Lived onboard Hadar

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Foxton Locks to Black Horse Bridge, Foxton Village

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Foxton Black Horse Bridge 2

A crisp morning, with some thin ice on the canal. We pulled over to the entrance to the lower basin of the inclined plane to top up the water tank, empty toilet and dispose rubbish. We then chugged the grand distance of nearly ¾ mile to very near to Black Horse Bridge at Foxton, where we will be for a few days awaiting our Tesco food delivery here on Wednesday afternoon.

Keith.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Debdale to Foxton Locks

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Foxton Junction

Yesterday Jo and I walked the 1.5 miles from the canal to the Kibworth Shooting Ground so that I could purchase a telescopic sight for my air rifle, which I took with me. I bought my air rifle back in 2007, before we set off on Hadar, with the intention to use it to shoot game, to eat. However I was not happy with using the standard sights to guarantee a clean kill, so I have been waiting for the ideal opportunity to visit a gun shop to acquire a decent telescopic sight. I had discovered on our first time in the Foxton-Harborough area that there was a shooting ground and shop near the canal at Debdale, and I have been waiting for the right opportunity to moor at Debdale wharf and visit the gun shop.

The shop was a bit busy with shooters signing in, and getting gas cartridges recharged, but we were in no hurry.

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We were recommended a Hawke Sport-HD IR (3-9x50 AO Mil Dot model) which according to the Hawke website normally retails at £94.95, but we got it for £50, a bargain, and it was fitted to my rifle. The shop being located at the shooting ground was ideal as I could test out and adjust the sight whilst there. We took a target to the air rifle range and with much appreciated friendly assistance from some shooters already at the range, I got the sight approximately zeroed to start with, but I need to readjust it more accurately, I didn’t want to take up too much of the other shooters time, especially as I have targets on-board that I can use to finish off the setting up at my leisure, and in slightly warmer weather. We are looking forward to my first kill going into the cooking pot. Over time it should save us a fair bit in food costs.

This morning we set off for Foxton locks for the weekend. We tried to moor at the 14 day moorings just before Rainbow Bridge, but they are too shallow, and we didn’t want to risk getting stuck with the water situation at present in this area. We were fortunate though to get into our favourite mooring just through Rainbow Bridge, at the junction. We may have a visitor coming to see us Sunday, so we are in the ideal spot for them to find us.

Keith.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Smeeton Aqueduct to Debdale

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Debdale

Despite the weather forecast last night stating that we would have rain this morning, we seemed yet again to have missed it, so we decided to move towards Debdale to get a better TV and internet signal. We actually passed another boat coming the other way today, just before we moored up just west of Debdale Wharf.

Keith.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Foxton Locks to Smeeton Aqueduct

Smeeton Aqueduct

No wind, sun shining brightly, a good day to move, which we did to Smeeton Aqueduct. We did wind first before mooring up near the aqueduct. We look forward to doing a bit of walking in this area whilst we are here.

Keith.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gallows Hill to Foxton Locks

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Foxton 3

As forecasted today was going to be a damp day. Fortunately just a very light drizzle when we set off. Jo had a tad problem getting the swing bridge to register that it was shut to release the gates, once I had got Hadar through, but eventually it all clicked into place and we carried on to Foxton locks. We moored up at our usual spot before the swing footbridge, just as the light drizzle was getting heavier, but bring it on, we need lots of rain!

Keith.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Union Wharf to Gallows Hill

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Gallows Hill

This morning we walked down into Harborough to notify our Doctor, Dentist and Opticians of our new address, the last people we have to notify. Jo also popped into her hairdresser to book an appointment for when we return in 3 weeks times. We returned to the boat, had lunch and then winded in the basin before mooring at a spare pontoon to empty our toilet whilst there was still a Canal Boat Club boat at the sanitary station. However this boat was moved and the sanitary station was clear for us to pull into to top up our water tank. It gave us a brief chance to have a quick chat to a few of our friends at the basin. We then set off in glorious sunshine to Gallows Hill for the night. Not a bit of ice in sight compared to what we were breaking through yesterday morning.

Keith.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gallow’s Hill to Market Harborough

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Harborough 2

An early cup of tea and it was raining and windy, but by the time we were up and ready to set off the wind had dropped. There was quite a bit of ice along the whole stretch varying from ½” to 1” thick. We pulled into a free mooring on the towpath outside Union Wharf.

I had my first appointment at our dentist, to have my tooth prepared for a crown this afternoon, so we went into town for some shopping and lunch at Pizza Express.

Harborough 3

I had thought that as I would have to have an injection at the dentist that it would be better to have a cooked lunch and a snack this evening, rather than our evening meal and snack at lunch time. We have a new dentist, our last one has returned to university, which he had warned us he may be doing when we last saw him. My new dentist took impressions of my teeth and then prepared the tooth ready for it’s crown and took a final impression of the prepared tooth, before fitting a temporary cap. She also popped a new filling in one of my other teeth.

We then returned back to the boat, to settle in for a relaxing evening and soup for teatime.

Keith.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Great Bowden

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With the sun shining brightly today we went for a walk after lunch to Great Bowden.

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The canal is frozen but only a thin layer.

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The walk from the canal to the village gives some beautiful views across the valley, especially today.

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This rather large building displays a name plate announcing it to be “The Round House”.

SAM_1148The Green

This is The Green with the Shoulder of Mutton with the Bowden Stores next door.

Weltons

With Welton’s Delicatessen on the opposite side of The Green, shop, cafe and post office.

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This is the church of St. Peter & St. Paul.

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The church hall.

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And the Village Hall.

Keith.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Market Harborough to Gallow Hill

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Gallows Hill

With an appointment booked with my dentist for next Wednesday to have the impression of my tooth for a crown, and our 48 hours up on the towpath moorings at Union Wharf, we set off to moor out in the countryside for the weekend. Before we set off we topped up the water tank and emptied the toilet cassette. Once we got moving we carried on past the moorings where we were wanted to moor, and onto the next winding hole which was the other side of Gallow’s Hill Bridge, where we winded and returned to the moorings so that if the weather should turn extremely cold and the canal freezes, we are pointing in the right direction to get back to Harborough. This is midway between Foxton and Harborough as the canal goes, but not as the crow flies!

We were woken up early this morning, about 5:00am, by a fox calling as it got closer to the boat. It got quite close before returning from whence it came. It was either on the towpath or in the gardens on the offside of the canal. From some recordings Jo found on-line it sounds like it may have been the mating call, which would be about right for the time of year.

Keith.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Foxton to Market Harborough

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Harborough 2

Being back on home waters is always nice. We set off from Black Horse Bridge at Foxton this morning, and soon arrived at Union Wharf where we winded and returned to a mooring on the towpath. We had a quick chat with Jimmy & Jenny on “Jolly Roger” and David & Viv off of “First Fruits”. After lunch we headed into town, did some quick shopping and popped in to see Nina, a new facebook friend, in her shop, Nina Couture. Then I called into our dentist to make an appointment for tomorrow afternoon to hopefully have a new crown made. Upon returning to Union Wharf we collected our post from our post box, which was rather full, most of it was junk mail, grrrrrrr.

Keith.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Foxton Locks Inn to Black Horse Bridge

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Foxton Black Horse Bridge

We had been warned about a tree being down at Johnson’s Bridge on the Harborough arm, and that it was subject to removal by contractors. Now not knowing when this would happen, and we didn’t want to end up sitting at Johnson’s Bridge for weeks, unable to wind as the winding hole is the other side of the bridge, I rang up to find out what the score was. I was told I had to speak to Bill the head lock keeper at Foxton as he was handling it, along with many trees that were unsafe in the car park at Foxton locks. Now because Bill works at weekends he has Monday and Tuesday off. I bumped into Mark who works on the land team, who had just arrived to unlock the locks in Bill’s absence. He very kindly rang Bill, who rang back a bit later, as he was driving, to confirm that the tree had been successfully removed.

Consequently we set off to cover the short distance to Black Horse Bridge at Foxton village, which took all of 15mins, ready for our Tesco Delivery tomorrow.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Foxton Locks

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A change of plans this morning, we had intended to travel down Foxton locks on Monday morning, but we changed our minds and travelled down this morning. We didn’t rush and it took us an hour. There was room to moor on the Foxton Locks Inn moorings, which we did. We then had a really nice Roast Pork lunch in the Inn. Just how Sundays on the canal should be. It6 may have proved to be wise to travel down the locks today, as according to the weather forecast on the radio it is expected to be raining tomorrow morning.

Keith.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Crick to Foxton Locks

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Foxton 2

A bright and chilly morning greeted us, but at least the winds had died down completely. A fairly longish day for us, 6hours 15mins, but it saw us all the way through to the top of Foxton locks. Two of the large clumps of reeds that for some time now have been reducing the cut width have been removed, making life much easier, especially the clump on the bend north of Mountain Barn Bridge, which was difficult to get round let alone meet a boat coming the other way!

We have been surprised at how few boats there are moored on the summit, I think, like us, they may have decided not to stay up here due to the water shortage. Once we moored up above the locks, and very much to our surprise we are the only boat here, I walked to the top lock, and the only notice there on the lock keepers cottage said there was no lock keeper on duty, and to follow the instructions on the lock beam. There is no mention of water shortage restrictions. We will try to see Bill the head lock keeper over the weekend to find out if we can go down through the locks.

Keith.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Watford Locks to Crick

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Crick

We set off this morning up through Watford locks. The first pound was low so I had to creep across it with paddles up on the 2nd lock until Hadar cleared the bottom cill and she slid into the lock. The rest of the locks were ok, and having had work on the gates they no longer flood our foredeck which is blessing, although going down the locks was worse, but it is all fixed now.

We cleared Crick tunnel and Bridge No.12, to discover that the wind had picked up whilst we were in the tunnel, and I was struggling with Hadar so we pulled into the moorings opposite Crick Marina.

Keith.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Braunston to Watford Locks

Watford Locks

Watford locks

It was good to be on the move again this morning. First off we moved to the sanitary station to take on water, empty elsans, and dispose of rubbish, especially all the stuff we have sorted out over the Christmas break and decided we no longer wanted and it was just taking up valuable space. If we haven’t used it for 6 months it goes. Reminder to self, make sure I am used more often!

We then winded at Braunston Turn, and headed to the locks. We pulled in at the bottom lock and waited an hour, with no one arriving we set off up the locks. At lock 5 we caught up and joined a boat, which must have been moored in one of the pounds and we shared the last 2 locks with them. We think they were quite new to canals, you can tell you know. They said to Jo that they were heading to Willoughby, which I thought was  not in this direction, and it also seemed strange that they were nowhere in sight as I exited the tunnel. The last I had seen of them as I entered the tunnel they did have their tunnel light on. Once we moored up and I checked, Willoughby was, as I thought, in the other direction on the North Oxford Canal! Either they had taken a wrong turn, or they had got their village names mixed up. Hopefully they hadn’t had a mishap and they are ok.

As we turned on to the Leicester arm we passed Derwent6 and we said a quick happy new year to Del and Al, they asked if we could let them know about water levels on the summit. We got the the bottom lock and moored up for the night. We then walked up to the top lock to see what the level was like. It was ok, and a quick chat to the lockie, whom we didn’t recognise, confirmed we should be ok at the moment. There may even be a chance to get down through Foxton locks, but we will cross that barrier when we get to it.

Keith.