Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New boats and places to go

Despite all the problems going on in 'canal politics' there does seem to be a popular demand for new boats on the waterways. When you look in the canal magazines there is always a new boat described with quality features. There are many more marinas being planned and built.
Being back on the Oxford canal we have seen much more activity with boaters moving up and down. Even the occasional work boat with diesel and coal for sale. On up the Claydon flight to the summit pound. Many boats on the move on a dry day after so much rain. Join the queue at the bottom lock with three in front and others arriving behind. Much talk about being on a canal and thankful that we don't need to travel on a river, because they are all in extreme flood conditions. Several boats were coming down through the locks so it was good to pass each other leaving and entering.

Finally reaching the top but finding it very shallow despite there being plenty of water. It is brown with churned up sediment and in dire need of a good dredging. 15 miles of lock free canal to Marston Doles and the Napton locks.

Slow going with the boat dragging along the bottom especially on the many bends.

We stopped for the night three miles past Fenny Compton where we found the first firm deep edge to moor up to.

Sadly the tow path is in a sorry state. Not really walk able with so much uncut vegetation. I got the shears out and cut down the tall grass and nettles to establish a clear patch where we can get on and off the boat.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The summer rushes

It is now midsummer - the longest day. Boaters, holiday hirers and owners alike, are moving their boats about on the canals. They seem to get away early and stop late. Just wish they could slow down to 'tick over' when passing moored boats. We have given up shouting "slow down please". We just thank those that that do go slowly by, respecting the canal and not making a wash.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Moving with three boats

Seems we have a reputation. Our 'Blogging' friends on the internet have been making comments about seeing 'these two boats together', Moore 2 Life and No Problem. Currently joined by Tara, the new name for Sue n Vic's first boat. Each lock takes about an hour to get them all through one at a time, helped occasionally by the crew of other boats going in the opposite direction. Despite this delay at locks we seem to make up time between them. We have used 'Alex Ratchet' when in locks near Cropredy. Alex made this prototype and gave it to Sue. Then started making several to sell. Once mentioned on Sue's blog the demand for them grew! The ratchet does make the stiff paddles easier to lift.

Wooden floors
We want a wooden floor rather than carpet. Our two animals produce a lot of loose fur and inevitably the towpath grit and dirt get in the boat so the carpet tiles have suffered. Despite a good hard brushing they still looked grubby. All the carpet tiles have gone exposing the wooden floor beneath. "That is not good enough" says Ann, "I want a 'real' floor made from oak planks". We got some at B & Q in Banbury. The store was near the canal so we were able to deliver it ourselves 'door to boat' with the help of our friend Vic. A large quantity of heavy planks to be spread around the boat preventing it from leaning over. Now it has become an obstacle course inside the boat. Spent a productive few days laying and gluing them together at the aft end of the boat. This will be 'work in progress' for a while yet.