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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Near Wormleighton to The Bridge Inn, Napton on the Hill.

Monday 9th February.

Near Wormleighton to Stoneton (bridge 126), 2.1 miles which took 2 hrs 50 minutes!


Last night we were hit by more snow until 8pm, it then stopped and the temperature dropped.
When we woke up it was dry and cold, but soon the drizzle began set in, so we were hoping that the ice on the canal would begin to melt. Having walked Paddy, I went stick collecting along the towpath and on the way back John on NB Maximus invited us for a cup of tea, so at 10.45am we locked up the boat and joined John and Madeline onboard their boat for a cup of tea and great conversation. We have mutual friends in Brian and Diana on NB Harnser and they also come from Suffolk, it really is a small world. Whilst chatting we all decided that we would try and make some headway towards Marston Doles and moor up below the locks, with the weather warming up we had hoped that the ice would be soft enough to break through.
After lunch we readied Hadar for the off, leaving the mooring first as we thought we would make better headway. It proved more difficult that we expected, because not only did we have the ice we also had a shallow canal to contend with, we eventually got off the mooring by reversing up alongside NB Maximus.We had only gone a few metres, before we were stopped by the ice. We then spent over ¾ of an hour trying to crawl 200 metres, Madeline and I even got poles out to smash the ice, but it was just not making a lot of difference. We were all set to moor back up when NB Dawn Mist came stonking past us, carving a channel for us both to use, so we thought we would follow them, which seemed like a good plan at the time.NB Maximus followed NB Dawn Mist and we followed them. All seemed to be going really well for a short distance.Then NB Dawn Mist got bogged down in the ice, so NB Maximus took the lead, but it was such slow going and the afternoon was getting away from us time wise.As we approached Stoneton, Keith and I took the decision to stop as it was 4.30pm, and the drizzle had turned to rain, which was coming down quite hard and getting cold. So we pulled in before bridge 126, below Stoneton Manor and its sheep farm, where ewe’s were huddled together in the barn listening to music from a radio. NB Dawn Mist stopped to buy a bag of coal off of us as they had no heating at all. They then ploughed on behind NB Maximus. The evenings weather took a downward turn, it was not long before snow was falling heavily again, not only that but the wind had got up as well. So we snuggled down inside the boat for the evening in front of the TV, before heading off to bed very tired.

Tuesday 10th January.

Stoneton to The Bridge Inn, Napton on the Hill, 5.3 miles and 9 locks.


My morning began at 1.15am when I was woken up by ting, ting on the mushroom vent, it sounded like in my dreamlike state as if I was being summoned at a hotel reception desk, it was then followed by several loud thuds on the cabin roof. This turned out to be snow falling off the branches of the over hanging tree we were moored beneath and was being blown about by the strong winds blowing outside. Having lain awake for sometime I decided to get up, so I would not disturb Keith’s sleep. I crept into the saloon, where I sat with my drink listening to the wind. Marmite was pleased to see she was not the only one awake and greeted me with a yawning meow. My thoughts then turned to the sheep in the barn opposite and I wondered if they had been listening to Late Night Love, through the wee small hours of the morning. Funny the things you think of LOL. Marmite wanted my full attention, whereas Paddy was fast asleep in his bed. By 2.50am Keith was also awake, so there was nothing for it but to make us both a cup of tea. Keith went on Facebook, whilst I wondered if I would ever get back to sleep, or should I just stay up. I crawled back into bed as did Keith eventually and we both did drift off back to sleep until 7.30am, when we made a move to get up.As I opened the galley window to peek out, it was clear we had another good sprinkling of snow, but the canal was not that frozen so we decided we would make a move towards Marston Doles and take it from there.
We soon came upon John and Madaline, who had tried to move, but became stuck all over again, so they pulled in once more to wait and see what would happen. NB Dawn Mist overtook them to open up a channel in which we then used and John and Madaline then followed us.It all worked brilliantly and we all made it to Marston Doles. John and Madaline stopped for water and we carried on behind NB Dawn Mist who kindly set the Napton Locks for us. We also had other boats going in the opposite direction, which made the lock work easier, as it was pretty slippery at times.The views coming down the Napton flight were stunning in the wintry sunshine, and we had a splendid view of the Windmill. Working our way down the flight, there was no lack of water, and at times it flowed over the lock gates. One of the overflows was blocked so we notified the BW men at the bottom of the flight and they went up to unblocked it.At the bottom of the flight we used the sanitary station to empty the toilet cassettes, threw away rubbish and took on water, where upon John and Madaline caught us up. They moored up to go to the shop for some food and we pressed on to Napton Bridge and the Bridge Inn, which is where we will stay for today. We are going for a meal at the Inn later. The last time Keith ate there was in 1968, so a few things will have changed since then I hope. John and Madaline passed us and carried on, as they have to be back at Brinklow so needed to make up time, we wished them well and hoped that we would see them again soon. It has been a lovely days cruising, much easier going than yesterday.

2 comments:

dundustin said...

it does seem such an idyllic lifestyle. do you ever get frozen pipes? if so what do you do?

Keith and Jo said...

Hi dundustin.
Yes it does look like an idyllic lifestyle. But it is hard work and that is all year round. So many people make the mistake of watching programs like Waterworld and thinking that is the life for us. But Waterworld only ever shows the weather bright and sunny and everything going well, they never show the pitfalls of living on the canal. The list is endless of why people should think very carefully before buying a boat. We have seen to many people sell up everything for this idyllic lifestyle, only to sell up a few months down the line, when they realise it is not what is portrayed on the TV.
We have never yet had frozen pipes, but then ours are lagged. It is best to treat all pipework like you would in a house, so make sure they are lagged. If the boat is being left then the system should really be drained down. If you do get a frozen pipe, then obviously seek help as soon as possible. But it is best to take action to stop that happening in the first place.