Saturday, May 28, 2016

More room

There is less space in a narrowboat than in a land based property!  So to make more room in the boat you need cupboards and shelves!  We asked Roy Freeman at Fenny Compton marina to help.  We had found his card back at Cropredy and have seen his work fitting out a boat. Excellent quality.
This cupboard is in the galley, another is in the bathroom and we now have a few shelves in existing cupboards.  So when I have varnished it all much stuff can be put away out of sight!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Up on the summit

Moving on down the South Oxford proved to be an obstacle course at bridge 107! The canal has a double bend to get under the straight road. Unbelievably a boater had moored on one of the blind bends! Room only for one boat to pass and of course another boat came round the bend. Toot, toot and instant reverse. We never hit and a lady popped her head out of the side door and just smiled! I had to ignore her, otherwise I would have said something nasty! As we continued under the bridge several other boats were traveling through so we warned them about the obstruction.

Going up the Napton flight the next day was enjoyable during the sunny day with several boats going up n down. We stopped at the mast eventually. You know, it is in front of you as you get on the summit at Marston Doles. It is not that far away but the canal twists and turns so much that it take ages to get there! At least our TV reception was perfect there.

Next day we stopped for water at The Wharf Inn. They have a small shop for provisions and a laundry worth stopping for.
Now we are waiting outside Fenny Compton marina for a minor refit. Having lived on the boat now for 35 days we need more cupboards and shelves and a cross bed.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Down to Braunston

As we passed Del n Al we took pictures of each other!  We were all pleased with each other to be back on the waterways.

We moved on through the bent Braunston tunnel, following a slow coach to the locks and hoping to get help on the way down. The skipper of the boat was a single hander but quite agile. Several boats were on the way up with help from a volunteer. Then near the bottom another volunteer lent a hand.

Found a space to more by Butcher's bridge as Braunston filled up during the day. Getting TV is a bit of a lottery and our reception was touch and go. At least the phones were better than they were at Crick.

We decided next day to get the bus into Daventry. Number 12 it is and you get it up at the church. Luckily we were able to catch the 9:40. A completely different route now. It does not pass the entrance to the marina. To return you get the Number 12 every 2 hours at 10 past 12. Enough time to walk round the shops.

We decided to move on out to use the facilities on the way. No luck at the Elsan as it was blocked. CRT tend to blame the boaters! Luckily we were not desperate and went on to Bridge 99 where TV reception and internet was excellent.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I don't believe it

Our trip has been mostly enjoyable being able to travel the waterways again. We have spent much time finding our friends and celebrating in the local public houses. The Leicester line has once again proved to be one of the best with many places to stop on the way to Foxton. But now it is time for us to head back the way we came.

We have plans to add shelves in cupboards, add cupboards in the galley and bathroom and change the bed to be across the boat. The longer you live on a boat the more ideas you have to improve the accommodation. Hopefully we have a boat fitter to help us when we get to Fenny Compton.

So after another meal at the Red Lion in Crick, previously with Terry and Myra and now with Dave n Lyn we moved off. Through the wet tunnel and down the Watford locks with many volunteers making for a quick decent.

Waiting for our turn at Watford.  The noisy M1 is just behind us.
Then on to more just short of Norton Jn. We were just tying up when Molly ran off and wanted to get on the next boat! She got told off by Ann and moments later called by no less than Del and Al. How wonderful to see them after such a long time. Much has happened to us and them since we last met.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Power management

The boat runs on diesel and generates electrical power that is stored in batteries. We have been on board for over 26 days and found that at least three hours running was required to keep the three batteries charged up between 8 AM and 8 PM.

Having had no less than five batteries and solar panels on our previous boat I was concerned about a certain lack of power.

Those early days in April and May 2016 had cold mornings and evenings and occasional damp days. We were obliged to have the boiler on for many hours each day. Not only did this consume electrical power it burnt diesel along with the engine at a rate of 0.8 litres an hour.

One of our batteries demanded water most days and finally got hot and boiled. The charging voltage had dropped to 13! Now it seems that we had been coping with a bad set of batteries. Often dropping below 12V in the morning and evening.

We were at Foxton and my friend Terry helped to disconnect the failed item. It was fortunate that we were not far from North Kilworth Wharf where they had batteries and an engineer on hand to fit a new set of three 110AH batteries. Always best to replace them all.

We moved on to Bridge 33 on the Leicester Arm near Hemplow Hills and stayed for the weekend. It was warm and sunny so I set up our temporary solar panel and watched the F1 race from Spain. Even after having the heating on before breakfast and not running the engine the voltage has remained above 12.

Friday, May 13, 2016


 Boy and his horse at Foxton
 Our boats at Foxton
It had happened before at Great Heywood many years ago.  Right place right time.  Music at Shugburgh Hall then.  This time we were at Foxton.  Lunch with friends at the Foxton Inn where a jazz band entertained us with dancers while we ate our meal.

Monday, May 09, 2016


We found friends near Welford and went down/up the arm.  (one lock takes the boat up).
 Managed to get Plaidy and Moore to Life tucked in the end mooring. 
Then went to the Wharf Inn for Lunch.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Moving on

After helping our friends on No Problem and Seyella down two locks we moved ours on to the Leicester arm.
Near Balls bridge

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Going up at Braunston

We had a walk up to the shop and butcher.  Then to the marina for the washing.  Thanks to Sue for sharing the load.
Next day we took the boat up the locks with lock partners on a boat called 'Faith'.
Once through the tunnel and moored at Norton Junction we all paid a visit to the pub.  Thanks to Geoff for the drinks.  Waiting now for Tesco food!  After that our friends go south while we head north.  It will be a sad departure.