Thursday, 30 May 2013

Rain and yet more rain.

After lunch on Tuesday we decided to brave the rain and move the short distance to Thrupp to use the service point. By the time we arrived there we were absolutely soaking. After mooring up and using the service point we had a nice hot shower and settled down for the evening. Leaving Thrupp on Wednesday morning it was soon on with the waterproofs and settle down for another wet journey. All went well the rain was heavy at times but not all the time. Just north of Pigeon lock the boat hit a submerged object causing it to rise up out of the water(not a nice feeling)and some awful noises. We finally called it a day at bridge 207 at Lower Heyford. This turned out for the best as the rain became heavy and continuos well in to the night. It was overcast this morning but no rain. As a precaution we put on the waterproofs anyway,however the rain was only light and showery. Most of the morning we were along side the River Churwell which looked rather fast flowing. On Wednesday we had done a short stretch on the Churwell and it had not been too bad. This morning we had Aynho weir lock, where the river crosses the canal,as we left the lock the currant hit us and pushed us into the barrier protecting the weir,again not a nice experience. Coming off that section at Neil Bridge Lock we moored just passed the lift bridge. Marlene had done some washing which is now drying at the back of the boat on the rotary dryer. I am pleased to say it is looking much brighter.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bank Holiday with the boys.

Stephen and the two boys(Harry and Max) arrived on the five o clock train,I met them at the station and showed them the way to where we were moored. We had traveled into Banbury that morning and moored near Morrisons to do some shopping. After we had eaten dinner we took an evening cruised down to Twyford Bridge before mooring for the night. The weather was good on Saturday morning and we carried on past Kings Sutton to Aynho Bridge where we topped up the diesel and some smokeless fuel as Friday night had been chilly. Moving on we picked up Dominic at Allen's bridge lock,he had caught the train to Lower Heyford and walked up the canal to meet us. Mooring near to the village of Lower Heyford we chopped some wood we had been collecting on the way down then went to the Bell for a couple of drinks. Oxford being our destination we Carried on down to Dukes Cut, at the lock was a sign saying boats over 52ft should turn here or they wood have to go on to the Thames to turn. We turned the reversed into the 48hr mooring. Stephen took a walk Sunday evening to see where we could get a bus into Oxford Monday morning. As luck would have it a short walk down the canal then over the bridge and past the Plough Inn up to the main road found us on a bus route into the city. So yesterday morning we all went into Oxford. Marlene and I took Harry and Max to the museum for a couple of hours while Stephen went to a cafe so he could do some work on the Internet,Dominic caught the train home. We met up with Stephen at lunch time and had lunch before him and the two boys caught their train home, Marlene and I caught the bus back to the boat. Leaving Dukes Cut we traveled to Kidlington Green lock before mooring for the night. We had had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and even the weather had been good and hadn't needed a fire on the evenings since we got the smokeless fuel and wood. Today we are still at Kidlington lock and it is raining,I suppose we were lucky to get a fine weekend.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Repairs at Napton.

After our night out we went through Sutton Stop lock and on toward Rugby. We called in at Rose Narrowboats to buy an oil filter,then carried on into Rugby where we stopped to buy oil from Halfords. Mooring outside rugby at bridge 66 so Marlene could dry some washing. While it was drying I did a long overdue oil change on the engine. The weather was good all day and I even managed to wear shorts and a T-shirt all day. Moving on Monday morning we climbed the three locks at Hillmorton by 9-30. Cruising down to Braunston Junction we turned right toward Napton. As usual Braunston was busy at the junction with moored boats on one side of the canal and boats moored at the service point on the other side, leaving hardly enough room to get through. We had trouble with the engine again loosing power on and off through the day,so we moored for the night just under the bridge from Napton Marina. Tuesday turned out to be a rest day,we set off at 8-30 but we lost power every time I typed to accelerate. We couldn't carry on like this so we turned just before Napton locks and went back to our over night mooring. I then walked round to Napton Marina and explained the problem to them,however they could't have a look at it till Wednesday morning. At 8-30 Wednesday morning we took the boat into the Marina as we needed a pump out by then. The problem turned out to be a dirty fuel filter which they changed and by 10-15 and we were on our way. From Napton we climbed the nine locks in the flight then a steady cruise to Fenny Compton where we moored for the night. Today we have done eight locks in sun and heavy showers to finally moor at Cropredy for the night. Tomorrow we have a short trip into Banbury where we will shop and meet Stephen and the boys.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Eleven locks

Carrying on down the Coventry canal we cruised through some lovely countryside down to Fazeley Junction then up the Glascote locks, just the two. We spent the night at Alvercote we could still not get a signal on the satellite. Friday found us approaching the Atherstone flight of locks. Eleven locks climbing about 80ft. We were following at single handed boat(Cheese and Crackers)he was heading to Crick boat Show. At the top we moored for lunch and did some shopping. Saturday morning we cruised down to Hawkshead Junction. We moored for the night. To our surprise we managed to get a signal on the least that is not going to cost me a new satellite dish. Tonight is Eurovision night, so we went to the Greyhound pub for a night out. Now I'm writing this and waiting for the voting to start, sad but what can you do.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Monday 13th May, I had walked over to the post office to post a parcel and arrived back around 9-30. At 10-00 o clock I turned the key to start the engine and nothing happened, the starter battery was flat. By the time I had walked over to the Chandelry,bought a new battery and fitted it then topped up the Deisel and Gas it was 11-30. We were on our way heading up the Trent to Shardlow. There are six wide locks at the start of the Trent and Mersey on the second third and fourth we locked through with another boat on the rest we were on our own. Having not moved since last July I had forgotten how heavy these double locks are. The weather had been kind not raining until we were mooring just before Willington. Marlene and I both ached from steering and locking. Tuesday morning we left our mooring at 9-30 it was sunny but the forecast was for more showers. From Willington there are no locks until Burton on Trent. By the time we approached Branston(one of our favourite moorings)it was looking a bit dark, however we pushed on toward Barton Turns. Of coarse the heavens opened before we got there. Should not have pushed our luck. We moored for the night below Barton lock. Couldn't get the tele to work so we watched a Couple of DVDs. We decided to get an early start on Wednesday morning, so at 7-15 we entered Barton lock,the plan was to have breakfast at Alrewas. Things were going well when I suddenly started to loose power. Stopping along side the A38 I looked in the weed hatch to see if we had something fouling the propellor, I could only find a few bits of string. We set of again and it was ok, I can only think that what ever was on the propellor had freed it's self while I was mooring. As we approached Wychnor lock it started to rain heavy,we put on our waterproofs and carried on to Alrewas and breakfast. We set off again at 10-00 and found ourselves in a queue the lock leaving Alrewas. We were third behind two hire boats. This remaind the same to the junction at Fradley where we turned left down the Coventry Canal. We are now moored at bridge 89 and the sun is shining between the showers. I have not managed to get signal for the tele again, I am beginning to think my satellite dish may be on the blink.