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)”
Phew, ever since we’ve back it’s been Scorchio! 32 degrees in the boat right now.
Time to do lots of boat chores, wash the car (3 months of crust), de rust bits of boat, buy stuff – yes, Steve always wanted a sound bar for the TV as he no longer has his hifi on board. So he’s bought this Azatom thing (see Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014O6OHPY) through which we can play the TV as well as stream radio and music via Bluetooth wifi etc. Viv’s got a bread maker coming as we do miss making our own breads. Another arrival was a strange box from Penny & Jenny – Plymouth gin and tonic! What a nice home coming present!
They are currently unwell at the moment – so get well soon! Cheers
Yes, it’s Sunday 14th August and we’ve done 417 miles and 2.25 furlongs (at least) plus 206 locks – know back at “home” in the marina. An early start at 0805, chugged up to the Watford flight of locks and there was just one boat waiting. So fairly soon we were on our way through the last of the locks. Touch n go as one of the big wooden beams on the first staircase lock had been broken! Wasn’t reported but the CRT guy said they just found it like that on Wednesday morning . . hmm, could’ve been “how many people can we get standing on this beam?”
Back before midday! The wonderful marina manager, Neil, was there to greet us. Well, to take £133 of us for fuel, pump out and cards for the electric! Everyone was keen to ask how we’d got on. Which was nice. Absolutely shattered now so time to do a very small amount of essential boat stuff then . . . take it easy.
Bimbling through Braunston. Bracing up in the 6 big locks. Terrifying through the tunnel. Muppet hirers going soooo slow we kept losing way. Then into Norton Junction, past the network’s smallest welcome sign . . that’s it. Six miles, six locks and one long (2042 yds) tunnel – enough, let’s moor here. Just a 40 minute chug to the Watford flight (mind the gap!) and then home . . .
If you don’t turn left here, you’ll be on the way to London! Here’s Adagio . . 3rd along. Some nice boaters on Alpenlode and Serafina.
Same shot, zoomed out . .
Another Aqualine boat – must get one of those signs!
We only wanted a short trip today so only 6 miles and 3 locks at Hillmorton, which went very smoothly, now that the duplicate locks are all in good working order. Unfortunately Steve’s hat got lost – did it blow off, drop in to a lock or was it nicked? Dunno. This is the second cap to go missing . . .
Hillmorton top lock – in tandem with Lady Godiva (!)
A big board advertising yet another marina, just a few miles away from Braunston. Dunchurch Pools.
It’s a lovely stretch and the complete opposite to the buzz of Braunston.
Our final mooring spot, after bridge 87 (52’18’8.8, 1’13’21.11 to be precise!)
Table up and green chair deployed in the cratch – nice spot to read
A lazy start, 10 o’clock , off to Hillmorton. We skirt around Coventry and then skirt around Rugby. We said Hi to David Johns, now ensconced in Clifton Wharf, doing his video work. Finally moored up at the lovely Hillmorton visitor moorings. We popped into the cafe, a quaint piece of canal history that serves Church End beers! Only a few days left. The whole trip will work out at 417 miles and 206 locks, all at 3 mph, or less!
I think Toby wanted a duvet day – no chance . .
But he is getting more bold – actually sleeping on the stern!
And who should we espy at Clifton Marine – one vlogger himself, David Johns.
Not too busy – the delightful Hillmorton visitor moorings.
The rather quaint cafe – quite an amazing little place.
Even though we were moored up beyond two locks, we still had a boat chug by before 0700! With that in mind and the thought of a queue of boats at all these locks (7 still to do!!), we got moving by 0800 and up we went.
Quite a long day (12 miles and 8 locks), an early start but all done by 4 p.m.
Time for a shower and sit down. We’ve been to this junction many times and know it well. Famous for it’s 180 degree turn and of course, the Greyhound pub. Must take Viv out tonight. They do excellent pies and steaks see
An 0850 start today, aiming to get thru the Tamworth section (Glascote locks) and moor somewhere beyond – maybe even at the foot of the Atherstone Locks. The stern gland is still leaking and provides a constant stress but I pump out the plastic container each day. It probably leaks a few litres a day, which, yes is a few litres too many but we can cope. It’s booked in to be fixed next month. A lot of this boating can be stressful – there are tooooo many boats. Next year we’ll hole up somewhere for the month of August! For example, this morning three boats went by before 0730!! And when we got to the locks at Glascote, we had to wait for 2 boats in front of us but when I looked back 5 more had turned up. And of course they all go too fast. Don’t get me started. #grumpyoldman. It turned out to be a lovely sunny, cool and windy day.
Busy, busy, busy. We got going early but still 3 or 4 boats zoomed off before us. Down thru Colwich lock after taking our turn and on to Rugeley. A very fraught day with high winds and us in low morale – the boat seemed unhappy with problems of shallow waters plus stuff round the prop. So we weren’t happy either. We got very fed up and oncoming boaters every 5 minutes didn’t help. Not a good day. We got very dispirited. But by the time we got to Fradley junction – the site of a major confluence and usually hours of waiting, we were ushered straight into the two locks by the smiling volunteers, no waiting at all! A right angled turn and we were back on the Coventry canal – hurrah. Viv loves this canal as it very scenic, well, some of it is. We moored just an inch beyond the junction last time but this wasn’t good – lots of flies and people. So we chugged on, so 2 hours more, to Huddlesford and the Plough. A good mooring and some well deserved beer.
An earlyish start – away at 0845. Aiming to do the five hour chug to Great Haywood, pick up water and then moor just beyond the lock at Shugborough. Hmm, very busy today. Well it is Sunday and it is Summer and it is actually very sunny, so they’re all out out. Luckily coming up the cut and not down it with us. Some locks had seven boats waiting. We had to do doubling up manoeuvres at the water point. And all along the Shugborough straight were dozens of boats. I mean it wasn’t like this a few weeks ago, no, sorry, it was two months ago when we came along. It’s the school holidays now. Still it was so sunny, I switched off the 230volt charger and let the solar panels do their job. Brilliant. Moored up before three and time for the local delicacy of those oatcakes with the full monty inside: eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding (the smoked ham and leek one), tomatoes and cheese! Viv took the dog off to the Trent, never far away, for a well deserved swim. Quite a scorcher today.