Lived onboard Hadar

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stretton Wharf to Wheaton Aston to Penkridge

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Penkridge Cross Keys

Marmalade on toast for breakfast, and we set off for Wheaton Aston. We arrived at Turners and filled up with diesel, 477.2 litres which came to £371.50, an impressive 77.8p a litre. Especially so as he was expecting a new delivery today and it was going up another 1p a litre, good timing for us then. I reversed back to the winding hole and turned, then pulled into the sanitary station, for topping up water and disposing. We then carried on, in what turned out to be a very sunny and warm day, not the rain we desperately need. All 5 locks from Gailey down to Penkridge were against us, consequently we arrived at the Cross Keys as daylight was failing at 6:10pm. Yet another long (for us) but rewarding day.

Keith.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Acton Trussell to Stretton Wharf

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Stretton Boatyard

Probably our longest day of travelling to date, 9 hours 25 minutes, phew!

The weather was very mild so we took advantage of it and pressed on. The first few locks were with us, but when we met a boat coming down the locks they said that there was a boat in front of us, still we had had some in our favour. We passed Monarch & Grimsby moored in  Penkridge, but no sign of Viv or Simon.

Having arrived at Brewood to find no mooring space, we were less inclined to press on to Wheaton Aston, just in case it was the same situation there, so having crossed the Stretton Aqueduct over the A5, we pulled into the towpath opposite Stretton Boatyard. As we were making our approach we had a very brief chat with Sarah & Jim on Chertsey & Bakewell. Chertsey is looking very smart in her new livery, last time we saw her she was in Red Oxide.

Keith.

Monday, February 27, 2012

King’s Bromley to Roseford Bridge No.94, Acton Trussell

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Acton Trussell

A dull start to the day, and we set off heading through Armitage then Rugeley. The first lock was Colwich, where a boat had just come down, so the lock was ready for us. Along this stretch of canal we had noticed the large amount of offside and towpath side clearing that has been going on, with trees, bushes etc. all cut back to the waters edge. A boat was waiting to go up through Great Haywood lock, we know we are back on the T&M, with boats moving in all directions. This especially applied at the junction, with a boat winding, and one waiting to come out of the Staffs & Worcs. Chaos reigns.

At Tixall Wide there were only 3 boats moored up! Again at Tixall lock we came across 2 small boats starting up through the lock. As we approached Deptmore lock, the light rain started so once through we moored just pass Roseford Bridge No.94, near Acton Trussell. Again this whole stretch has seen a large scale tree and bush trimming, BW have been busy and it is very much appreciated.

Keith.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Amington to King’s Bromley

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Kings Bromley

Yet another bright morning, so after I cooked grilled breakfast mushrooms on toast for breakfast, we set off for hopefully another epic journey. We got to Whittington where we came across Les and Jacqueline on Valerie, so we pulled into the towpath and moored up to have a chat over coffee. As we were mooring up Michael on Victoria came chugging past on his way to Napton. Also just before Michael appeared Jo managed to catch a photo of the “Northern Belle” part of the “Venice Simplon-Orient-Express”.

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After our chat we set off again. As we approached Fradley, the sun had warmed things up enough for me to take my fleece off, leaving only 1 polo shirt, 1 ordinary shirt, 1 tank top and my donkey jacket on! We also noticed a lot of towpath walkers, which increased as we got nearer to the junction. A very nice young lad opened the swing bridge for us, and more importantly closed it behind us. The warm sunny weather had brought a good crowd in and around The Swan. We carried on enjoying the warmth of the sunshine, and arrived at Bridge No.55 King’s Bromley, just past King's Bromley marina. As we pulled into the towpath to moor up we both noticed some wood in amongst the woods alongside the towpath, so once we had tied up, we foraged for a stock which will dry out in the hold this summer, then we can bag it up ready for next winter.

Keith.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bridge No.26 to Amington Golf Course

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Amington Golf Course

We set off form our overnight mooring, and soon arrived at the Atherstone flight of locks. Unfortunately for us they were against us, and it wasn’t until we met a boat coming the other way at lock 8, that our luck changed, but not for long as a boat had moved off in front of us at lock 10, oh well, can’t win them all. The sun was having an effect called warmth. There was no room on the towpath opposite the Samuel Barlow at Alvecote marina, so we carried on a short distance to just before the pipeline bridge, and moored up. My back was giving me jip so I need to rest it.

Keith.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rugby to Bridge No.26, Coventry Canal, North of Nuneaton.

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Br 26 Coventry Canal

A longish day for us today, 7 hours 5 minutes, we got a wiggle on. With a good start this morning, and our original destination before Hawkesbury junction was too early to stop I calculated we could clear Nuneaton today. This would avoid having to travel through there on a Saturday, especially if it is as warm as it has been today. We have decided to carry on travelling this weekend, normally we don’t move at weekends, but as we want to get to Whaley Bridge as soon as we can, we will press on regardless. As we approached Tuttle Bridge No.23, at the northern end of Nuneaton, we came across this.

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As we approached it we could see the orange marker buoys, and I pulled over to the towpath side of the obstruction. Not a good idea, as we rode over something very substantial under the water, probably the rest of this boat. What is marked with the buoys has probably drifted away from the towpath and now sits in the middle of the cut.

Just as we approached the remains of Bridge No.26 something substantial wrapped itself around the prop, so we pulled into the towpath just after the bridge ‘ole. After quite a fight with the boat pole, and several small chunks of heavy plastic sheeting later, the bulk of the sheeting finally gave way.

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With all that effort, I decided to moor up just around the corner, before Bridge No.27 and Springwood Haven Marina home of Valley Cruisers, which is more or less where I had intended to moor anyway, with excellent views across the fields from our galley windows.

Keith.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bridge 88 to Rugby

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Rugby

A slightly earlier start this morning, at 7:40am, and soon we were working our way down Hillmorton locks. at the middle pair BW staff were working on repairing the gates on lock 4, on the towpath side. We know most of the staff working there, and had a quick chat with them before proceeding. Steve Morgan was there, and it was a golden opportunity to thank him personally for obtaining the required permission for locating our post-box at Union Wharf.

We arrived and moored up at Broughton Park, where “Gerald No.13” was moored, and as we were tying up, Roy and Thomas came along and we had a good natter. Jo and I then set off to do some shopping at Maplins (two 3.5mm plugs and in-line sockets for the small solar panels which power the led lights in the cabins which we previously bought at the same store at the end of last year), Currys & PC World, (32Gb USB Stick for backing up our ever increasing stock of photos) and Pets at Home (new harness for Marmite, hers has gone missing). We also had lunch at Pizza Hut, their buffet lunch, all you can eat for £6.99 each, and very yummy it was too.

We returned to the boat with our shopping, and the clothes we had stripped off as the air temperature rose. We had a coffee before topping up with food shopping at Tescos. We bumped into Roy again, inside Tescos.

Keith.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Braunston Top Lock to Bridge 88, North of Braunston.

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We joined forces with John and Caroline on “Vanyar” and headed down Braunston locks, with Jo and John sharing alternate locks.

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The moorings below The Admiral Nelson only had one boat moored there, and the moorings between the first Braunston marina entrance and Butchers Bridge, were empty, and this is where John and Caroline pulled in to visit the Wharf House Narrowboats chandlery.

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We said our farewells at the bottom lock. The lack of moored boats throughout Braunston is a good indication that the new enforcement officer is working well. We pulled into the Midland Chandlers mooring, as I wanted to pick up a few bits & pieces. We then set off up the Oxford Canal, to the mooring just passed Bridge No.88, which was well timed as the much needed rain had started, albeit light drizzle, but hopefully it will turn into something more substantial.

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Keith.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crick to Braunston Top Lock

Braunston Top Lock

We set off from Crick with the intention to meet up with John and Caroline on “Vanyar” to go down Watford locks. They were moored just the other side of the bridge, opposite ABNB Narrowboats. They were almost ready to set off as we passed by them. We got to Watford locks and pulled in to the sanitary station, emptied out and topped up. As we were doing this, Vanyar arrived so we helped them down the first lock, and followed on behind. Workmen were busy tarmacking the towpath from the Motorway bridge above the locks to end of the moorings at the bottom of the locks.

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Proper tarmac, not like the loose gravel that was used at Foxton. John and Caroline pulled in at the bottom of the locks to take on water, so we passed them again and headed for Braunston, where we both moored up above the top lock, ready to descend the flight together tomorrow morning.

Keith.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Welford Junction to Crick

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A good trip this morning, we even passed some boats today, one going the same direction! but very slowly. John off of “Vanyar” knocked on the boat and we discussed meeting up to pass through Watford and Braunston locks together.

Keith.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Welford Lock to Welford Junction

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Welford Junction 2

A busy morning today. As Jo had let the boatman's cabin stove go out last night, she decided to cleaned the chimney flue whilst it was cold. I went off along the towpath with a dustbin liner and litter picker and picked up a bagful of rubbish, from the lock to the first marina entrance. We then went to see if Les was at the dry dock, which he wasn’t, but whilst we were chatting to Neil, Les turned up, so we were able to book our next dry docking for March 2013. I also briefly discussed getting some removable bulkheads made to keep our loose coal in place rather than the bags of coal we are using at present. The idea I have had is to make some strips of steel 6” wide, and long enough to span the hold, with alternate small pieces to lock each one to the one below, same as stop planks work. It will be easy to demonstrate with a photo once they are built so you will have to wait with bated breath until then. This should make a strong removable bulkhead, which is light enough to handle, and easy to store. We will discuss it  further with Les later in the year when we return.

With everything sorted with Les, we decided to move back out to the junction for the rest of the weekend. We managed to get moored up just before the fine drizzle turned into the predicted and much needed rain.

Keith.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Foxton Locks to Welford

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Welford Lock

Last night Jo and I joined Ian and Irene from nb “Free Spirit” at Bridge 61 for a couple of beers and a good chat, we had lots to talk about and not enough time!

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This morning we set off for Welford. The ice had cleared, that is until just after North Kilworth when we came across just a few patches of very thin ice. The ice although still only thin was more prevalent along the Welford arm up to the lock, which we passed through, then winded and moored up just above it.

We went to see Les at the dry dock to book our next docking, but he wasn’t there, but Neil reckoned he would be there tomorrow, so we will stop here overnight and try to see him tomorrow.

After lunch we took a walk up to Welford reservoir.

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There is certainly more water than when we visited in May last year, but according to the rather new looking depth gauges it is still 4.1 metres down.

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The right-hand photo is the rather sad gauges last May, at least the new ones are more readable. The water back then was well below the bottom gauge and therefore was indeterminate as to how low it actually was.

Keith.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Foxton Locks, via Debdale

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Foxton 2

We set off this morning passing through Foxton junction heading for Debdale Wharf for some diesel. Crunching some more ice, but nowhere near as thick as yesterday, and there were large stretches which were clear of ice, especially where the wind was able to waft unhindered across the canal. My first attempt to enter the marina failed miserably as a coal bag went onto the prop. Jo spotted it but it was too late to avoid it. The attempt aborted I brought Hadar alongside the towpath and removed the offending coal bad from the prop with our short pole with a spike, a lot warmer than going down through the weed hatch. My second attempt was thwarted by the strengthening wind. However, my third attempt was successful. 100 litres of diesel later, and following a quick chat with Alan off of “Pengalarty” we returned to Foxton locks and proceeded up them, accompanied by visitors to the site, what with it being half term, and despite a chill still in the air, there were a few. Having got to the top of the locks and moored up, we walked back down to Bridge 61 for coffee and baguettes, which were very warming inside.

Keith.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Market Harborough to Foxton Locks

Breaking Ice Feb 2012

With the thaw well on it’s way we set off this morning. First we had to wind at the basin, which was virtually clear of ice, and pulled into the sanitary station, for the usual. As per normal for here, the ice got thicker as we cleared Harborough, varying from between 1” to 3” thick all the way to Foxton Locks. It took us 4 hours to complete the 5½ mile journey.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hallaton Helmet

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Jo and I took a walk down into town this morning to visit the Market Harborough Museum to see the Hallaton Helmet. The museum is free to visit, and although it is quite small, there is quite a large display regarding the Hallaton Treasure, which includes the helmet and the coins.

Keith.

Snowbound and frozen in Again in Harborough.

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Just some of the photos that Jo has taken whilst we are frozen in at Market Harborough.

Keith.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Bunting for Sale

 

We now stock a range of different bunting for dressing boats for rallies and festivals.

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Red_White_Blue

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More details can be found on our business website.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Snow in Harborough

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This was this mornings view from Hadar’s galley window as I was cooking mushrooms on toast for breakfast. It struck me as very much how a scene in Canada or the USA would look. As I have never been there I am probably wrong, but that is how it looked to me. Jo went out early this morning with her camera, and no doubt she will be posting some of the photos on her BLOG this later this morning. I might have to pinch some of them for this BLOG later, when she isn’t looking!

Keith.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Foxton Village to Market Harborough

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Harborough 2

We took advantage of the frosty cloudless morning to walk along the towpath back to Foxton Locks to have a coffee in Bridge 61. We then returned via the bridleway south of the canal, which comes out on the road just up the hill from the church. After lunch we waited for our Tesco delivery, which arrived at about 2:45, and once loaded onto the boat we set off for Harborough. There was a thin layer of ice on the canal as we neared the swing bridge, which Jo opened. Once through the swing bridge Jo set about stowing the shopping away, whilst I ploughed through the thin ice, which was now getting up to ½” thick. There was plenty of mooring space on the towpath outside Union Wharf, but we had to move along all the spaces to be able to actually moor up close enough to the bank so that Paddy can get off when he needs to go for his walk.

We have added some new items to our products that we sell.

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These are coasters which are made from flexible non-slip rubber.

 

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These are places mats, also made from flexible non-slip rubber, which could also be used as a mouse mat.

 

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And these are key rings.

We have a stock of them on-board Hadar, it will be interesting to see how popular they are this summer.

Keith.