Cruising in Company – Day Two

It’s Day two and our Convoi Exceptionnel sets off for Braunston – the tunnel and the six locks.

A beautiful day and one that was to get hotter and hotter as we went along. Christine has a go at taking the helm in between locks

Busy, busy Braunston as usual. At the iron bridge we carry straight on for a change and up the North Oxford Canal, which only after a few hundred yards became very rural and tranquil

We had two stowaways or hitchhikers: pied wagtails

We chugged on thru the outskirts of Rugby and Hilmorton, reaching the locks – according to CRT they are the most used locks on the WHOLE network! And there was a queue – one set of the duplicated locks was out of action – the coving on the second lock had moved inwards – trapping a boat last week! It took over an hour to get thru the three locks but it was a nice day!

Here’s comes John… .

And finally just round the corner to the visitor moorings, a nice quiet spot. Time for a well deserved G&T.

Cruising to the Ashby Canal

It’s  Monday 18th April and we’re off. Cruising in convoy with Poppy Eyebright. Crick tunnel then the Watford flight of locks.

Fairly easy trip thru the flight of locks – only those pirates on Black Bart in front of us!

Stop for lunch …

Tilly in her new roof boat box

John rounds the Norton turn …

to our overnight mooring … only been 5 hours but we all feel like it’s been a week on the Cut. Time to walk the dogs down to the New Inn . . so far so good.

View from our window … 

Operation – Replace Starter Battery

The old starter battery was showing signs of fatigue with the terminal voltage dropping plus I was sick of having to take out the washing machine and floor boards to get at it, in order to top up the electrolyte levels. 

So, I sought out one of the new AGM starter batteries – originally designed for these new stop/start cars. Alpha batteries had one which looked suitable. AGM means it never needs topping up and could, if necessary be left unattended for months without losing its charge.

Three hours later … . and the new one was in – it caused the engine to explode into life when I tried starting – brilliant. A battery with oomph. I also wired in the second voltage cable to the Smartgauge so I can see the voltage.

We should’ve been off today . .

Yes well, the plans of mice and men. Our tenants didn’t want to be tenants any more and so they’re off at the end of this month. Leaving us with no income and a house to sort. So, no big launch of Adagio to Liverpool but time to ponder the house situation. Sell or rent ? We both have veered towards selling now, getting rid of this millstone and invest the money, probably in this peer-to-peer scheme. It seems to have worked on a small scale, so far. Or we could sell the boat and move to Tenerife? Meanwhile a thin month or two lies ahead.

Flashing Painting

A day for more chores – Viv tackles what she calls “extreme painting”, rubbing down the tunnel flashing, painting Hammerite and primer then two coats of maroon. These flashings are traditionally done in white over red but we’re not traditional! So maroon it is!

Final top coat of Teamac marine gloss

A proud and happy Viv and so she should be – job well done!

Meanwhile our scaredy dog jumps ship; any bump or knock and he’s off. What a big brave dog!!

Lots of wildlife here … constant mugging by ducks & swans

All very tame and used to boats. A special evening with hundreds of rooks returning to their trees plus a songthrush right by the boat:

Uploaded for J&P !

Alien Rant

What is it with you humans? I know we’re probably at the Mecca of the Inland Waterways but give you guys an Idyll and you’ll mess it up. We’ve seen 100′s of boats each day – almost a train of them and only 10% at tick over – mainly private boats too – shame on you! First night, we encountered a chap boating in the dark after 8 pm and the third night, two boats chugging at high speed totally in the dark past 8 pm! And this morning, two boats sailing by at 0650 … must get back to the hire base, must get back to the hire base! I just hope it will get quieter the further we get away from this spot.