Monday, 16 July 2018

Two in a day

I came up to the boat after work yesterday, and it was sweltering. I slept with the rear slide open as well as the Houdini.

Today I met up with Andy at Bicester, and we travelled together to Stockton for a boat test. It was sunny and much warmer than forecast. When that was done we continued to Tamworth for the second boat test of the day. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a single photo all day.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Thames Drawing no2

Adrian has a new job in London, so we’ll be spending a bit more time there.  At the weekend, we went to investigate Trinity Buoy Wharf where there’s a pier, a lightship that’s now a recording studio, and workshops made from shipping containers.  But I was particularlybtaken by this map of the Thames on the wall of one of the old warehouses.  The artist spent the summer of 2016 on the Thames, and has used the names of all the boats to mak the shape of the river.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Elizabeth Anne on test, and 21 other Crick boats

The August edition of Canal Boat is out and includes my boat test on the Crick winner, the Braidbar boat, Elizabeth Anne.

There’s also ten pages of mini reviews of other boats on show at Crick.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Crick and Cosgrove

Up to Crick Marina for a boat test today — but it wasn’t until lunchtime, so I decided to drive up this morning.  I called in at Briar Rose on the way, dropping off stuff and turning the fridge on.  As the boat test wouldn’t be done until mid to late afternoon, I planned to stay on the boat tonight.  It was indeed about 3.15 by the time the boat test was done, which wouldn’t have been the ideal time to drive home, so I went back to BR and within a few minutes was heading out of the marina.  I blasted down to Cosgrove, turned above the lock and returned to pretty much the same spot we used after the show a couple of weeks ago.

The reason for coming down to Cosgrove was that the loo needed emptying, and it’s much easier to do it at an Elsan.  The waste doesn’t actually go down the Elsan, but it means you can give the bucket a good clean and rinse.  We’ve been trying a new base material in the loo, Tesco cat litter made from wooden pellets.  I’m pleased to say it’s been a great success — it was almost completely dry, and the pellets have disintegrated completely.  This is what they look like fresh out of the bag.

It’s turned into a very nice sunny evening.  The moorings, which had loads of space, have gradually filled up a bit. Tomorrow, I’ll go back home first thing, as i have a set of night shifts starting later.

Today: 1 mile, 0 locks.  Tomorrow: 1 mile, 0 locks.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Silent Waters on test

The July edition of Canal Boat was out at the start of the Crick Boat Show, and includes my boat test of Silent Waters by Bourne Boats.  The front cover is one of Andy the photographer’s drone shots.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Spring Cruise: Day 14

Having had the pick of spaces in Cosgrove when we arrived yesterday, by the evening the moorings in the village were full.  We set off this morning at 7.40 and the mile back to the marina took 20 minutes.  We got moored in our berth, and then I set off in the car to meet up with Andy the photographer for a boat test.  It was at Hillmorton, and for the external shots we went down the locks.

I was back at our boat by 1pm, and we picked the car and set off for home.

1 mile, 0 locks.  (103 miles, 62 locks)

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Spring Cruise: Day 13

There was a lot of rain overnight, but we woke this morning with the boat on a slight tilt as the water level in the pound had dropped a bit.  We set off at about 9, in much less rainy weather than forecast.  We we got the short distance to the lock, I could see that the pound below was severely short of water.

As the long pound was already a bit low, I walked up and started running water down through the top two locks.  As I was at the top lock I alerted Kathryn as to what was going on.  She said she’d been bringing Sculptor back from the Crick Show yesterday, and they’d waited more than four hours at Watford Locks.  Anyway, I ran water down for maybe 20 minutes, by which time there was enough in the empty pound.  Another boat had joined us, so we continued down together.  I later discovered that the lock below the empty pound had a paddle up just a couple of clicks, which was enough to empty it overnight.

Further down the flight, the pounds were full to overflowing.  We had to let some water out the bottom pound, because the lock would never have made a level otherwise.  However, we enjoyed our journey down the locks with two ladies who are classical pianists, and who have bought a mooring at Battlebridge Basin in London.  There was plenty of synchronised boating between the locks, which was a new concept to them as they’ve had the boat only a week.

We moored below the locks a bit after 10.30 as we were expecting visitors.  My sister and family were calling in on their way home to Cheshire from a half term visit to our father’s, in Kent.  We piled them with tea and cake, and we walked up to the bottom lock when some boats arrived to go up.  It turned out to be a busy time, as two also came down, and three more arrived to go up.  Before they left, Rachel insisted on demonstrating her trumpet playing on the lockside.  The trumpet, my sister explained, was a ‘gift’ from school for half term!  A lady on one of the boats described the performance as a ‘work in progress’.

Once the family had gone we had a quick lunch, then set off again.  I have a boat test to do tomorrow but it’s relatively close, so we decided to have another night out of the marina.  We carried on past, turned about Cosgrove Lock, and moored in the village.

7 miles, 5 locks.  (102 miles, 62 locks)