Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn leaves, heading ‘home’

While at our mooring near Heyford Wharf ‘Epiphany’ with John and Fiona arrived, now free to explore the waterways.

We had another blogger meeting with No Problem also nearby. They have left the Kennet & Avon wondering about its lack of care and maintenance that threatens its very existence. We had spent many years on that canal watching it improve dramatically after a huge donation from the lottery fund and it would be such a waste of that public money to let it fall apart.
A slow trip to Wilton through the autumn tints, the golden leaves falling in to the canal and clogging the prop while passing slowly many groups of moored boats on the way. Diesel at Wilton Marina was selling for 79 pence a litre and we also got some goodies from their well stocked chandlery. Then it was time to tackle all those wide locks all the way up to Norton. Some effort required to work the gates after being spoilt on the rivers where most locks were ‘push button’ operated! And then Moore 2 Life took us through Braunston tunnel while NoProblem took our friends Sue n Vic north with a plan to meet before Christmas.
Braunston has become our canal life ‘home’. We seem to start and end our annual adventures here. As soon as we had arrived, familiar faces walked by the boat. The ‘tow path telegraph’ was activated again. “How is so n so?” “Where have they been this year?” We saw our friends in the Marina and exchanged stories of our adventures.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Change of environment

We are back on the canal system. Through Northampton and up that flight of locks. Apparently British Waterways got called out to replace the water again as a queue of boats gathered at the bottom. Then one boat behind the other progressed through the narrow locks and shallow muddy ditch. Helping each other by opening the bottom paddle after leaving the lock so the next is empty.
We have our memories and pictures of the last 6 months touring the rivers of East Anglia to look back on. But now we look forward to rediscovering the canal system again while heading north and making plans for the next year’s adventures.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On our way again

The waters have calmed down and we are travelling every day now to get off the river Nene.
Wonderful bright sunny days to enjoy cruising up river, some starting off with a mist in the cool October mornings. There have been a few narrowboats moving down stream. The World Conker Championships were being held in Ashton as we left.

Our habit is to travel with No Problem in the mornings, covering around 10 lock miles a day and stopping at our favourite moorings on the way. The afternoon is then free to walk dogs, make jam, and catch up with emails, bloggers and the day’s pictures.
We have been sorting pictures of our travels on the rivers this year and adding them to our website pages. Just updated the ‘Middle Level’ with over 70 views sorted in order from Stanground to Salters Lode.
Thought for the week – What is money without trust? Value is what you pay for.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Waterway Environment

The natural world adapts as the environment changes. Animals will change their habits or move away to a place that suits them. So if the environment becomes unsuitable the animals will leave. And then we will miss them when they are gone.
Boaters on the canals and rivers are the same. If the environment is changed boaters may change their habits or move away. The environment is changing. Not a natural environment but a man made one caused by increased costs and lack of maintenance. Some boaters on limited incomes may well leave the environment and try to sell their boats in a declining market. Some of us may consider reducing exploration of canals and rivers. Will the authorities then realise that they are staving the golden goose?
Meanwhile conditions on the river Nene have caused us to stop moving again. A natural change, after heavy rain the river has risen and increased its flow. The Environment Agency has closed the navigation. We are happier this time being in the company of our friends on No Problem and are able to walk to the shops at Oundle.