Friday, 30 April 2010

Top of Foxton Locks

Friday 30th April
Lucky again with the morning weather, even had a good while sitting in the sun on arrival at Foxton before battening down the hatches for the afternoon rain.
I walked with Barney as far as the last bridge before Husbands Bosworth tunnel and was very glad I had decided not to walk up to the tunnel itself.  The path was narrow and a quagmire from thereon.   In fact the approach, either side, of the tunnel is a mite dank.   The run was only enlightened by the sight of a muntjak deer which kept us company for a while.
Later, Geoff walked from bridge 52 into Foxton...Barney gets a double dose of walking!!  There was plenty of space at the top where we wanted to moor.....the advantage of going early and stopping was full by the end of the afternoon.   Not very busy on the locks.
An early evening walk to suss out Pub and Church for Sunday.   The pub was successful and we have booked at the Black Horse, but the church only displayed April services.  Despite searching online I cannot find any other info.  However we are meeting friends Fran & Keith on Saturday for a meal down at the bottom of the locks, we may walk into the village and see if anyone has updated things.
Swans may look wonderful but need a healthy regard.   This one insisted on pestering Geoff as he was smoking through the side doors and eventually gave him a quick darting peck on the hand.......

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Junction with Welford Arm

Having heard the forecast for rain this pm, we set off at 8 and had a delightful morning run.   Very few boats around.
Peaceful canal

However whilst I was walking one boat managed to put Petroc on the mud at an alarming angle.  He pulled off his mooring in a narrow part of the canal and Geoff had no option but to move over.   When I climbed back on board I was greeted by several tins fallen off shelves and cupboards open but no damage luckily.

Along the way I came across this milestone.  I cannot find any info through google about living milestones...does anyone have a clue.    The OUCS is the Old Union Canal Society but that is as far as I have got.

We moored about noon and just managed to get the back canopy up as the rain started.  Computer still crashing all the way along but I am getting a dab hand now at stitching up the HTML file before uploading to Waterexplorer.  I wish I could isolate the problem.

So far we have been very lucky with our satellite reception for the TV, which makes my life so much more pleasant as I don't have to listen to Geoff getting cross as he tries to line up the dish!... In fact where we are moored the picture appeared instantly so we must be facing exactly the same way as last night......mind you I don't know why we is the last of the election fiasco's tonight.....

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Wednesday 28th April

View from our mooring above lock 2 at Braunston

Off for a reasonably early start at 8am. After the 4 Braunston locks we had still to navigate and then the tunnel, Barney and I went for a gentle stroll as far as the junction.
 Daffodils along the towpath at the bottom of the Watford Locks
 Geoff chats to anyone & eveyone
Not so many boats around today and we hoped to be lucky at the Watford locks. However despite the lock-keeper telling us it was very quiet, it took us a long time to get through, much waiting around. However we are not in a rush and I managed to fill the time in with doing my crossword!
Nice Life!
Still having problems with my computer crashing whilst running Navvygator, but thanks to the help of John Slee on Epiphany, I am becoming a dab hand at stitching the HTML files together when we reach our destination and it all seems to upload OK. This is what is providing the two pictures to the right of this page with our position on. Geoff is rather impatient when I insist on going below to restart the program when we are in a lock!!! However I am having fun trying to crack it.......

Lunched en route and now moored close to Crick Marina from whence Geoff can walk to get the paper in the morning before we set off.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Too good to be true!

Monday 26th

Just when you think everything is going swimmingly.....wham!

We had a good mooring place just short of Braunston, the sun shone and we walked up to the Admiral Nelson, beyond the 2nd lock, to meet up with Emma who was visiting for a couple of days. The pub has, in our opinion anyway, gone downhill, not nearly as good as on previous years and we decided it was not the place for our Sunday lunch.

Sunday morning was 11 o'clock communion at Braunston church where we had a warm welcome and sow some familiar places from previous visits. Emma had departed on a practice run.......
First visitor of the year

On one of the congregations recommendation we decided to try the Old Plough for our lunch but first back to Petroc to run the engine for the day and to heat the water up for Emma's long shower.........Geoff regularly calls out whilst she is my water!!

When we went back to check on the engine after a while we found clouds of white smoke billowing out...very reminiscent of last year's problems with water in the diesel. Needless to say it completely ruined Geoff's Sunday......

Since we were not far from Clifton we decided to wait until Monday morning and see if Neil could come out to us, however when we called first thing he had called in sick having done his back in, so it was River Canal Rescue. They were extremely good and had someone therein just over an hour.....after a lot of fiddling he eventually got her going again and pronounced that we had `diesel bug`. We must be jinxed where diesel is concerned....last year water, this year a bug.

Meanwhile I have developed a tooth problem which necessitates a trip to a dentist....that is all arranged for tomorrow morning and Emma has stayed on an extra day to take me to Leamington Spa...she has worked today as she was up at the crack of sparrows to visit two patients.

We have now moved up through 2 of the locks and are moored by the Admiral Nelson. We are so glad we did not come up here on Saturday as it was full of partying boats.

We await the next thing to go wrong.........................

Saturday, 24 April 2010

First trip of the season

Well we have cut the umbilical cord again and have had our first trip out. A gentle amble down to Braunston just 3 locks and about 6+ miles in 3 hours......must stop speeding!!

My big target at the moment is to get our current position to accurately record through my new little USB GPS. I have succeeded with the lower of the two pictures to the right as you can see, but the top link is refusing to update our position.....I have sought advice from our friend John Slee who is much more expert at these things than I am.....

Our plan is to stay here for at least 2 nights, we are moored just short of Braunston right out in the open fields and the sun has been shining all day. In fact the weather has been so kind during all our preparations for departure.......I just hope it is a sign of a better summer.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Bedding Down in our Summer home

The transition to summer home is now made as we spend our second night aboard Petroc.
Big cleaning day today as she was given a thorough wash down and then I painted, or rather `touched up` the black along the sides.
We also tried our first Online shop with Tescos for all the heavy things we like to stock up with. It certainly saved a trip and was delivered right alongside the boat....the time saved was spent on cleaning!!!!!
Running around day tomorrow whilst we still have the car and the plan is to depart early Saturday for Braunston. The weather so far has been so kind to us and today was spent in shorts and T-shirts......mind you it was pretty nippy first thing and even a frost.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Back to Petroc...briefly

We have left Cornwall and been reunited with Petroc, ready for the `SUMMER` we have been promised!!
The majority of our belongings have been put on board.....not without mishap Geoff managed to drop one of those blue IKEA bags full of MY clothes into the canal......most were retrieved but some sadly sank to the bottom so today a trip to M&S is on the agenda for certain replacements.
On a better note Petroc was in good shape and quite dry. The outside has suffered somewhat from the attentions of the birds so next week a big outside clean is the order of the day.
Meanwhile we have a wedding to attend and various friends and family to visit so plan to be back on board next Tuesday or Wednesday.