Sailing on board Passim – my brother’s new boat in Stockholm – quite a different kettle of fish from Adagio! But great fun

Easter Trip

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Hats, gloves and waterproofs for a drizzly Good Friday trip to Welford

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Nice to get away

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Busy time as a lot of folk also out for their first trip – lots of hire boats too

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Moored at Welford – 50 yds from the Wharf Inn! And also next to another Adagio!!

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Nice cosy spot – fire’s on.  Good beer in the pub (Oakham Inferno)

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Morning visitor  – looking for food

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Will he eat from my hand?

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Of course!

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That’s all folks!

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We had planned to stay there but with itchy feet we decided to move on to Foxton – a new pub!

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The drizzle had cleared up and the canal looked more serene.

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At the junction it was a right turn to Foxton

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We saw plenty of wildlife – many heron and the odd kingfisher too.

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Husbands Bosworth tunnel to contend with first

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Finally got the dog to be still and lie down on his mat

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Arrival at Foxton – very busy with half a dozen “craft” boats selling all things from sweets, cheese and general boat stuff.  Tricky to swing the boat with all this parked flotilla.  Don’t think we’ll be staying long …long enough for . .

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Ah, the very small pub with a very small counter but good beer:

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Back on the boat to find somewhere a bit quieter and scenic

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This will do – between bridges 59 & 58 and by Lubenham Lodge, posh house to our right and nice scenic views to our left:

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Used the spring mooring lines . . 

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as there was plenty of traffic  … all heading down to Foxton but it soon went very quiet …

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time to relax – this is what boating is all about … and then open the Ribera del Duero and prepare the Spag Bog – thanks shipmate!

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Next day … Sunday … slow start then a gentle chug back to base . . 

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I was concerned about the batteries but they haven’t had much use and the Smartgauge device blew a fuse last year and so lost its calibrations which takes many cycles … still everything still works …

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Back past North Kilworth and the planned mega marina

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Toby seems happier when he can see where we’re going …

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nearly home – time to hang the flags out

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Adagio reversed in to her berth, funny how people are keen to watch this manoeuvre but never that ready to help! This way round means we can sit in the cratch and watch the world go by . . 

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a glass of Brewdog Punk IPA and some sunshine!

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All set for a glorious Summer now

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Work goes on for the new Slipway at Yelvertoft

The bigger diggers were churning out loads of lovely mud and strange obstructions were sitting in the canal.  Can’t be long before the breakthrough.

It looks more scenic the other way:

Just to prove “I was there!”

Back to the boat – fire’s on and there she is snuggled down in the marina

Pix from the March Visit

Despite all the winter ice, wind and rain, she still looks in good nick

The mushrooms needed “doing” – the layer of special wax that Viv had put on was still keeping them in good condition – it didn’t take much to shine em up & apply new wax:

Winter Maintenance Visit

Just a few days to polish those mushrooms, fit a new water filter and turn the engine over . . get the boat prepared so we can take her out at Easter.

Valentine’s Day Weekend

We always planned to visit the boat once a month – at least. And so here we are on a 4 day, long weekend – celebrating getting engaged on Valentine’s Day itself – 35 years ago!! It was 2 degrees on the boat when we embarked on Thursday night … only now some 24 hours later, is it starting to warm up. We have thermometers and thermostats everywhere but they do little except to smugly say . .  you should be warm by now!

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Well, Toby’s happy – 3 walks a day and a place by the fire.

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Viv’s happy – the Wi-Fi is now working in the marina, well sort of.  It wasn’t working at all for the 2 weeks at Christmas but Viv’s back surfing.

We had an unwelcome visitor last night – a wee mouse!  All of the dried food had been sampled, including the bar of soap, toothpaste and great chunks of loo roll missing as he/she made their winter nest.  So a lot of grub was chucked and a remedy sought:

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We started off in true fashion – pub on the way here – the marvellous and newly opened Head of Steam pub in Lilbourne … well, it was on the way and it seemed a shame not to stop. (see https://www.facebook.com/LilbourneHeadofSteam )

We visited Paul Smith (author of the Liveaboard website) in Calcutt Boats – very nice marina and setting with 110 acres of woodland.  A trip to Daventry for mouse killer & secure storage bins to deter future rodentary visits.

Another pub visit – the Wharf Inn in Welford – http://wharfinn.co.uk/

Great lunch & a decent variety of beers.

Saturday, 14th: after a few chores (including disposing of the wee mouse), we took the dog and walked to the Wheatsheaf pub in Crick – see link above.  A good hours walk followed by one of the best steaks that I’ve ever had.  Always a tad wary of ordering steak out … when they give you the “special serrated knife”, ooooh, is it going to be that tough?? But it was fine; more than fine, in fact even though I was expecting a 10 oz steak, it came in one large lump, more like a fillet, very interesting but very tender & tasty!  They also had Oakham’s Citra on tap too.  Just the matter of that hours walk back.

The Christmas Test

Well, I think we passed the test. Two weeks with the whole spectrum of weather: gales, rain, sleet and an iced-in marina! Not 100% enjoyable and I think it has taken the gloss off of the living aboard dream a bit. Is Yelvertoft still “the place to be”? Hmm, maybe. As Paul Smith says in his newsletter this month ( http://livingonanarrowboat.co.uk/newsletter-archive/2015-01-04-newsletter-more-winter-cruising/ ), it does seem to be draconian in its rules & regs! But it’s a start.  We look forward to the Spring & Summer cruising.

Frozen

We continue our little Winter holiday on the boat. We knew it would be a testing time as the temperatures plummet to -4 and both the marina & canal all freeze over . .

There’s Adagio all warm & cosy … chimney smoking.

Day Trip to the old haunts around Nottingham

With Nottingham just an hour away, we took the chance to re-visit Plumtree and Keyworth – where we lived for three years (1990-93). We took lunch at the Plough in Normanton on the Wolds – http://theploughatnormanton.co.uk/ – with excellent food and Jaipur beer! We also wandered round the city centre, looking at the lights, the Christmas Fayre as well as re-stocking tobacco at Gauntleys  We then went back to Cropwell Bishop to walk on the disused canal and Hoe Woods – a regular trip with our first dog – Buster! Lots of mud but a good trip.  We ended with a visit to the Cropwell Bishop Creamery for some Stilton.

unlikely they’ll ever fully restore the Grantham Canal owing to the ground where gypsum deposits have always caused leaks – here’s one of the wide locks.

and someone found what little water there was – Swamp Dog!

strange men in the woods

and some Stilton to take home.