Friday, 13 May 2011

May weekend - Day One

Yesterday was a long day.  I was up at 4.15am, and got Adrian up to drive me to the station to catch the 5.16 train to work.  He then drove to near Heathrow for a day of meetings.  After work, Adrian drove to Shepherd's Bush to pick me up, but the traffic was so horrendous he didn't arrive until almost 7.30pm.  We then headed for Brinklow, stopping at services on the M1 for a bite to eat.  It was almost 10pm by the time we got to Briar Rose, much much later than we'd originally anticipated, so we had a cup of tea and went to bed.

This morning, there was a very sunny start to the day.  After breakfast, we set about changing the roller blinds in the shower room, galley, and over the front doors.  The brackets holding up the old blinds were metal, so we re-used them, rather than the plastic ones which came with the new blinds.

Once that was done it was gone 10am, so we reversed over to the service wharf for diesel.  We filled up -- 160 litres!  Brinklow will only do a 60/40 split, but the blended price is actually quite good, and with the boat being on shore power most of the time, a 60/40 split doesn't seem unreasonable.

All this meant it was almost 11am by the time we pulled out of the marina.  We were surprised to pass several boats going in the opposite direction, given that the North Oxford is closed at Ansty while a weak bridge is taken down.  We were talking to a boater at the diesel point who'd managed to get through yesterday, in between the old bridge being taken down, and a replacement being put in place.  Along this stretch, we saw our first cygnets of the season.

At Rugby, we stopped to go to Tesco.  We moored on the park side of the canal, in front of Brian Jarrett on Kyle (which has had a smart new paint job).  We had lunch before setting off again.  At Hillmorton Locks, we were following a boat up, but the paired locks meant we still didn't have to turn a lock.  There were also several boats coming down, mostly Viking Adrifts (as we call them!)

Just after 3pm, it made a half-hearted attempt to rain, but it didn't amout to much.  Shortly afterwards, a sudden gust of wind took my hat.  Adrian went back with the boat pole to fish it out of the water, while I managed to slew the boat diagonally across the cut.  Fortunately, there was no-one around to see the display!  As we passed the Barby Moorings, there was real work going on.  Just recently, everything seemed to have come to a halt, but progress is visible again.

We moored up for the evening just before Bridge 88, short of Braunston.  After many attempts, we managed to get the satellite dish lined up.  It doesn't help that no compass works properly near the boat, so it's tricky to work out which direction to point the dish in.  Eventually, we found a website where you can put in your location, and it'll tell you where the satellite it.

There was another shower of rain at about 7pm, but the rest of the evening has been quite nice.  Tomorrow's forecast has improved no end, so me might get another day without getting wet.

10 miles, 3 locks.

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