Lived onboard Hadar

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Monday 3rd November.

Hartshill to North of Newbold on Avon. 18.3 miles and 1 lock
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Do you ever have days that begin in a dodgy way, and you then wonder if the rest of the day is going to go the same way?
Today was one of those days. We were awake early as usual. It was still dark outside and a cockerel was crowing in the distance, to announce Monday morning. The clock tower bell at the BW yard struck 7am.Come 8am we were out of bed and having breakfast. Paddy got his walk and we prepared to set off for the days cruising. Just as we were untying the ropes at 9.15am, narrow boat Panther and an Ashby hire boat came past heading the same way as us, so we joined the convoy, behind the hire boat, and that is where the day got off to a dodgy start.The hire boat for what ever reason, was going so slow that our tick over was even too fast to keep us behind them at a decent distance. Keith had no where to go as we were passing moored boats so ended up hitting the stern of their boat. In the distance we could see the largest of the quarry spoil mountains, which is known as Mount Judd.Having passed the moored boats, we had hoped the hire boat would speed things up, but nope they continued at a snails pace, which I suppose is their prerogative I guess. So because they were sitting in the centre of the canal Keith put Hadar up alongside them, hoping that they would yield and allow us past. We did pass them, but not without one of the five male occupants having a go at us. He wanted to know if we had a problem LOL. Yes the problem was they were going so slow we were hardly in tick over. With that we left them to their lot and carried on. These guys had been out for at least a few days and they were heading back to the hire company, so why did they still have to cruise at a snails pace?
We made our way through Nuneaton behind N.B Panther, who then allowed us to pass them. Once we got out of Nuneaton, we were into open countryside once more, and enjoying some lovely views. We continued along the Coventry Canal to Bedworth Hill Bridge (13), on the outskirts of Bedworth, we had just made it through the bridge ’ole, when we saw another boat coming towards us, so we let the gentleman know that Panther was behind us, thinking he would slow his pace towards the bridge. As Keith carried on steering Hadar, I watched as this man ploughed his boat through the bridge ‘ole, with Panther coming through the other side. It looked as though they had collided. We were to find out later it was not just a slight collision. Having arrived at Hawkesbury Junction, I stepped off before the junction to work the stop lock, whilst Keith bought Hadar around the junction and into the lock. We were now onto the Oxford Canal once more.The stop lock at Hawkesbury Junction is known as Sutton Stop, which was named after a family who were toll clerks at the junction. There is the Greyhound pub at the junction, which in the old days used to store the food for the horses, when boats were horse drawn. You can also see a disused engine house. I can imagine when working boats were the kings of the cut; Hawkesbury Junction must have been bustling. Keith can remember the working boats moored stern in to the bank outside the pub.As we worked the Stop lock, N.B Panther turned at the junction to join us, the lady on board came and asked if we had, had any problems with the boat at bridge 13. I told her “We had said to him that they were behind us”. She went on to tell Keith and me that they had reversed their boat, to allow him through, he rammed them in the side, whilst steaming through the bridge ‘ole, leaving them with damage to the front of their boat. They took his BW number and will be reporting him to BW. After he had rammed them, he then went on to ram into the Ashby hire boat, so it was not their day. Hire boats was the theme for the day for us as we met up with a Rose hire boat, which went in to shock when it saw us and steered right across our path. Keith managed to avoid them and the moored boats as they got themselves straight once more.I really like the Oxford Canal, it has some lovely scenery, but it also has the M6 motorway following it to Ansty, where we cruised under the M69 bridge. The roar of the traffic was really loud and we had the same thing when we made our way under the M6 motorway bridge. It was nice to be back into the silence of the countryside once more as we approached Stretton Stop and the home of Rose hire boats. I hopped off to open the small swing bridge which allowed Hadar through. With the diesel derogation now operating, Rose hire boats diesel is at £1.10 a litre.The light was beginning to fade and we had to think about where we were going to moor for the night. We decided to moor up just North of Newbold on Avon.
Tuesday 4th November.

North of Newbold on Avon to the top of Hillmorton Locks. 5.7 miles and 3 locks.

Having spent a peaceful evening on the mooring, we were up like larks, in fact up with the cockerel that was crowing nearby. I think we are being followed by this cockerel LOL. The kettle was put on for a brew and breakfast laid out. Before I had my breakfast Paddy needed his walk. He is so good at waiting, whilst I get myself ready. No sooner had I let him off of the boat, he cocked his leg, so he must have been bursting to go. Back onboard Marmite was protesting loudly that she wanted her breakfast. She has absolutely no patience when it comes to being fed. She seems to think that she should get her breakfast before Paddy, which of course never happens. Paddy always gets his two biscuits and then I feed Marmite. Peace reign’s no sooner her bowl is placed in front of her. Mean While Keith prepared Hadar for the off, on what was an overcast morning, but not particularly cold for a change.We negotiated Newbold on Avon Tunnel with its posh lighting, and past The Barley Mow pub, which does some nice meals, or at least it did when we ate there back in February. If you are lucky enough to get a mooring along this stretch, you may like to visit the Newbold on Avon Quarry Park. It is a local nature reserve on the site of what was once a Limestone Quarry. There are apparently Muntjac deer there. The first stop of the day was in Rugby, to go food shopping at Tesco, we were fortunate to get a mooring just after Masters Bridge (58). Having trudged our way around Tesco, and got back onboard. I began putting the shopping away as we cruised, but we had only gone a short distance when we were hailed down for coal. So the kettle got turned off and the shopping abandoned, so I could go and unload two bags of coal. The plus side of being a coal woman is I get to natter to the customers. It is always a good time to pass on canal news and to put the world to right. We were soon on our way and heading for Hillmorton Locks. We were lucky enough to find one of the pair of locks empty, so as I opened the gates, whilst Keith manoeuvred Hadar into the chamber. Whilst I operated the paddles, Keith nipped off the boat to empty one of the toilet cassettes. Coming up behind us was N.B Jacana, so I set the other lock for him, whilst I waited for ours to fill. The gentleman was single handing, so any bit of help is always useful. As he entered the lock chamber I shut the gates behind him, and left him to fill up the lock, as Keith was now back from emptying the loo cassette. As we approached the second pair of locks, a boat was already in one of the locks and they had kindly set the other lock for us and opened the gates. This was turning out to be a very nice day, with everyone helping each other. I returned the favour at the 3rd set of locks. One thing I noticed about the lock gear at the locks, they are all very well greased up. The only downside to this was the grease got everywhere, including down my trousers, which will be a pain to get out no doubt. We then decided to moor up just after the locks for the rest of the day. We have such a lovely view of the Rugby radio Arial’s and ponies grazing in the fields. The sun came out as well which was a bonus and gave me the inspiration to get some boat work done. Hadar needed a wash for starters as she had streaks of soot from the exhaust chimney running down her bodywork. That done, I then set about brushing all the mats and putting Paddy’s bed out for airing, it felt damp and smelt very doggy ewww. I really should have washed all the floors, but there is little point when you are moored up on a muddy towpath, due to the fact that workmen have been a long the stretch filling in holes with dirt. So the floors can wait no one else but us has to look at them. I have taken the chance to have a tidy up through out the boat. I like for things to be put away. When living on a boat 24/7 you have to be tidy, as there is very little room to have clutter around about your feet. So even Mog and Dog have their places. A tidy boat is a happy boat that is my motto ha ha ha.

3 comments:

Little Light said...

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Abigailina said...

Yes I have had many of those days, they really stink: either I don't know what to do with my hair, or I got in trouble with one of my siblings or I yelled at them for not leaving me alone. Why does this happen?
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Keith and Jo said...

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