Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Here endeth 2017 cruising

A last familiar trip back to Clifton.  A little slower than anticipated as one each of the 3 locks in the Hillmorton flight were out of action but the weather stayed dry for us.   In fact it was kind enough to stay fine for all our packing up.  A job we both hate.......

We are now settled back in our granny annexe in Cornwall.......roll on next Spring.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Gently meandering back to Clifton

Wednesday and Thursday wee two bright days for a gentle descent of the Napton Flight.
The mornings were chilly as can be seen by the horses with their coats on

But plenty of sunshine

The buffalo don`t seem to need protection and they were very interested in our passing.
I am always glad to be separated by a strip of water
We spent a couple of nights just before bridge 102 in one of our favourite stopping places.  There were quite a few other boats but there is so much mooring along this stretch that everyone had spaced themselves out nicely, so no one was on top of another boat.

An early start was necessary on Saturday morning so that we could have reach Braunston and have our cooked breakfast in the Gongoozlers Rest Cafe.

A very good breakfast it was.
Later on Saturday saw the arrival of Boe, in transit from the Salt Mines of Krakow, via Nottingham (courtesy of Ryanair!) to Cornwall.

One of Boes pictures as she was out walking Barney on Sunday.
Geoff and I went to the Family Service in Braunston church where we discovered that the Reverend Sarah would be moving on before our next visit here.  I am sure she will be missed as she is so enthusiastic and makes the service come alive.

We then all went to the Admiral Nelson for Sunday lunch.  The food was OK but we were disappointed in the menu.  The two roasts they had on were Lamb Shank or Beef Brisket, neither of which I would describe as a typical Sunday Roast and at £14 I thought it was a tad expensive for this part of the world.  Boe and Geoff decided against either and settled for a burger.  Having said that there was nothing wrong with the food.

Boe departed for Cornwall after breakfast taking with her some of our luggage which was handy.  We do normally manage to get everything in the car but it is a close run thing as Barney takes up a quarter of the space!  

A last trip up to the butcher for a couple of nights suppers and we too were on our way.   Now moored just about Hillmorten Locks ready for the last trip tomorrow into Clifton.

Total distance:6.55 miles 
Elapsed time:2h39m33s 
Average speed:2.62 mph (2.62 lock/mph)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Wey Hey Toilet mended!

Last nights sky held promise
The promise was fulfilled but before we set off we had the all important visit.    Mike from Lee San had come down yesterday afternoon to have a preliminary look.   His first comments as he struggled with the way the toilet was fitted were not encouraging.   However he was back this morning, having looked back at our history (or rather the loos history) and talked to others in the office and to cut a long story short he has mended it.   It turns out there there is actually noting wrong with the mechanism, it is one tiny bit of the fitting....a rather essential bit......but with a bit of doctoring from Mike, fingers crossed, it is functioning again.  Once again a big thank you to Lee Sanitation.  After it was all complete he did say that he had seen a lot worse installations.  The problem is that it may all look nice and neatly fitted in but when there is a problem the most important thing is accessibility and he did have to use a few contortions to get to all the parts he needed.  (All boat builders take note!)

 BUT  and a rather big but, we can`t use it yet as our other big problem is the batteries.  For a few weeks now we have noticed that the service batteries are not holding their charge like they used to.  We have 3 gel batteries which are sealed for life and have lasted us 11 years of cruising, so despite the fact that they were more expensive to buy we think we have probably had our moneys worth.  We are hanging on in the hope they get us safely back to Rugby in a weeks time.   We have to turn the fridge off at night and the heating won`t fire up in the morning until we turn the engine on.  The loo takes electricity to build up the vacuum every time it is flushed so that is another NO NO at the moment.

Still to look on the bright side at least all this has happened towards the end of the seasons cruising and not at the beginning!!

Moored behind us at Fenny we found an old friend.

In a previous life....ie before PETROC we had a quarter share in Tickey.  We tried the living aboard all 40 ft of her to see if we could cope for long periods in close confinement.   She looks much smarter now, obviously had a paint job, but sadly no one aboard to chat to and maybe get a peek inside.  Since we have been on Petroc for 11 years it was quite a while ago.

Tickey moored in Bugsworth Basin 2006
We set off after Mikes departure, much later than usual for us but the sun was still shining.  We are on the summit now so it is gentle meandering with no locks for a while.

Moored in a nice open spot which we have frequented before.  If it was still summer and we were not on our way home we would probably stay here a few days.

Total distance:3.02 miles 
Elapsed time:1h19m7s 
Average speed:2.29 mph (2.29 lock/mph) 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Shall we....Shall we not???

Sunday was a day of indecision.  It is not normally a day of travelling for us and the weather forecast was for a dire day, lots of rain and wind so the plan was Church in Cropredy and a lazy day.  However we wanted to reach Fenny Compton on Monday and that meant a longish day........we don't choose to do long days.....so we thought we would carry on after church and get half way up the Claydon flight.

When we woke the weather was nothing like the forecast, admittedly no sun but no rain or wind either.   So after a lot of dithering and mind changing we decided to go whilst the weather was OK and skip church.   

We then had a very pleasant run up to the moorings above the Claydon 3rd lock.  Even the fact that there was one boat ahead of us, which meant the locks were all set against us, didn`t detract from the tranquillity of the day.

Once settled there we all retired for a peaceful afternoon

Barney in afternoon siesta mode

Total distance:2.29 miles 
Elapsed time:2h10m33s 
Average speed:1.05 mph (3.81 lock/mph)