Monday, 2 May 2011

Maiden voyage proper - Day Two

We've had another gloriously sunny day, but again with fierce winds.  It took a lot of power to get away from the side first thing, we spent long periods crabbing down the canal, and we both feel very weather beaten (although in a good way!)

We had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, then set off just before 9, head back to Brinklow.  Although the wind make things difficult, you couldn't help but enjoy the scenery.

Near Bridge 74 is a former wharf and stables.  When we used to come this way on hire boats and when Debdale was moored at Stockton Top, I'm sure the stables were pretty much derelict.  Now they seem to have been converted into flats (holiday lets, maybe?), and look lovely, complete with old fashioned signs and adverts, and a vintage lorry.

We were in luck at Hillmorton Locks, as boats were leaving the top and middle locks as we arrived, so we could go straight in.  We had a couple of minutes wait at the bottom lock, but nothing serious.  The Hillmorton Locks are paired, and at the bottom lock we had my favourite combination: a boat going up in one lock, and a boat going down in its neighbour.

There wasn't nearly as much traffic on the cut today (yesterday, we must have coincided with the waves of hire boats heading out or back), but of course you always meet boats in the most awkward places.  The prime example today was at Bridge 58, by the Tesco moorings at Rugby.  Moored boats one side, bushes the other, a bridge, a blind bend, and a boat coming the other way.

We moored up for lunch at Newbold, then took a walk down to the Co-op, principally for cough mixture.  My cold, which yesterday consisted of a sore throat and lots of sneezing, had today morphed into a cough.  The bottle carries todays most helpful instruction:  Dosage - Adults, 5-10ml (one to two 5mm spoonfuls).

It was just a short run from Newbold back to Brinklow.  Once back at the marina, we headed for the service wharf for a pump out.  The wind made life extremely difficult, as it was in exactly the wrong direction, and we ended up diagonally across the space, with the stern on the wharf and the bow on a pontoon.  One of the other moorers came ans helped us pull the boat round - he said he was pleased to see what had happened to us, as he'd been in the same pickle a hour or two earlier.  We have no bow thrusters on BR, but he told us that his bow thrusters weren't any match for the wind anyway.

BR's previous owner, John, who's one of the harbour masters here, came and showed us how to use the pump out machine.  It seems very efficient, and while I'm sure it's no-one's favourite job, a DIY pumpout seems no problem at all.  We bought a token for next time.

We were a bit worried about getting onto our pontoon, as the wind was likely to blow us away from it rather than towards it.  But Adrian did a great job of lining us up correctly, and we were tied up in no time.  We put the satellite dish back on the roof, and got a signal (which is one step better than last night).  Then we had an early dinner, as Adrian had to head for home, and work tomorrow.  I'm staying an extra night, as I have a boat test to do tomorrow just a few miles away in Rugby.  What with having done night shifts, battled the strong winds, and having a cold, I won't be late to bed.  In fact, I may not last much beyond Julia Bradbury's Canal Walks on BBC4 later.

10 miles, 3 locks.

No comments: