Lived on-board Hadar

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Salersford Arm to Rowington

Thursday 17th July.

Like any other live aboard boater, there are always jobs that need doing and due to the fact that we were on the electric at the mooring, I thought I would take the opportunity to get a few jobs done that had not really been done since we left Stone. Firstly I used the laundry in the Arm to wash our mattress cover, as it was too big for our machine, whilst that was washing I washed the sheets in our machine. They have two washing machines and two tumble driers. The washing machines for a quick was cost £1 and for the drier a 12 minutes cycle costs 20 pence, what a bargain. So washing done and dry it was then onto task two, which was to Hoover the boat out from bow to stern. Keith kindly fished the Hoover out of the hold for me and I was well away. It was really refreshing to be able to get such jobs done. With that achieved we had lunch and I then walked down to Sainsbury’s to pick up a few bits, just making sure we were topped up with food, as our next big shop would be in Birmingham. The brass was the third item to do, but with showers throughout the day, I saw little point in cleaning the brass outside of the boat, so had a shower instead.During the evening we were taken to the Cape of Good Hope Pub by Merleen and Paul off of NB Lady Celine, where we enjoyed a fabulous meal and an evening of very entertaining chatter. It was so nice to catch up with them and hear all their news and we told them all about our adventures to date. The meal was excellent as was the service. If you ever eat there, do try their Mango Sorbet it was out of this world, as was the whole meal. What made the evening special though were the company, so thank you Merleen and Paul for a lovely time and we hope to get to Switzerland.Having got back from the pub, we then gave them a guided tour of Hadar before they headed back to their boat for bed. The two Shelties in the photo are Kyle and Kory and they are 11 year old brothers. Kyle has been a very, very poorly boy, but hopefully is now on the mend, we all have our fingers crossed.
A good day as far as getting the jobs done and an even better evening spent in the company of good friends.

Friday 18th July.

Saltersford Arm to the top of the Hatton Flight. 2.8 miles and 21 locks
Awake early thanks to Marmite, who lay on Keith’s chest, purring loudly as to wake us both up. She looks at you with sorrowful eyes; you know the ones like puss does in Shrek, so how can you fail to go awwww. So with that we got up and had breakfast. Paddy got his walk and we then started to get ready to leave the arm. We had agreed with Margaret and Colin on NB Seeburg that we would do the Hatton flight together, as it definitely makes life a lot easier. So I filled the water tank up, emptied the rubbish bin, whilst Keith paid Ian the arms manager for our stay, plus we picked up a few items from the shop there. Having thanked Ian for his warm welcome and enjoyable stay we set off at 9.30 am out of the arm. Waving to Merleen and Paul as we left under the bridge. By the time we reached their first of the 21 locks, Colin had already set the lock and Margaret was heading into the lock chamber, by this time it was 9.45 am and we had a busy time ahead.
Keith and Margaret did the steering of the boats, whilst Colin and I did the lock work, which meant walking between the locks. We would take it in turns to set the lock ahead each time, making short work of the hard graft. We had a good system going and it worked well for both of us and for Keith and Margaret.Unfortunately some of the locks are pretty leaky, so we did find that although boats had come down, which should of meant the lock was in our favor, by the time we got there it was half full, which meant emptying it all over again. We now have muscles like Popeye.When you actually looked up the rise of locks it did look awesome, so very impressive. I actually began to wonder what it must have been like to put these locks in and the work it must have to taken to achieve this wondrous sight.Almost near the top of the flight is this wonderful sculptor of a dragonfly. It really is beautiful, in the middle of a pond.During the journey up the Hatton Flight we did meet boards coming down the flight, which was very fortunate, as it made our life much easier. As you approach the summit of the flight, there is a cafĂ© for anyone who is in need of immediate refreshment. We reached the top lock of the Hatton Flight at 12.15 pm and prepared to find a mooring just above the lock, just as we exited the lock, there were spots of rain falling on the surface of the canal, we had timed it to perfection it seemed. Luckily we had no problem with a space just before bridge 55 St. John’s Bridge, Margaret and Colin pulled in behind us. We then had a well earned coffee onboard the stern of Seeburg, whilst we ate our lunch, the shower came to nothing.
Keith and I then took off to the Craft Center and farm for a look around. To get into the farm it is £6.75 for adults and children, we did not bother with the farm side of it as it was geared towards children, with play areas around the site. It is a great place if you want to entertain the children for a few hours. We spent our time walking around the shopping outlets and farm shop; we also spent time in the antiques arcade, but found nothing that caught our eye. We did however have a mint chocolate chip ice cream mmmmmmm. By the time we got back to Hadar, the showers had become prolonged so it was time to close up the boat and sit in front of the computer. There is no proper TV signal, so we would be enjoying a DVD instead.
Saturday 19th July.

Top of Hatton Flight to Rowington. 2.9 miles and No Locks
We had a disturbed night due to the heavy rain, which probably sounded worse than it was because we were under trees, nevertheless it kept us awake, so we were in no hurry to get up this morning. Once up we decided we would move to Rowington in a hope of a TV signal and a more open mooring, where we were was very dark with all the trees and the high banks. So we got Hadar ready for the off and said cheerio to Margaret and Colin, who said they may follow us up.
The forecast was for sunshine and showers, and wouldn’t you just know it that as we set off down came the rain. No sooner had it started though it stopped and the sun was out and with it a strong breeze. We made our way to Shrewley Tunnel 433 yds, where another boat had already entered.The tunnel does take two way traffic so we made our way into the tunnel behind them, headlamp on so any boat coming in the opposite direction could see us and we could see where we were going.As it turned out another boat was coming in the opposite direct. Shrewley tunnel does leak a bit and the boat in front of us made me giggle as they put their umbrella up, to avoid getting wet ha ha ha.We exited the tunnel to sunshine once more.What is interesting about Shrewley Tunnel is the fact that the towpath runs alongside the tunnel and has a tunnel of its very own, which the horses used to be taken along. You will see many a painting and post card with this scene on.It really is very beautiful.
Having left the wooded cutting we soon found ourselves looking at views across the valley and a perfect place to moor up. So we pulled in, Keith knocked in our mooring pins; we turned Hadar’s engine off and made a coffee. As I sit typing this John Jackson has just gone past on his coat boats Roach and Gosport. Margaret and Colin have arrived and moored up as well. We will now look forward to a peaceful weekend. See you next week.

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