On to pastures new

Yes, it’s time to start a new blog – see trefin.vivatek.co.uk for the next chapter in our lives – we are now “jubilado”, that’s Spanish for retired, in Pembrokeshire.

Meanwhile, here’s a reminder of some of the trips on Adagio:

A bit of fun – bridge numbers taking from the Ashby Canal – the last bit is Viv driving into the bottom lock at the Watford flight.
that wet crossing on the Pontcysllte aqueduct
Into Liverpool
And a reminder of why people go boating . . . . the tranquil River Soar

Christmas and New Year

I think it’s time to start a new blog and archive the narrowboat one as we are definitely planning to sell the old girl this month – so a trip to Yelvertoft is due in a week or so . . . unless a friend says he wants to buy the boat . . . did I mention, offers over £70k??

Even though we have only been in residence for less than a month, we were off again, to visit Mother in Whitstable – a week there to help Mum with various events (gas man, GP appointment etc) and then bring her back – if she was amenable, and lo, she was. So Christmas in Trefin it is.

A local department store (Vincent Davies) had these “delightful” penguins!
Meanwhile, more things to build, flat-packed bathroom cabinet . . . take flange bracket A . . .
Our Special guest this Christmas – giving her Christmas Message!
Our other special guest – turkey No 2! Our Tesco one, pre-ordered and collected on 20th and kept in the fridge, smelt a tad “funny”, and when cooked, luckily on Christmas Eve, the bad smell persisted throughout the cooking – so Viv was dispatched to the butchers in Letterston to buy another – and this is it (above) – far away the best turkey I’ve ever had!

And on to January ….

The local beach/harbour at Abercastle
A short walk for us and Toby
He always finds the water down at the small shore – totally oblivious to the grey seal that popped up to say Hello
We have seen grey seals before but we got the impression that they come up to see us!
The “View From” our side window – looking out to sea and the Pwllderi Ridge – time to have a walk up that . . . note also the wee weather station, up & sort of running, still at weather.vivatek.co.uk hopefully continuously online
looking along the ridge
The view from the ridge looking back to Strumble Head – lighthouse just peeping out. Glorious day – first one for ages
The house is starting to look like home – the ship’s clock in on its wooden base, pictures hung . . . we’re getting there
Better than that . . . Steve’s got his beer going again!
Fingers crossed it all works out . . . we should have some beer in about 3 or 4 weeks
We’ve both been amazed at the wildlife here. We have seen choughs, red kites, all manner of gulls, finches, blue tits, woodpeckers, lapwings . . . the bird feeders get devoured in a day . .I’ll try and set up a webcam to see some of them . .
Toby is getting on a bit but loves his garden and all the walks – and he still loves his yoghourt!

Feliz Navidad

Two years ago we were in Mojacar. Not quite as warm as we expected but very nice to be away for the winter. Meanwhile, it has rained a lot here in Trefin and this weekend saw gale force winds! We are slowly getting there . . fewer boxes and some pictures on the walls. We have done a few walks – Abercastle & Strumble – perhaps not the best choice in a F8 gale. They were forecasting gusts of 67 mph! It even bent the weather station.

Short trip to Abercastle
The lights go on in Trefin
Hmm, we don’t much go in for decorations – just a wee tree and the Bear Polar
Hard to keep the camera steady . . . a coastal path walk may not be the best option today.

Well, we’re in!

Yes, moving house or rather, from boat to house, is very stressful. Driving a van with all the boat contents for 6 hours is really fun! Still, we are in. How did we store so much stuff on a boat??

Happy trio

Not having much in the way of furniture, a lot of deliveries were on the way, fridge on Thursday, bed on Friday, washing machine next Tuesday etc…. and if you order from Oak Furniture, you will get 2 garages full of packing!

Not very eco friendly! Several trips to the tip . .

It hasn’t stopped raining – not really a Wales thing as it’s been floods everywhere. Still on Sunday we did get small window of dryness and so we did a circular walk.

View from our back garden and yes, a rainbow does mean it’s raining!
Viv & Toby on the coastal path
And this is the view – we noticed a waterfall – never seen that here before
This is the path closest to Trefin, looking south to Porthgain
Under the clouds is Trefin – the big tree is ours!
Zoomed in a bit – yep, that big, round evergreen tree is in our garden
Someone’s birthday . . . down to the Shed for posh fish n chips (today was battered monkfish) plus a nice Albarino too
Arty picture of the old ruins of the mill at Trefin

We may carry on doing the blog – what do you think? It’ll help to act as a diary, to remind us when we’re a bit more dotty of what happened and when. Probably start a new site . . .

End of an Era?

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, bumps to the bald head. . . and just the tiresome thought of another winter on the boat. The boat has performed wonderfully, we can’t really fault it, it has served us well as a liveaboard. It will be a wrench to leave but I think our time has come round. Hopefully, pass it on to some new, younger boaters looking for adventure.

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 main reasons for choosing Trefin is the view from the Coastal Path, looking north to Pwll Deri
This is the local beach – not a sandy one but a certain dog likes a splash about
This should be our new house in November . . .
With a view from the back, looking again out to sea and the Pwll Deri ridge
Meanwhile, back at base . . . it was time for the boat to come out of the marina basin and over to the slipway for its re-blacking. Two and a bit coats of Rytex bitumen paint plus a repaint of the grey enamel below the gunwales plus the maroon of the stern – the tunnel flashing as it’s called. Anodes all OK. Adagio looking good. All nice and shiny (offers over £70k – did I mention that?)
Remember that “Ship’s Clock” we purchased over a year ago? Well, it stopped and wouldn’t go for long. So, I found a clock repairer – https://www.bentomlinclockrestoration.co.uk/ Ben Tomlin, over in Hannington. Who arranged for it to be repaired – all the escapement was rebuilt and it’s back and ticking quite enthusiastically. I can recommend his services.
And more news – Steve got his 4th bar on his Long Service Cadet Forces medal – 40 yrs now. Probably time to retire and hang that blue ensign up?
To answer, where is Trefin . . . quite a long way from anywhere. In truth just 15 mins from Fishguard.

Hopefully, this blog may serve boaters with a rough guide to cruising areas… we’ve done the Leicester ring two and a half times, up to Liverpool, up to Chester and lastly all the way to Llangollen. Lots of notes on mooring places, utilities and places to see, or not ! Enjoy.

And as a final ending here’s a gift for insomniacs – all 788 photos of this years cruise presented in a 45 minute animated slideshow, with background music (Vaughn Williams, Phillip Glass and Novak) – enjoy, possibly?

The End?

Remedial Painting

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!

the “before” picture – looks like double yellow lines! Can you spot the wee doggie?
More “before” pix
And an “after” photo – not concerned about the edges, just the main non-slip. The main enamel will get done when we black the boat in September.
Another after photo, this time showing Viv preparing to repaint the barge pole
Nice shiny “after” photo
this gives you some idea of the nice spot where we are painting – time to walk Toby around the pocket woods . . .
I tried to get a piccie of the boat through the trees from the woods
Well, Toby enjoys the trip around his favourite woods – I think we even saw a Squirly!! Rain forecast tomorrow

Saga Run

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.

Quite a modern and bustling city
A good visual clue as to where we are! Good parking on Castle road.
At the rear of the Council House is Gauntleys!

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.

The approach to the lock – nice place to drive to as well – there’s a pub, a restaurant, an Indian restaurant, a cafe and lots of walks
The automatic gates – no need for any windlass here
There’s a shallow beach after the lock and chance for 5 Toby swims!
Master & his dog
He does love a swim
We saw one narrowboat lock down – helped by the lockie
It was still early so we pressed on the Grantham Canal – we used live up this way, so it was “old haunts”, hmm, not visited this pub for 30 years!! Under new management (just 4 weeks) – Good selection of beers and food too.
Here’s the large basin at Hickling – observant folk will notice the water point. Odd since the last boat here was around 1922. Maybe they’ll restore it all? This section looks ideal for a horse drawn boat for tourists?
Ideal too for walkers & cyclists

Captain’s Log

Back in safe haven. Here’s a summary of the trip.

Yelvertoft to Yelvertoft, calling in at… Braunston, Rugby, Atherstone, Great Haywood, Penkridge, Nantwich, Llangollen, Nantwich, Middlewich, Great Haywood, Atherstone, Rugby, Braunston.

Days = 119, Engine hours = 216.5, Miles = 361 & Locks = 206

The Last Post?

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 . .

Heatwave, now Storms

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.

Now, tell me, honestly, would you plan to cruise, navigate through Braunston, do 6 big locks with this forecast???
the only pic for Sunday . . . spots of rain already as we waited to negotiate the Hawkesbury turn
Conversely, Monday was forecast to be dry, sunny & warm. This shows the North Oxford canal in all its glory – all the Butterburs!
A family of swans
One of the disued arms that the canal used to follow before it got straightened out.
Steve drives – sun cream on!
Had a bit wait to enter the Newbold tunnel
Viv captures some of the many blue/black damsel flies
Around Rugby and towards Barby moorings
Where we see Mark on his boat & new sheds
Very busy
Very pretty section
And we popped in to Dunchurch to get some fuel (79p/litre)
A long day – nearly 7 hours but we were keen to press on in the nice weather, to get to just beyond Willoughby and bridge 87. Under the trees for coolness..
A great spot
Nice view – no roads, trains . . . dark clouds coming
And very, very busy . . .