in the company of fellow boaters from Crick marina enjoying a very pleasant meal and evening on NB Panda, we made our way down to Bridge 61 and found it virtually empty, so after a few beers we made our way back to NB Panda to see in the New Year aboard.

On New Years day the weather was as we expected, awful, but we had to make our way back to Crick so we decided to go for it, despite it being freezing cold, when we got to Welford we decided we were cold and wet so we continued, deciding that we would make the journey in one push and return to the marina.  We arrived just before dusk and warmed up with a shower and turned the fire up.

On Monday we packed up and re-winterised the boat, calling in at Northampton to collect our Christmas presents and then we made our journey home.

So that was our final cruise of the year and our first of 2017.

We hope you all had a good New Year.

Our travel statistics for 2016

Total distance 847 miles 543 locks.  68 movable bridges (that we operated), 13 tunnels.

Made up of 273 miles of narrow canals, 180 miles of broad canals, 211 miles of small rivers and 182 miles of large rivers.  145 narrow locks, 330 broad locks (inc 88 Thames locks) and 68 large locks.

the view through the port hole

Friday, 30 December 2016

Post Christmas cruise

Having enjoyed the Christmas festivities with Ali's family, we opted for a change this year and a bit of a cruise to see us into 2017.  This meant a dewinterise of the boat, with the addition of the heating being put on just prior to Christmas.

After a shop in Rugby for supplies on Tuesday, Wednesday saw us top up with diesel and head off towards Welford.

It was a bright clear day but cold, with a small amount of ice on the marina and on the cut.  Fortunately for us an ex-working boat had already travelled south breaking a passage for us.  It was still very noisy though, somewhat disconcerting.  The ice was worse in some places than others, surprisingly the parts of the canal with a more open aspect although in full sunlight were the worst for ice thickness.  Just north of Yelvertoft the thickness of the ice caused us to stop, obviously the working boat had started from this location on his journey south.  We decided to sit it out for a bit and as it was lunchtime to have a bacon buttie.

After a short while we became aware of the sound of cracking crunching ice, a boat was travelling towards us though the ice at considerable speed, he cleared a passage and was closely followed by another, once they had passed we recommenced our journey.  It was surprising how many boats after this we saw, certainly a lot more than we saw in the autumn.  By mid afternoon we arrived at Welford Junction and called it a day, we were all alone on the moorings.  Turned the fire back up and settled in for the day.

It must have gone cold during the night but then rapidly thawed in the morning as we were awoken by drips from a tree branch overhead.  There remained a thin covering of ice over the canal but no where near as thick as the previous day, although it still makes a rather alarming noise as we set off.  Once past the new marina at North Kilworth the ice largely receded and we had an easy passage through the tunnel and onto Foxton, the sun even breaking through the fog, which returned later in the afternoon.  Upon arrival we winded, watered and moored.  We had a walk down to the basin before the darkness closed in, although not so cold tonight.