Monday, December 28, 2015

And now the floods

We are so relieved to have been able to get Moore 2 Life safe to Cropredy Marina.  It was such a difficult trip and now we know that the river Cherwell is in flood.  That would have stopped us in our tracks and seriously spoiled our Christmas.

I have reported our difficulties to CRT and NABO.  The charity are more likely to respond when us boaters report problems, or so I have been told.  So lets all try that tactic and see what happens.  We could also make contact with our 'boater' reps in CRT !

As it was we were able to have Christmas Lunch cooked by Tracy when we went to play with our grand children.  They are growing up fast with their technical toys.  The next party was at our place a few days later when my brother Brod with Annie, Chris Tracy and the boys came round.  Ann and I provided a buffet for them all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Driving home for Christmas

We got back to the boat on the Sunday before Christmas.  Another car load of stuff to find space on the boat.  Once unpacked we went to the cafe at the boat yard for a relaxing tea n cake.  Ann decided to bring ready meals for our first trip.

It was cool in the boat so on went the rads to warm up while the engine charged the batteries.  We wondered how much diesel we had in the tank.  Ann found a ready made dipstick which indicated more than half full, that should be enough for the trip.  There was not much water in the tank up front when we dipped our own stick in.  We had decided to use a couple of jerry cans for water.  At the end of the trip it has to be all pumped out for the winter months.

Next day we took the car up to Cropredy marina and got a taxi back.  That plan went well in the warm comfortable taxi.  Our first problem was getting the boat away from the boat yard mooring!  There were so many boats in the way.  It took a gradual process of push an shove to get us on our way.
Ann at Allen's Lock

The lift bridges down this way presented the next problem.  Many had blown down in the wind.  Normally held up with chains anchored to the ground.  The chains had broken and were too short to reach.  I was obliged to fetch the boat hook to reach up to the chain.  By now the wind and rain was testing our resolve to carry on.  Then we entered that deep lock at Somerton.  Ann was doing her best to shut the large single heavy bottom gate.  I had to use the boat hook to help prise the gate shut while down on the boat.  It was quite a struggle.

This was Hell on earth but we battled on determined to get at least half way just past Nell Bridge.  At least the wind had calmed down and there was some blue sky.  We were cold, wet and tired.  On again with the rads to get warm n dry.  We consumed one of those handy ready meals, what joy!

On Tuesday we set off after breakfast under a cloudy sky.  Please don't rain.  There were two more locks before Banbury with those heavy single bottom gates and one of them demanded the use of our boat hook again.

Chas at Slat Mill Lock

We met Maffi in Banbury and he kindly lifted the bridge for us.  He is the first boater we know to see our Moore to Life.  Thanks to him for lending us a third mooring rope.

Continuing on to Cropredy was relatively uneventful.  Once in the marina we got the diesel tank filled for the winter months.  They had kept our original mooring empty for us and we moved the boat there and tied up.

Next day it took a while to shut all the boat systems down for winter.  The water tank pumped out in ten minutes so it was just as well we had those jerry cans!  I plugged in the land line and were thankful that the charger put energy back in the batteries!  After packing the car, emptying the cassette, turning off the gas and electric we were on our way home.

Happy Christmas to all our readers.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Back on a boat

It has been at least four months without a boat for us.  All our stuff came off Moore 2 Life in August when she got sold.  It was all stored in boxes at home.
At last we arrived at Oxford Narrowboats to see and inspect our next Moore to Life. Our grandson Ben suggested having the 'smiley'.  A car full of our stuff was then transferred to the boat.  Now at least it is back in the right place.  But during the following hours and days things moved around to try different situations.

The new Beta engine and batteries were exercised for a few hours to provide hot water and a charge.  The Eberspacher heated up the saloon and cabin.  All the boat systems were checked out intermately.  Being an 'ex hire', pumps were made easy to get at and change quickly.  The majority of lights are LEDs.  A simple switch panel enabled the switching on and off power to the lights, pumps, fridge and inverter / charger.

Next day we decided to set off to Banbury in the car.  Most of the parking spaces were full and we were about to give up when we found one space.

The public were able to to go  down inside and were told about the canal history and how a lock works.
Banbury lock had been fully emptied for inspection and cleaned out. Many items were recovered including a pile of mobile phones!

Chris, Tracy and our grand children came up on the Sunday to see the boat.  Chris installed a volt meter next to that simple switch panel.   Previously I was checking the power at a light fitting!  A cafe at the boat yard provided a good menu for lunch.

We returned home on Tuesday in order to prepare for the Christmas season and write this blog!  The mobile signal was non existent at the boat yard!  Now we plan to go back to Lower Heyford on Sunday 20 th December with another load of stuff, take the car to Cropredy and get a lift back to the boat yard.   Setting off on a trip to move the boat back to Cropredy on the Monday.