Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dartford Warbler on test

Something a bit different for the boat test in the March edition of Canal Boat, which is a holidays special.  It’s the ABC hire boat, Dartford Warbler.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Watt Knot on test

The February edition of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test of Watt Knot by Ortomarine.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

New Year Cruise: Day 3

I thought it might be frosty this morning given the forecast, but it wasn’t. We were in no rush, so had a pretty relaxed start.  When we were ready to leave, Adrian walked up to the lock so I could go straight in.  Within the hour we were back in the marina and secure in our berth.  We packed up, did the little bit of winterisation that we do, and set off.  Adrian took me to Milton Keynes to get a train back to London, then he drove home.

1 mile, 1 lock.  (13 miles, 2 locks)

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

New Year Cruise: Day 2

We had a lovely evening on board Rowington last night.  Adrian had made his speciality bobotie for main course, which we took along and heated up in the oven.  Catherine had made a trifle, and Grace had made a lovely sticky toffee cake.

After dinner we played a few games of Uno Roboto — until I just couldn’t stay awake any longer.  I had lasted until about 10.30, so apart from an hour’s afternoon nap, I’d been up over 28 hours.  Back on our boat I was asleep within seconds; Adrian tells me there were fireworks nearby at midnight, but I didn’t hear them.

This morning we had a very slow start to the day.  About 10.30 we visited Rowington again to find a very similar situation there.  It was gone 11 when we finally released ropes from mooring rings and set off, on a rather chilly and drizzly morning.  We passed quite a few moving boats.  We went past our marina and into Cosgrove where the moorings were virtually empty.  Down the lock, the moorings below were much busier; the first stretch is winter moorings and appeared full.  We went across the aqueduct and turned before the Galleon pub, back across the aqueduct and into a space for the day.  It was about a quarter to two, so had lunch, then spent the rest of the afternoon lazy about and dozing.  The sun came out, giving the solar panel something to do and lighting up the trees on the embankment across the tow path.

7 miles, 1 lock.  (12 miles, 1 lock)

Monday, 31 December 2018

New Year Cruise: Days 0 and 1

Adrian came up to the boat yesterday, got the fire going and did some shopping.  I was working a night shift, and got the train up this morning.  After breakfast, we set off at 9am, on a chilly but pretty still day.  We saw a couple of kingfishers along the way towards Stoke Bruerne, and one even sat still long enough for a photo.

At the bottom of Stoke Bruerne Locks, we turned in the arm and reversed onto the service point.  Topping up the water tank took very little time at all as it appeared it was already pretty full, but we also did a full empty of the loo; as it had been left for three months, everything was well composted down.

We moved to the moorings, tied up, and had lunch.  We then had a phone call we’d been expecting from my cousin Catherine, to say they had just come through the tunnel on Rowington.  We got ready and walked up the flight to help them down.  By the time we got to the second lock from the top they were just arriving there.  Two boats were already going down, but one was stopping, so the other said he’d wait for us at the next lock.

With plenty of crew, we flew down the flight, as each lock could be set ahead.  Our locking partner, an actor called Matt, proved to be great company.

At the penultimate lock there’s a lot of machinery so a stoppage must be coming up.  I must check the list to see what they’re doing.  At the bottom, we’d hoped to moor Rowington as a neighbour to Briar Rose, but other boat’s had arrived in the meantime, so we’re a boat apart.  We went on board for tea, and will be back later this evening.  Adrian has cooked a main course and Catherine is doing dessert. Having been up all day following a night shift, I’m not sure whether I’ll last until midnight.

Happy New Year!

5 miles, 0 locks.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Sacred on test

The January edition of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test of Sacred, a bit wide beam by Elton Moss.

Monday, 10 December 2018


To Alvechurch today for a boat test.  Right by the marina there were lots of moored boats to weave through.