Tuesday, 13 October 2009

End of the season for us

Tuesday 13th October

So endeth another season on Petroc. We are both agreed that we have had a good time this year, despite the weather earlier on.

Petroc is now snugly tucked up for the winter at Clifton Cruisers and we are home in Cornwall, which seems very strange at the moment. Barnaby is none too sure where he is. Since we only had him in February he has lived more on the boat than Cornwall so he is still taking stock.

Petroc Moored behind Archie. because they are the same colours a towpath walker asked us if they were related!
Clifton Cruisers with Barnaby's friend Heidi on patrol

Looking down Clifton Arm where Petroc is tucked up securely in the paint dock.

See you all next April!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Working hard!!

Wednesday 7th October
Two busy days and we are both ready to go cruising again.
Yesterday started with having to purchase a new battery for the car.....6 months sitting had done it a power of no good......followed by a trip to Rugby's very efficient A&E dept. Geoff's slight chest pains had not receded and since he is not prone to indigestion and also ordered by elder daughter Emma, we duly paid a visit. They were extremely efficient and quick, and he had an ECG and all the rest of the good things, had his stomach pummelled by the doctor, and was then pronounced fit to work!!!! Personally I had thought all along that his "unwellness" was an attempt to get out of varnished various parts of Petroc amongst other things!!!! Still I must not be uncharitable as today is our wedding anniversary..37 years.... Since we had been out to eat for the past 2 evenings we had agreed that we would stay in and eat the remnants of the freezer and we would not get each other anything as it was just something else to carry home. So I didn't get anything for him.........but felt very bad when I found a bottle of bubbly, a bar of my favourite chocolate of the moment AND a card waiting for me this morning....can't win them all.
Another cleaning and sorting day looms tomorrow

Monday, 5 October 2009

Back at Clifton Cruisers

Monday 5th October
Yesterday was a day of rest......Church at Newbold in the morning followed by lunch at the Barley Mow with friends Fran & Keith.
Geoff has been feeling a little under the weather since Sat evening, complaining of indigestion and just not feeling too good. However being a man he refuses to go anywhere to get checked out, although he has promised that if he still has these slight pains in his chest tomorrow he will consider going.
A very short run today back to Clifton and a phone call to Jim at Rose Narrowboats confirmed that the paint I had ordered was in so after the car's battery was charged I rushed off to collect it. The forecast for tomorrow is heavy rain showers so I was determined to get the sides of the boat done. By 4pm the mission was accomplished much to my delight, the hardest part was getting all the black paint out of my nails....I am a very messy painter!! I had even turned Petroc on my own being to impatient to wait for Geoff to return from his shopping and car wash.
It is very narrow where we moor and lots of boats going up and down so I waited for a quiet period with no boats in sight and managed 50% of the task before boats were coming from both directions........almost like Piccadilly Circus!! However it was achieved without bumping any other boats although I must confess not without the occasional touch on the bow thruster!!
Barnaby was very pleased to see his friend Heide the Alsatian and they have been running and playing most of the day.
We were also pleased to see Victoria and Phil again, although Paul & Helen are away cruising.
More jobs on Petroc tomorrow, a trip to Braunston is first on the agenda to take our cratch cover for some small repairs.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Newbold upon Avon

Saturday 4th October

Shallow Lock at Hawkesbury Junction
Greyhound Pub
Inside Greyhound
Although we had been through Hawkesbury Junction a couple of times we had never been into the Greyhound pub so decided to rectify the matter last night. We found one of the nicest and most convivial pubs we had been in all summer. We were quite sorry that supper was all prepared on Petroc and all we had come for was a pre prandial drink!
I thought that we had not moored at Hawkesbury before and that was the reason we had not been into the pub, but Geoffrey told me that we had moored here but that we had had a difference of opinion over mooring so there had been no point in going to the pub as we weren't speaking!!!!!! I cannot say I remember any such incident........fancy having an argument over mooring!!
This morning we rectified the matter of a meal in the Greyhound by partaking of one of their Boater's Breakfasts...this set us up wonderfully for the ride to Newbold.
We made it to Newbold in about 4 hours. This included a spell behind a ve.............ry slow boat. We do not travel fast but you do need a little bit of power to have steerage way.........anyway they eventually they me go past. Geoff was walking the towpath at the time with Barnaby. It was the windiest ride of the year, but luckily dry. It was an uneventful trip apart from the fact that we think we may have something round the prop, so later on Geoffrey has one of his least favourite tasks to perform!
We shall also suss out the two pubs and decide which offers the best Sunday Lunch where we will be joined by friends Fran & Keith. (Sussed out now and booked at the Barley Mow and checked on Church times)

Friday, 2 October 2009

A week of Junctions

Friday 2nd October
We have not had to do such long days this week. It has been quite a relaxing week in some ways. The weather has been kind...no rain....and although the weatherman has been warning us about how much colder it is going to get, it doesn't seem to have reached us yet. Certainly we have had more clothes on when outside but there have been sunny intervals and even one occasion when I was forced to put my chair on the bank and sunbathe.....it was short lived!!!!
Tuesday was the run from Tixall Wide to Fradley Junction.

Peaceful rural scene as we went over the Aqueduct over River Trent
Not so peaceful a little while afterwards. BW hard at work

Just to add a little interest to our gentle ambling we reach the Armitage Narrows. Here the canal negotiates a Rocky narrow cutting which used to be a tunnel (The Armitage or Plum Pudding tunnel).. Single file traffic and Geoff had to go ahead to check that it was clear to proceed.

All was clear so I could meander through

We moored for the night above Shade Lock which is just before Fradley Junction...the first of this weeks junctions.
Fradley Junction was very busy and it is a great place for gongoozlers.....we had a stroll around and joined them.
Off early on Wednesday, turned onto the Coventry Canal and made for our next junction of the week...Fazeley Junction...which is where the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal turns off. That is a route we have not traversed but no time now, it will have to wait for another year

Moored just before the junction. We tried the local pub for an early pre dinner drink......not one of the most salubrious pubs we have visited......

One of the Atherstone Locks

Off early on Thursday as this was our last day of locks....but not early enough....there were several boats ahead of us so it was slow going. However we were not in a rush so just enjoyed the run and the 11 Atherstone Locks. Moored at the top when we eventually reached it.
Found a space and then realised it said "No Mooring. BW Boats only"!!!! However there we BW personnel around who said it was OK. Later that night another boat snuck in front of us when it was pitch black...we have seen several boats moving at night and can't understand how they can see where they are going!
Leisurely start today Friday as we did not have far to go to our next junction at Hawkwsbury.
Here we turned onto the Oxford Canal for the final run home.
We stopped in the basin to use the sani station and then went through the small lock which will be our last for the year. Our timing was superb as we managed to get into the only space we could see and there were several boats came through after us.