Sea Trials

We set off for a short trip to test the leaking stern gland – just a round trip of 3.5 hours, out to bridge 27 and back. We did get about half a litre of water ingress but I think it’s less than before. We did get to see the abundance of May blossom. Viv particularly loved the pink version – what causes this?

And Viv gets to steer whilst I take photos

It was very tranquil

Back Afloat – Crick Show

Yes, we pre-signed all the paperwork and legged it back to the boat. One has to get on with life and anyway, we’d sold everything or put it into storage and so had no furniture – not even a bed, so we had to go! The Bank Holiday weekend was the famous Crick Show – the biggest show for all things inland waterways …

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A very busy place with loads of exhibitors, boats and people . .

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And a few other stalls … beer tent (beer at £4.20 ouch!) and a even a gin stall

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I got to chat with Steve Wedgwood from Vetus about my leaking stern gland and he was most helpful … here’s a photo of the same:

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It still leaks after lots of grease being squirted into that tiny bolt, just in front of the red lever . .  here’s a not too clear video of mine in action, drips not too clear but it does show how hard it is to get at . .

Hmm, not up to http://cruisingthecut.co.uk/ videos but it works!

After all that, I trudged home and time for a gin . . 

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The End . . . for a while

Sunday, May Day, saw us start the trek back to base. Past all the moored boats in Braunston, up the six locks, always hard work and made harder by hurrying hireboaters who ignore the idea of saving water by waiting for us to go up but rapidly filling up their lock again. A sad day as we said goodbye to John, Christine and Tilly who stopped after the Braunston tunnel. We carried on doing 11 miles and 13 locks – a 7.3 hr day but we had to get back to the marina.

More strange boats … this one is called Hasty

And this one, Black Pig

We had done all the Braunston locks and the tunnel, time for lunch and time for our dear neighbours to take it easy for the day (and next few days too). We had to get back in order to clean, clear and pack for a return to landlubbery – to sell our house (and lots of our possessions). So, goodbye John, Christine and Tilly – take it easy – see you soon

I later heard that John had realised where they were moored and strolled off to the White Horse in Welton! Well done.

Meanwhile, we were off to the Watford flight. Len was on duty but it was all quiet and we zoomed thru

Approaching Yelvertoft we espied some geese with their baby goslings

And then the familiar sight of our hilltop fan at Yelvertoft

Right, back to our house, get it and the garden ship-shape, sell all the remaining kit … return to boat … . hopefully, soon!

Day Off

With a nice sunny day forecast – we decided to stay put. Viv and I wandered along to the main dock and the IWA meeting – it decided to pour at that moment so everyone dived into the main tent – where we found a bar! Four real ales and at £2.40 a pint!

More rain!

The rain did clear up and we all went for a long walk up into the town and along to the Wheatsheaf. All the boats with their chimneys smoking looked like a scene from November!

Back to Braunston

A shorter day – 6.5 miles and the three Hilmorton locks to do, just three and a bit hours. The weather was the key factor today … sunshine initially but then a hailstorm at the end with freezing temperatures! First the three locks and surprisingly, all very quiet . . 

Toby is much happier off the boat but this piccie looks like he’s conversing with the paddle gear:

And a happy Viv

Lots of weird and wonderful names of boats (remember the Klingon ship?) some are just plain daft but some make you chuckle

Just past the locks you are reminded of one of Rugby’s famous roles, the country’s biggest radio station. Unfortunately, most the aerials are all gone, here’s a BT mast … the quick eyed will spot some engineers halfway up

And finally along to Braunston and into the hailstorm

We had to moor down the Oxford arm (which means travelling until a turning point is reached and then coming back!) because it was all very busy – Bank Holiday weekend! We decided to stay all day Saturday too as the weather was meant to improve.

Welcome to Braunston! Over-flowing dog-poo bins and the muddiest of towpaths anywhere … can do better!?

Busy, busy!

Ansty to Hilmorton

It’s the return trip now and we plan to get back to those nice visitor moorings just below the Hilmorton locks. Some eleven miles, no locks and just four hours of gentle chugging along. John & I went to the Canal Chef and were very surprised by the history and decor of the place (and that it had a licence!).

A visitor at All Oaks

Passing Brinklow marina . . 

And another sweet animal . .

This is as close as you want to get to Idiot, sorry, Elliot Fields retail park

Thursday 28th April – all fairly quiet here.