The trek begins on Saturday, 13th September.
We say a fond farewell to Devizes marina – thanks to Debbie & colleagues for making us so welcome and for being so helpful. We shall miss the marina and the town of Devizes.
We’re aiming for Yelvertoft marina, near Rugby as our new home base. As you can see from the map, it’s pretty central to the canal system and will make it easier to do future holidays. We’re currently planning Christmas there. Here’s a piccie of our new slot and a map of the route . .
This is only a rough guide but we’ve allowed 16 days. East to Hungerford, Newbury and Reading. The North along the Thames to Oxford then up the Oxford Canal and onto the Grand Union (Leicester section) to Yelvertoft.
Escaped to the boat for 4 days. Met office forecast was for good, dry weather. So let’s rip with the sandpaper, wire brush and paints! I bought a 2.5 litre of special narrowboat enamel paint (£48) and so wanted to attack the odd rust spots before the winter. The whole stern area needed doing plus odd roof spots and a lot of the handrail. Also inside the cratch, the port side wall was marked by lots of little pits … not sure what caused this (eh, Barry?) but they’re history now! It is good paint. Should last. Here’s some before & after pix:
and some after ones:
you can just see poor Toby – in the wars again – sliced his paw – all sorted now plus a big red bandage!
Yes, this will probably be our last visit to the boat & marina before the Big Trip North in 3 weeks time. So a set of chores to do – food to buy & store, things to paint and things to fix . .
If you thought polishing me mushrooms was a bad enough euphemism, I spent the morning shining me Squirrel. The Morsø stove was looking a bit rusty in places and needed some cheering up. Some of the lagging had come away inside too, so more remedial work.
We bought a new barge pole and Viv had a go at painting it . .
One of the chores is to check the electrolyte level in the starter & bowthruster batteries. The leisure ones don’t need this as they’re sealed (big Victron AGM ones – 3 of em at £400 each!!). Well, the bowthruster battery was fine and took most of the litre bottle of water, Getting at the starter battery was no easy matter – it is under the washing machine:
So this had to come out, pipes disconnected … floor removed, battery box cover removed and lo, there was the battery … a good top up and then reverse procedure!! I had to tie up the waste pipe as it tends to fill & empty at the same time if it hasn’t got a high enough head. That’s Saturday taken care of – Sunday & Monday are official rest days and it’s also the Devizes Street Festival http://www.docadevizes.org.uk/events/street-performers
It looked like rain but then the sun came out and everything cheered up as our old friends from Petersfield came over to see us and to take the boat out to town …
Old hands at handling a boat from our last trip on the Oxford canal … a few years ago
Plenty of wildlife – we saw a Kingfisher yesterday and again today – real close too! Here’s the ever present Heron
We took the boat to town, moored up and walked over to the best pub in Devizes – The Vaults, where the amazing Miranda (sorry, Michelle) was ready to serve us beer & pies . .
and who had the pie??
Well, Pierre had some too
It was a great day guys – thanks for coming over – come and see us up in Yelvertoft.
It looked a bit on the Autumnal side early this morning but the sun came out and it was time to polish those mushrooms and iron the red carpet because the Cardiff Girls were on their way! Spot on 1 o’ clock they arrived – brilliant! The dog was waiting … .
The flag was out and the tea was brewing, it only seems like yesterday when we were all together in Trefin. Such good friends (they brought beer!)
We had a nice lunch in the Hourglass pub next door, then a good walk in a loop along the canal.
Somebody went in for a swim … . no, not Jenny …
Thanks for a great afternoon – we enjoyed your company and look forward to seeing you up in Yelvertoft (only 2.5 hours away!) – anytime.
Looking to find some motto . .
Es un viaje, no un destino ?
Destinatum iter est non
Think I prefer the Spanish!
Well, we picked probably the hottest weekend of the year for a family gathering on Adagio. It was Dad’s 80th birthday and we celebrated with a cruise up to Honeystreet and back. We visited the Hourglass pub next-door for a meal as well as the Golden Swan in Wilcot plus, of course, the Vaults in town for a pie n a pint!
Flags out for the State Visit!
The Birthday Boy opens his dozens of cards and presents!
The brothers get to meet and talk “boats”
Chris gets to steer . .
Sharon enjoying the cruise
Adagio approaching the Barge Inn, Honeystreet . .
Mum & Dad enjoying the midday pint.
More beer? Yes a rendezvous in the Vaults on Saturday.
Viv’s workmate, Rachel came along on Saturday for a short sail down to Devizes Wharf and back – stopping for an ice-cream. Daddy, Bob and young son, Rhys came too. It was very hot but it cooled down as we sailed down the K&A canal. They got on well with our dog, Toby. Who didn’t seem so keen to leap off the boat. All a bit strange for young Rhys but I think he enjoyed it (well apart from the horn sounding!). The ice-creams were most welcome – thanks Rachel!
Well, it was a hot day – 28 inside the boat!
Playing “I-Spy on the water”
Well, it’s now July and we’ve had the odd weekend on board – just to get away from the house. Done some chores … Viv’s painted the roof boxes, I’ve done some rust painting and have now installed the wireless remote thermostat programmer for the boiler. We have new neighbours, Chris & Louise on Nog – a nice boat. A lot of friends, work colleagues and family all due to visit with us over the next 2 months … Rachel, Bob & Rhys this weekend, then it’s the big 80th do for my Dad on the 24th. Then we’ve Jenny & Penny and Anne-Marie & Pierre coming over in August … all go.
September 12th will see us on board and getting ready for the big trip, off on the 13th to Yelvertoft. Goodbye to Devizes – which has been a smashing marina and a great town to visit.
Just a quick 24 hr trip to the boat – weather looked good – in fact Sunday it went Scorchio! Got the satellite dish working OK. Walked down to the Vaults pub on Saturday – always interesting beers. A short chug down to town on Sunday (30 mins each way) plus a tricky wind (3-point turn!). The canal seemed very oily – there was a lot of rain on Saturday …