Sunday, 24 November 2013

November weekend - Day 3

We slept pretty well.  Adrian got up well before me this morning, and sat by the fire reading.  As we had breakfast, we could hear quite a lot of noise coming from the park.  When we set off at about 9.45, we could see that a Movember Run was getting ready for the off.  Most of the runners had moustaches, and quite a few of the children did, too.

We made pretty rapid progress until Giffard Park, when the number of moored boats from there right through to the Proud Perch moorings means tickover only for a couple of miles.

When we got to the moorings past the Iron Trunk Aqueduct, we stopped for lunch of leftover chili on toast.  More than anything, the pause was to avoid getting back to the marina too early.  We set off again at about 2pm, and I walked up to Cosgrove Lock.  A boat was just coming out, which was welcome news.  After we'd gone in the open gate, I spotted a woman walking up the towpath with a windlass, and then a little boat following on behind.  It turned out to be a short Sea Otter, which the owners were taking to Crick to go onto brokerage -- and at the same time they'd be picking up their new (to them) boat, a much bigger proposition at 62ft.

We got back to the marina under very dark skies, and with a bit of drizzle falling.  Adrian reversed into our berth (he thinks it's actually the first time he's done it!) and we got the boat secured.

We've been increasingly frustrated with the poor mobile internet signal here at the marina, so decided to drive into Milton Keynes to get the latest MiFi -- having been told about it by Lesley and Joe on Yarwood when I visited a couple of weeks ago.  It's all set up, and seems to pick up a 3G signal when the old one wouldn't.  There's also a socket for an external ariel, should we need it.

We are staying the night on board and going our seperate ways to work in the morning.  We'll be getting up early, so apologies in advance to the neighbours for the sound of our shower pump!

8.5 miles, 1 locks.  (17 miles, 2 locks)

Saturday, 23 November 2013

November weekend - Day 2

Adrian arrived about 7.15 last night.  I was alerted to his arrival by the noise of a suitcase being wheeled down the pontoon.

This morning, there was an unforecast shower just before we got up - which was a surprise because the sky looked completely clear.  We had porridge for breakfast, then got ready to set off.  We left the marina at about 9.15, and we're soon through Cosgrove lock.  It was chilly, but reasonably bright.

We passed three boats coming the other way: one was right near a moored boat, another by the Lionhearts Cruising Club, and the final one at Bridge 81.  There must be something about this bridge.  It's on a blind bend, and we seem to meet a boat there every time.  In this case, I'd slowed right down and was right on the bridge when I saw the bow of the other boat.  They did a lot of reversing and I steered round them.  The helmsman apologised because he was looking off to the side!

We went through Campbell Park and turned at the winding hole just beyond bridge 82, then came back through the bridge and moored up.

We had a £5 voucher for Vintage Inns, so made e short walk to The Barge, where we hada a very nice lunch.

This afternoon, we've stoked up the fire and watched a DVD of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Dinner is in the oven, and I've also made a rhubarb crumble.

8.5 miles, 1 lock.

Friday, 22 November 2013

November weekend - Day 1

I came up to the boat this morning, stopping at Buckingham on the way to get shopping.  I arrived at about 2pm, unloaded the car, and then had the usual dilemma about what to do first.  I rally wanted lunch, but also knew I needed to get the fire going.  But I also wanted to take the opportunity of giving the chimney a bit of a sweep.  So I did that first.

Eventually I had the fire alight, the Eberspacher on for some hot water, everything packed away, and lunch.  I also topped up the water tank, and re-secured all the fixings on the tv ariel pole.  It was a lovely sunny afternoon, if a little chilly, and the view across the marina from the bow was pretty good.

I've started a chili for dinner, and it's now sitting on the top of the stove.  Adrian has been at a course near Berkhamsted, and will be here a bit later.  Tomorrow, we'll head down to Milton Keynes.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Alyssa Rose on test

The December issue of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test of Alyssa Rose by Standard Narrowboats.

Incidentally, CB is now available in many Tesco stores.