Lived on-board Hadar

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Radio Broadcast Live from onboard Hadar

Go on-line tomorrow, New Year's Day, via between 3.00pm and 7.00pm GMT.

We can't promise anything but the local radio station here in Market Harborough, HFM, may be doing a live broadcast from onboard Hadar.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Still in Market Harborough.

We hope that everyone enjoyed a happy and safe Christmas. We like you all are on the countdown to 2010 and hope that it is kind to us, our friends and family.

We had a quiet Christmas onboard. The high light was having Christmas dinner cooked for us by the chef at The Union Inn. We enjoyed a five course meal, which included the good old Turkey. The chef certainly did us and all the others eating at the Union Inn proud. It was so nice not to have to spend all morning cooking the dinner, for it to be polished off in a couple of minutes and then to have all the washing up to do. The rest of the day was spent watching Christmas TV and picking at nibbles. It has to be said that Christmas Day TV has not been that impressive, maybe the New Years Day TV will be better.
We are still frozen in at Market Harborough. There are signs that the ice is thawing, but because we need to wind in the basin, which is still frozen solid, we are going nowhere at the moment. The basin is frozen, but it is nowhere near hard enough to walk on and yet people have allowed their dogs to go out on the ice and on Christmas Eve, one man and his dog ( I feel a program coming on) actually walked across the basin and thought it fun. I think he was an idiot, but hey that is just my opinion. One things certain if he had gone under, there would have been no getting him out in the dark of night.
This morning I walked Paddy along the towpath to see if there was any progress of thawing further up the canal and there is not.
Talking of the towpath. On Boxing Day the towpath was like glass. We managed to take on some water and whilst doing so I watched in dread and horror as people out for a Boxing Day walk, slipped and slid their way alongside our boat. On a couple of occasions, from inside the boat we heard people actually slide into our boat, it was the only thing that saved them from sliding into the canal. Whilst waiting for the water tank to finish filling, I actually advised some people not to continue their walk, because it was far too dangerous. Those that did continue, soon came back saying that they had thought better of it. Thankfully at the moment the towpath is much improved.
So here we stay for the time being. I will keep you updated on here or you can visit out Facebook page. Have a lovely day and stay safe out there.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Foxton to Marktet Harborough.

Hadar set off on an epic journey yesterday morning, to get to Market Harborough to deliver coal to boaters. The 5.5 miles would on a normal day take in the region of 1 hour 50 minutes, but this was not a normal day.
The canal was well and truly frozen with a dusting of snow topping it off. We set off breaking ice as we made our way to Foxton Swing Bridge, which was an absolute pig to move. We had to use the boat to open and close the bridge, because man power was never going to shift the thing. I am no weakling, but I could not move the darn thing. Keith used ropes to make the job easier. We have reported the problem to British Waterways, as it is now a real issue for anyone trying to get to and from Market Harborough. It was playing up before the freeze and now the ice has compounded the problem.
Once we cleared the swing bridge, we were breaking ice up to 2 inches thick, which meant it was slow going in places.Hadar did us proud and we eventually arrived at Market Harborough some 6 hours and 40 minutes later. It was the most incredible days cruising. We became a source of entertainment as people walking their dogs, or just walking took out their phone camera's to take photos of us breaking ice. I don't suppose it is something they see everyday. Having arrived at the Market Harborough moorings, we cleared the ice between the mooring and the boat, so that we could get Hadar in to the bank. By the time we had tied up it was well and truly dark and we were both feeling shattered. This will now be our home until after Christmas, as we cannot turn around as the basin is frozen and we are having our Christmas dinner out this year.
Keith and I would like to thank everyone for reading our blog.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. We look forward to 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Market Harborough to Foxton

It was fantastic to wake up this morning, to snow falling in Market Harborough. Paddy loved his walk in the snow, which was a little scary under foot, because the snow was covering frozen puddles. I nearly landed on my behind a few times. Before setting off we made a coal delivery to one of the boats on the towpath moorings. Having wrapped up in all our winter clothing, we left our mooring, with the snow falling gently. It was not long before we were in the middle of a snowstorm. Keith could have done with windscreen wipers on his eyeballs. He did look very festive covered in snow. At no point was he cold though, as he had the heat from the back cabin stove travelling up his legs.
We got to the Foxton Swing Bridge and had real problems getting it open, which has been an issue for us on a couple of occasions. So Keith used the bow to push the bridge open. Closing it had been fine, until today when no amount of pushing would shift the bridge. So Keith had to reverse Hadar against the half shut bridge to help it on its way. We have reported it to BW, but not sure they can do much at the moment with the weather conditions.
We arrived at Foxton after cruising for a couple of hours and moored up in front of Ann and Kev on NB Endeavour, they had left Market Harborough a few minutes before us.
We could not resist walking up the locks in the snow, to see if the work has been completed. We were greeted by a winter wonderland and Gerald the Lock Keeper, who was in the process of filling the pounds and locks with water.
We have no idea how long Gerald had been working out in the snow, but I would think it takes quite sometime to fill the flight and its side ponds, but he seemed to be enjoying it in the snow. We were the only ones brave enough to be out in the snowstorm.We love the snow, so to have this much and to be able to cruise in it was just wonderous. There was some ice on the canal, but not enough to worry us and it was patchy. Having had a chat with Gerald and taken these photographs, we called into the Bridge 61 pub for a coffee, where we found Ann and Kev having a drink. It was nice and warm in the bar as Tony had logs burning on the fire. Having nattered with Ann and Kev we ventured back to the boat.We are now at Foxton for the weekend. We have a few people who want coal over the next couple of days, so we will be making deliveries over the weekend. I am hoping for more snow, so I can get some festive photographs of Hadar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is back at Market Harborough.

No one can have failed to have noticed that it has got colder, and of course Christmas is now just around the corner. The weather forecasters are saying snow is coming. We have heard from others that it has already arrived down South. We are hoping it comes to us on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal, because we love the snow. Last winter I was like a child all over again. So I say bring it on wooooo hooooo.
Today we have moved from Bridge 14 and have cruised the 1.2 miles into Market Harborough Basin, where we will be until our coal delivery arrives tomorrow. So if the snow is coming our way, could it just wait until our coal arrives from Hills Coal Merchants as we are getting low. We want to make sure we have enough to last us over Christmas and the New Year. Already people have been coming along to collect their coal, just in case the weather should take a turn downward.
We have taken the sheeting ropes off of the hold. They are now getting a hot wash to get rid of the green which has gathered on them over the past few months. We are also going food shopping for Christmas. We will get the bulk of it done today, and then just have bits and bobs to get on Christmas Eve, as I hate food shopping close to Christmas, because it gets to manic and people get rude.
Hope everyone is keeping warm and cosy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Foxton to Old Union Canal Society Moorings, Bridge 14.

We cruised to the Old Union Society Moorings Bridge 14 in light drizzle all the way. The bright spot of the cruise was given by the Kingfishers which scooted ahead of us all the way from Foxton. This will be our mooring for the next couple of days.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back at Foxton.

After what was a fabulous nights sleep. We were awake at 6am drinking coffee in bed. The only sounds we could hear, were a Tawny Owl and the ticking of our clock. Outside it was heavy with fog and frost. With there being no need to hurry, we did not set off until just gone 10 am. All was quiet, nothing was stirring and were certainly no other boats about.
Having done 2.6 miles we are now back at Foxton Junction for the weekend. So if you need any coal, please come and pay us a visit. I have just put a casserole pan full of mince beef curry in the back cabin stove, which will keep us going for a couple of days. Marmite and Paddy are out on the back counter of the boat. I can always tell when people are about outside, because Paddy's tail wags madly. If the weathers good, they will both spend a lot of time on the back counter. The walkers can have a treat with the smell of the curry wafting out of the back cabin. Maybe that will make them hungry enough to go and eat at the Foxton Locks Inn or The Bridge 61 pub.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kilby Bridge to Smeaton.

We were up early this morning for a 7am coal drop off at Kilby Bridge. We then enjoyed a fantastic morning's cruising from Kilby Bridge to near Smeaton, 7.3 miles and 12 locks. The morning was made even more enjoyable, because we shared the locks with Ann and Kev on NB Endeavour. After lunch, Keith and I got a few boat jobs done, which for me included cleaning the back stoves chimney, as the fire had gone out. Keith added another coat of red paint to our new water can. I even restacked the coal in the hold, as we are expecting another delivery of coal next week wooo hooo.
Tomorrow we are heading to Foxton for the weekend. So if your in need of some coal and are in the area, come and pay us a visit.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fleckney to Kilby Bridge.

Having spent a peaceful night at Fleckney. We left our mooring at 9.05am on a sunny, chilly morning. It was really tranquil, not even the wind was present. We were definitely not short of water on this jaunt to Kilby Bridge. It was pouring over the lock gates at many of the 12 locks. Roy who had been down to below Crane Lock with his tug and pan, had very kindly left the first five locks in our favour (Thanks Roy). This section of locks are not the kindest of locks, due to the gates being poorly balanced. I spent a fair amount of time walking around the gates to make sure they shut behind us, as we want to make sure we conserve water, whilst Foxton Locks are shut. The exercise does me the world of good. I managed over 5,000 steps this morning wooo hooo. The scenery on this section is absolutely wonderful, and at this time of the year you can see for miles. But what caught our eye, was this fascinating cloud formation. It got me wondering.
Is this what the highway to heaven looks like???With there being no wind at all, everything around us was still, including the water. I know there is a song in this title somewhere LOL 'A bridge over calm water'. We enjoyed the 4 hour cruise along 5.2 miles of pretty canal, taking in 12 locks for the exercise. We did not see another boat moving, it is all very quiet.

Monday, December 07, 2009

On our way to Kilby Bridge.

Having been back to Market Harborough to drop off coal to some of the boaters there on Friday. Keith and I treated ourselves to lunch out at the Union Inn, which was as always, very scrummy. I can recommend their 'Old English' Cider. Keith has taken a shine to 'The Old Speckled Hen' beer. After lunch we walked down to the town to do a bit of shopping before watching the switching on of the Christmas Lights. The Market Harborough Christmas event is really very good. Shops stay open till late. There is plenty of entertainment and food on offer for everyone. it was reckoned that 10,000 people came out to support the town, over the evening. Harborough FM the local radio station were on hand to play christmas music and local youngster Alex Barnes from Fleckney helped to turn on the Christmas lights. Alex who is 6 years old has had life saving proton therapy in the USA to treat a brain tumour. He was joined on stage by Eastenders Louisa Lytton (No idea of her characters name as we do not watch soaps) and other stars who are starring in panto in Northampham. Keith and I have become real fans of Harborough FM and were delighted to meet up with some of the DJ's, which included Dave Smith, who is really wonderful and always makes me laugh with some of the things he says. The whole evening was very well organised and entertaining, however I am not very good in large crowds of people, so after having a coffee and mince pie, we headed back to the boat.
Saturday morning, I headed down to Sainsbury's to do a food shop and left Keith to sell coal. He definitely got the better end of the deal, because Sainsbury's was chaos. Having struggled my way around the store, trying not to get cross with people who clearly had trolley rage. I then almost found it impossible to get a taxi back to the boat. I had visions of me having to trudge up the hill with a huge rucksack and four bags. Finally on the fourth attempt to find a taxi company who were not fully booked up, I got offered a ride if I was prepared to wait 10 minutes. I was not about to turn it down and sure enough after 10 minutes my taxi arrived and I was transported up the hill to Union Wharf. Keith helped me get the shopping on the boat, where I unpacked it all and stored it away. Keith had been busy whilst i was away selling coal, so it had been a very productive morning.
After some lunch, we fired Hadar up and set off back to Foxton for the weekend. Over the weekend we went to the Foxton Inclined Plane Museum on Sunday where they had a Christmas gathering with band music to raise funds for the Inclined Plane. Afterwards we called into the Bridge 61 pub for a coffee, where there was yet more entertainment, this time it was a folk singer and his guitar. I was not afraid to join in with a sing along, although I did see all the ducks take flight outside. It has been said that I sound like a cat crying LOL.
With the weekend done and dusted, this morning (Monday) we left our mooring and set off for Kilby Bridge. It began as a nice morning, ideal for cruising, but as we approached Fleckney dark clouds were rolling in behind us and the wind was gusting, so we decided to moor up having only done 4.7 miles. I had put lunch on the back cabin stove, when I saw a tug pulling up alongside. It was our friend Roy. I climbed out through the engine room doors and was immediately asked "Have you got the kettle on". Onboard Hadar the kettle is always on. We enjoyed a quick chat and a coffee with Roy, who then had to leave as he was supposed to be working.
The rest of our day has been spent inside the boat, as it has been raining constantly since Roy left us. As I type this he has just gone past us going in the opposite direction having dropped off the pan below Cranes lock. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas arrives onboard Hadar.

For Keith and I, the 1st of December signifies the beginning of the festive season, so today we have put up our tree and decorations. I now feel as if I am in a Christmas mood. Over the past couple of days we have moved around a little, but are heading back to Foxton tomorrow as we are expecting a visitor. We will then be back in Market Harborough for coal deliveries and a food shop.