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)” firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, probably a chapter anyway. As we have grown a tad weary of this on board living lark and yearn for the space and stability of a house. We have also had a few knocks this year – viz. witnessing the lady boater meet her end at lock 8 in Atherstone, the almost breach at Marbury, the almost fisticuffs at dawn when the lock reopened, Viv wrecking both knees at Springwood Haven, the alternator packing up, the loo backing up, Steve smashing his thigh on the boat, windows leaking . . . and just the tiresome thought of another winter on the boat.
I also think that we are tired of being 3rd class citizens – the look you get when you state your address as …..the marina. So we have started the lengthy process of buying a house – a small 2-bed, bungalow in Trefin – the village we have been visiting over the last two decades for holidays. It’s only yards from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and the sea. We may keep the boat but we’ll see. Offers over £70k anyone??
One of the reasons for heading home in August was to do some remedial paintwork – the non-slip grey on the gunwales needed doing . . . but, it kept raining… so a week or two later . . . we get a dry day! So off to bridge 27, or just before. Masking tape & non-slip paint on the port side – chug along to bridge 28 and the winding hole – turn her around and then repeat for the starboard side!
We’ve been back a week now and so time for a trip out – it’s only an hour, door-to-door to Nottingham. Chance for Steve to pick up some pipe tobacco and then to go on to the river Trent to give Toby a swim.
And then on to Gunthorpe – for boaters, it’s a left turn out of the Nottingham canal and out on to the mighty river Trent . . through locks (Holme and Stoke Bardolph – all manned) down to Gunthrope – nice floating pontoon here for moorers, behind a locked gate.
Moored not far from Watford locks – ready to ascend tomorrow – so hopefully back in Yelvertoft for Thursday lunchtime. Been bit of a mixed bag this cruise – certainly some extremes of weather . . . here’s a reminder . .
There’s something wrong with the weather, for sure. We did a short and dismal trip from Hawkesbury to Ansty. Enough to charge the batteries but lower the mood – it was getting wet so we stopped. The M69 was noisy but it was a fair mooring with rings.
It was forecast and lo it did get Scorchio indeed. Records broken . . .34.7°C and nearly that inside the boat too! Bedroom was a sauna. All the boats around us stayed put. Wednesday night Steve went to the Anchor with Simon & Charlie – food OK, usual 40 minute wait for a burger & chips! Thursday was the hottest – and our 38th anniversary, so we stayed put and cooked a chicken madras curry with a diy trifle to follow and lots of gin & fresh limes (run out of tonic! Gasp!!). Our closest neighbour Matt joined us a drink (his boat is Contrazoom, interesting . . ). Not much sleep that night.
Good grief – temperatures nudging 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C) are forecast – so we stayed put or rather, moved on round the corner under the trees – still gets a bit of sun (solar for 5 hrs). Our old mate, Simon on Empress plus son, Charlie turned up – so nice to see them again. On moving the boat, Viv found a hole to misplace her foot in & did a double act of wrenching a knee and twisting an ankle – “Bloody Boat!” Poor Viv. Maybe stay put for a bit longer?
We stayed put for a few days, then moved up, just two locks, inbetween locks 9 & 10. Just for a change of view and to be 2/11 locks done. Last time we were here, at Easter, the pound kept dropping as the lock gates were leaky. This time it seemed OK – the next lock up was leaking, so that’s alright then. We think the whole network is getting worse – it’s creaking and what will become of it when the government money finally dries up?
Saturday was a grim day. Viv set off for the town, to do some shopping on her own. Steve was to join her an hour or so later for luncheon in the Red Lion Hotel – they allow dogs in the courtyard, do good food and stock Goat’s Milk beer! Grim? Well, on walking past lock 8, there were police gathered round as a lady boater had fallen in . . . and hadn’t come out. They couldn’t lower the ground paddle . . . so that’s probably where she was – very sad. Lots of fire engines, ambulances and even the air ambulance arrived. I walked on. None of the CRT volunteers had be told, so I wandered up and told them the grim news.