Thursday, 8 May 2014

Night shifts

The reason for boating down to Wolverton on Tuesday, was that I had a couple of night shifts to do.  I have boat test tomorrow in the midlands, so it made more sense to stay up here than go home.  Wolverton is very convenient for commuting to London, with the station about three minutes walk away from the moorings, and journey times of less than an hour.  The only thing that went wrong was that last night's train to work broke down at Leighton Buzzard, and of course the next one was the stopping service.  A fantastic aspect of the mooring was that I logged on to a very fast BT Wifi hotspot, so I didn't need to use the MiFi the whole time I was there.

This morning, it was already raining in London when I left work just after 7.30 for the walk to Euston.  At Wolverton I made a quick visit to Tesco to buy something for lunch, then got ready to move the boat -- including putting on full waterproofs.  The rain hasn't actually been that heavy (I'd describe it more as steady), and most of the day has also been quite bright.  I headed up to the winding hole at New Bradwell.  When I was about half way through the turn, I noticed that I was being watched by a man on the towpath.  He complemented me on my 'three point turn', and even reckoned it was worth eleven out of ten!

As I headed back I passed a couple of boats coming the other way.  At Cosgrove lock, I was preparing to stop when a lady appeared and opened a gate for me.  She was with a boat about to come down, and as i was single handed offered to work me up the lock, which saved a lot of time.  As I'd always rather be out the marina than in it, I moored at Cosgrove, where I had hundreds of yards of moorings to choose from.  I've come a bit further round than usual, because there's a CRT workboat and flat moored up, and I thought the sound of them clanging against each other would drive me mad.

This afternoon I've done very little, apart from light the fire and doze in front of it.  The only job of any note, was to refill the stern tube greaser.  The local swans have been round a couple of times, showing off their new family.  There are nine cygnets, which looks like quite a handful by anyone's standards.

The forecast for tomorrow is improving all the time, so I'm hopeful we'll get some good sunny spells rather than heavy showers.  A slight concern is the strength of the wind -- both because I've got to get Briar Rose back into the marina, and because it can make boat tests very hard work.

4 miles, 1 lock.  (7 miles, 2 locks)

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