Lived on-board Hadar

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Stoke Bruerne to Cosgrove.

Monday 23rd March.

Stoke Bruerne to Cosgrove, 7.1 miles 8 locks.

Before I begin on today’s ramble. I am really pleased to say that I have now got a copy of ‘Idle Women’ by Susan Woolfitt. Stoke Bruerne Museum shop has a few copies. The book had came back into print a couple of weeks ago, along with ‘The Amateur Boatwoman’ by Eily Gayford. It is a book I have been trying to find. May I thank all of those people who offered to lend me their copy, so that I could read it.Our morning began with the alarm clock going off at 6am. We were making an early start along with Roy on NB Gerald No13. I took Paddy for his walk before we prepared Hadar for the off. There was no quiet way of passing the moored boats, because both Hadar’s and Geralds No13’s engines are thumpers. Keith and Roy manoeuvred the boats to the first lock, whilst I set it for them.Keith roped both the boats together at the bow and stern, whilst Roy switched his engine off. We now had them operating as a pair, which looked fabulous. Keith was really in his element steering the boats down through the flight, whilst Roy and I lock-wheeled. I think it bought back good memories from his teenage years when he worked working boat Pisces down in London.Roy and I were really fortunate that some of the locks already had their gates open, ready to accept the pair, others were almost full of water, meaning we only had to open one paddle and then push the gates open.We did notice that the wind was picking up as we progressed down the flight, which did not pose a problem with the boats breasted up. Having completed the flight we moored up at the Sanitary Station below the last lock to empty our toilet cassette and Roy wanted to take on water. We untied the boats and Keith and I moved off just ahead of Gerald No13 to head for Cosgrove. The wind at times was blowing so strongly that it would take my breath away. It is just as well Hadar was loaded down with coal, because it helped to keep her on the straight and narrow. If she had been empty she would have been blown around a fair bit.
We arrived at Cosgrove lock. I set the lock allowing Hadar in first, Gerald No13 then followed. So after a fabulous mornings cruising, we moored up on the 14 days moorings, with the wind blowing a hooley. I had noticed that the back cabin stove was smoking a fair bit, but thought it maybe due to with the wind. I decided to check the chimney for any blockage, and low and behold it was slightly blocked. After giving it a good clean the smoke is coming out of the chimney as it should. Everyone burning coal should always check their chimneys regularly. I tend to do ours once every couple of weeks.

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