This is Steve & Viv Carter's log of the trips and travails on the narrowboat Adagio – liveaboards from October 2015. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)” email@example.com
Owing to a funeral next week of one of Viv’s old school friends, we’re not out for the Summer, not just yet but are doing a short trip to Market Harborough & back. Happily coinciding with Summer – for yes, the single figure temperatures melt away to give us values in the high twenties! So chance to do some boat cleaning & polishing plus give those solar panels a rare treat – some sun! The new weather station in also lapping it up (weather.vivatek.co.uk) – recording all these new temperatures. Nice to see all the trees & plants beginning to bloom too – a whole month behind, we reckon. Steve is growing some peppers (again) – this time some lemon flavoured hot peppers, jalapeno and even the dreaded naga jolokia ones, hmm.
Chance to do, well, not very much. Met some nice, friendly boaters – Gll & Stuart on Auntie Rincal (fellow Yelvertofties) plus a chap on his own, John on Hermione. There’s a new Co-op halfway into town, which is nice and a visit to the Beerhouse is a must. So many nice shops and things to do – corset museum? Can you see a Toby, just peering out? He’s got a swollen ankle – arthritis? So only short walks for him. Had a great lunch in the market at the Master Dim Sum – a very small but very efficient dim sum cafe – scoring the #1 spot in Harborough for restaurants, which is good going since it only opens 10-5, when the market is open. In the evening we had some beers at Beerhouse (again) and then an excellent takeaway from Rainbow – good old TripAdvisor does help! The best spare ribs ever (garlic & chilli “hot hot” but nice).
Friday, off at 9. Up thru Foxton – had to wait for some boats to come down – so, a pint of Inclined Plane in the Bridge 61 pub then. Such hardship. Up at the top and moored for the night – Not quite as blisteringly hot as yesterday (28 inside & out). A nice 22-24.
The weather this year has been truly awful. And it remains so even though we now enter April. Everything seems a month behind with daffodils just reaching full bloom. Today was the only non-rainy and maybe sunny day of the week so we headed off to Watermead park on the outskirts of Leicester. Chance for Toby to have a good walk and a swim plus for us, a look at the river Soar at Birstall & Thurmaston locks – still on “red” as the river is in flood.
We do a large circular walk from the south car park, clockwise around the park, the river Soar and the two locks. It was very pleasant – no need for a coat! First time this year.
Toby gets quite a few swims
This is Birstall lock – the red warning clearly visible.
No boat traffic
At Thurmaston, it all seems very tranquil but the lock sign still shows red
On for some shopping in Leicester – in the market “everyfing-a-pahn-ed” – bought some peppers. cucumbers, ginger, parsley, limes . . . and then had a snack!
Busy now, getting the boat & us ready for the off. B pontoon looks a little empty as boaters head for the canals
Yes, end of an era. Nick & Margaret on Iron Maiden and Simon & Linda on Hyannis sail away from Yelvertoft for good. They sailed past us this afternoon with much hooting and bunting! All the best chaps!
The flotilla appraoches
Nick & Margaret on Iron Maiden
Simon & Linda plus Baggins!
We had a few flags up plus a good blast on the new air compressor horn!
Our sign said “Bon Voyage, Nick & Margaret, Simon & Linda – all the best from the Captain & Crew of nb Adagio”!
With the forecast of a glorious couple of days we set off to our favourite location – bridge 27. Time to see what works and what doesn’t! Will the batteries last, will Viv polish the mushrooms, is the engine OK . . . also it’s time to plan our cruise for the year . . . or not!
Off to the wild, blue Honda (Isuzu) . . .
Beautiful day – sun glinting off the lacquered bear!
Even Steve is slightly happy
Note to CRT – get the lads out and cut these branches – less than half the canal width here.
Turned at bridge 28 then moored up – solar panels facing the sun – time for chores but what’s this? A floating bonfire sails towards us . . .
It can’t be – it is – it’s Simon & Charlie on Empress!
They swung the boat and came back for tea before heading back to the marina
Time for those mushrooms and other chores . . . (Brassmate then a coat of wax)
Clean & shiny
Bye bye Simon – the Ruston 2 cylinder needs a bit of attention but at least it works
Round the woods with Toby and chance of a view of the lovely rural spot – it gives a hint at why we like it out here and only an hour or so from the marina.
Zooming in on the boat and there’s Viv finishing the last of the mushrooms
Tomorrow, it’s bitumen on the rusty spots on the hull and then all the windows. Meanwhile time to enjoy the longer evenings, the sunset and a glass of wine
We’re down in Whitstable for Mum’s birthday. We had a cruise down the river Stour on the Grove Ferry boat, a bit nippy but the sun was out and great fun was had by all. This was followed up with a meal at the Rose Inn at Wickhambreaux, lovely!
Yes another 2 weeks go by as we head into what should be Spring and lo, it came to pass, another artic blast – blizzards, gales and sub-zero temperatures! The Friday before all this it was extremely mild and time to fit a new boat horn and give it a coat or 6 or lacquer. I also lacquered me bear – not a phrase one hears too often:
Steve’s new boat horn (driven by an air compressor – supposedly 150dB) bit of a cheap chrome finish, so it gets totally lacquered
As does the bear!
Meanwhile, the view at 0800 today – more snow, more drifts . . .
Even a snow drift inside the boat, in the cratch
Toby’s not bothered – he goes kind of mental in the snow, rolling & squirming
Makes you shiver just looking at it!
Couldn’t see out of the windows
Went for a walk along the canal beyond bridge 23 – to find Hodmad’od!
Lots of big drifts on the towpath – there’s a Toby in there somewhere.
Hopefully this will all disappear this week & we can all get out!
Yes, winter came back this week. It was all forecast. Temperatures down to -8, gales making the wind chill as low as -15. Shed loads of snow. Yellow > Amber > Red warnings but folk still carried on . . . getting stuck for a day on a motorway, stuck on a train – so they got out and walked – on the electric track! Causing more delays as they had to switch off the power. Why don’t people read the weather forecast?!
Meanwhile we were all cosy on Adagio – the coal fire roaring 24/7, even had the Alde gas boiler switched to electric – just on the 1 kW setting – kept the boat from freezing at night. The marina froze over and the wind made the hull creak against the ice – not nice – gave it a wooden galleon feeling. Toby didn’t like it – nor did we. Wednesday to Saturday . . hopefully it will all melt.
Boats are frozen in but a dog still needs a walk
Foggy start to the day – the snow has drifted quite badly
Not a soul moving today – someone bought himself a new Gill OS2 sailing jacket, just in time for all the sub zero temps. Should also cope with whatever the weather throws at us when out on the Cut, chugging along.
We are back on the boat. Readers of the Mojacar blog will know that our premature return to these shores was due to my Father being unwell over Christmas and then succumbing to lung cancer and then passing away, early January. A very sad time for us all. I did think of discontinuing the blog as few will read it but then, another raison d’etre of the blog was to be a keepsake for us two; so that in our dottage, we would have something to look back on and jog our cloudy memories!
So, it’s 26th Feb and that glorious sunshine & heat of Andalucia is but a distant memory as we shovel £100 of coal each month . . . here’s the week’s forceast and don’t forget it is March on Thursday!! Spring is officially postponed:
Who’d of thought it? Basking in 21 degree weather in mid-October? Time for an end of season BBQ. Thanks to Simon, Linda, Nick & Margaret for organising a “B pontoon” and friends BBQ. We sat in the open marquee – for that’s where all the benches were hiding but the “boys” did the cooking outside. There was burgers, sausages, chicken, jacket spuds, spud salad, ensalada, trifle & pavlova! Plenty of “beverages – various” to wash it all down and with 11 of us (sometime 13 as Bob & Jenny passed thru . . on their way to France!), a good time was had by all.