Friday, 30 October 2009

Braunston. Staying Put.

We have stayed here today and taken the opportunity to change the oil and filter, also to fix some more little things that, if left would add up to a very big list indeed.

Until tomorrow........................

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Braunston to Braunston. 2 locks. 2 Days.

One set of guests moving off the boat and another two move aboard.

This is our son Lee and his girlfriend Rosie, Lee is 6ft 5ins tall, which we did think was going to be a bit of a problem for him.

Our solution was to tell him to bring an extra pillow to tie to his head whilst wandering about inside the boat.

How helpful are we?

They arrived in the early afternoon which only left a couple of hours chugging to find this idyllic mooring for the night. We had just moored when the coal boat "Gosty Hill" came around that corner, lots of attention seeking waving got them alongside and a full tank of diesel was forthcoming.

The couple who run the boat are two of the nicest people you could wish to meet, a fully laden, seventy foot, one hundred year old working narrowboat and crew would have been some great pictures. Guess who got talking about the engine, amongst other things, and forgot to take even one?

I'm sure we will meet them again.

Wednesday turned out to be a day like this,

and this.

One more, and I'm sure you know what I mean.

Everybody gets a go on the steering, Rosie has sailed Dinghies before so the vagaries of a tiller arm were well under control.

Lee was well away also, you could caption this as... "Bring it on".

We arrived back at Braunston mid afternoon and it was packed again, we found a mooring but Lee & Rosie wanted to get back out into the country as this was far too busy.
This, I must admit, was a little surprising considering their ages, but the canal life must have already seeped in a little bit.

A quick about turn and we were off again, a country mooring in the late afternoon sun and an impromptu game of cards on the roof.

The sun goes down to end this, a great canal day.

They have gone now, like the sun, and the tears are flowing once more.

Until next time................................

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Braunston to Hillmorton. 4 Locks.

We picked our guests up around lunch time on Monday, this was only to be an overnight stay so we thought we would try to show them as much as we could.

A trip to Hillmorton through the locks and back again seemed a good plan.

The sun went down very early on us as the cloud cover was very thick, so we had to moor up within two hours of Braunston. That left us a nice little chug for the morning.

The canal is as busy as a canal can get at the moment, everyone we meet is saying they have never seen it this busy before. That is a line of five boats behind us.

This is the chaos we arrived back to. We had to jump into a line of boats just to get going this morning, normally we would wait until it is clear but after eight boats and more on the way we joined the convoy.

These are our friends Barbara & Wolfgang, who, after their quick jaunt would like to come again for a lot longer,................ we'll see you then.

New guests taken aboard now and off we go again, more about that tomorrow as the connection is the best part of non existant this evening.

Until then.......................................

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Rugby to just outside Braunston. 3 Locks.

We we set off yesterday into a very wet and windy day, our friends will be with us on Monday so we just had to grin and bear it as we needed to get nearer to Braunston.

By the time we had reached Hillmorton Locks the drizzle had turned into a downpour, this created a very wet, bedraggled and none to happy D. Five minutes earlier and we could have pulled over, oh well.

At the top lock the scene had changed dramatically again.

Our plan was to get through the locks and pull in for the night, but as the weather had turned out for the better we plodded on to get ourselves a bit nearer.

All we had to do was watch out for low flying narrow boats along the way.

The late afternoon/early evening sun really made its mark on the fields opposite our mooring. There is so much colour around at the moment you begin to feel a little spoilt by it all. The hire boat companies seem to be enjoying a boom time around here, I can honestly say I have never seen so many boats out and about as this weekend.

While I am sitting here typing this I got the feeling I was being watched through the side door again.

A herd of young bulls, they are soooo inquisitive you get the feeling that they would get aboard if they could.

Braunston again tomorrow.

Until then......................................

Friday, 23 October 2009


We have had two big bits of luck today.

First bit:

After a discussion about the merits of a chain saw as opposed to a Bow saw, we had almost agreed to go back to the shop and buy one, when out of the blue a boat pulled in just in front of us and started chainsawing some logs.

Now,.......and I'm not making this up, he saw we had some logs on our roof and offered to cut them up for us. What would have taken me a good hour or so took him less than five minutes and a lot less work. D was then fully convinced and off to the chainsaw shop we trotted.

Second Bit:

When we arrived it turned out to be ten percent off everything day.

Result!!........I'm so glad we didn't buy it yesterday.

The blue boat on the right is the chainsaw man.

I took this picture though, to show you these five boats that have crammed into this small space, the reason being it is the closest mooring place to Tesco's. If you moor this side it is an extra three minutes walk, some things never change.

This evening has turned out to be really nice, we had a little bit of rain this afternoon but not for long.

Dodging the rain I managed to put my new saw together, it was then that I realised I have got no logs to chop!! the man had done them all earlier.

What can you say???

Until tomorrow..........................

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Just a day of stocking up with the essentials and trying to hunt down a chainsaw.

Petrol or electric? Petrol or electric? Decisions, decisions.

What about a new bigger Bow Saw? asks D.

Quietness is a fine quality in a woman says I.

A snap picture on our way here yesterday, Rugby is over there somewhere.

Wimpey homes are building a huge housing complex opposite the moorings here, advertised as 2,3,4 and 5 bedroom canalside properties.
No sign of them holding back here, although they are not advertising the prices as is the norm on these sites. Do they know an improvement is coming?

On the move again tomorrow.

Until then.................................

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Braunston to Rugby. 3 Locks.

Well, the weather guessers have been at it again.

As we left our mooring today we were told by no less than three other boaters (who were only trying to be helpful) that there is a storm on the way.

Are you sure you are going to risk it? We were asked.

One even opened his side door as we passed him and said he was staying put for the next two days until the storm has passed, he wished us luck when we said we were off to Rugby.

This is the morning we set off into, a bit grey, but its not stormy, you can clearly see the sun through the clouds.

This is the evening of the stormy day. The guessers get paid for this sort of thing and people keep on listening to them. A quick look to the Sky's will often tell them what they need to know.

These boats are all on long term moorings near the water point, they have set themselves up by running a hose along the hedge from the tap, they can all use this without moving their boats..........Simples.

This is a very photographed boat, it has appeared in canal magazines and guides for years, one more picture wont hurt.

this season is fast becoming my favorite time of year.
I did at one time call this the teenager of the seasons because of all the mess it makes with the leaves etc.

Now I don't have to bother clearing up after it, it has turned out to be a very pleasant time.

Chug Chug Chug Chug Chug Chug Chug............... Case proven.

That Fork Lift looks decidedly dodgy to me.
Don't worry me dear, a quick lift here and you will soon be back in the canal.

We are back at Rugby to pick up supplies as we have some friends coming to stay for a few days, this also proved a chance to give Ubique a good run after the fuel problem.

I'm more than glad to say she ran faultlessly all day.

Until next time...........................

Monday, 19 October 2009

Braunston. Still......

This is our fifth day here and to be honest, we are quite enjoying the rest from travelling.

That probably seems a funny thing to say as our life at the moment cannot really be described as stressful, but we have been on the move now (more or less on a daily basis) for nearly eight months and it has turned out to be nice to stop for a while.

This is also a good bit of practice for when the bad weather sets in, the last thing you want is a bit of cabin fever should you get stuck alongside for any amount of time.

Still very busy.

Here's something you don't see every day, this boat was towed in late Saturday evening to this yard, and by mid Monday morning they are lifting the engine out.

We had another walk up to the village where the views sweep over the countryside and the silence is almost tangible. That's a long line of smoking narrow boats just past the tree with the smell of burning coal and wood adding to the whole atmosphere.

The need for water should move us on tomorrow,

So until then..........................................................

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Braunston. Staying Put.

Aaaa.......... I just love the smell of diesel in the morning.

I am beginning to think we have been welded to the side at the moment!! This is the longest we have stayed anywhere since we were at Leeds.

Touch wood, the engine has been running for four hours now and hasn't missed a beat, the final test will be when we are running under load.

Normally you could do this whilst still moored to the side but we have a boat so close behind us he is touching our button (Rear Fender) and the same situation at the front.

Waking up this morning was like being back on a camping site with the caravan, the close proximity of the other boats allowed you to hear them moving around aboard and even talking. In the above picture there were four other boats in that gap on the left, this is one busy place.

A view of Braunston church over the grounds of the canalside pub which is undergoing major refurbishment.

If I've got this right, this was originally known as the Rose and Castle, then changed to the Boatman, then over to the Mill House, and now, once reopened at the end of November, will be known as The Boat House. But for how long?

Until next time................................

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Staying Put.

Up to my armpits in diesel today trying to trace this fault.
The main problem with having a diesel engine inside your house is, when you break it open the smell of the fuel gets everywhere, and does it smell!

It has been a good day to be alongside though as there are boats moving and moored every where, it sure is packed here today.

Oh well back to it,

Until next time.......................

Friday, 16 October 2009

Staying Put At Braunston. Grand Union.

We could be staying here for a few days now as the engine has developed what we think is a fuel problem.

This could not be a better place to be though as there are three chandlers within easy walking distance of the boat and a couple of boatyards.

On our way here we were overtaken by Mr and Mrs speedy thundering along, on a day like that it seemed such a waste.

We were leapfrogging the coal boat that we met the other day as he made his way along to the boats waiting for him. Here he is fueling the last of these three. This time next month he will be here again, that's quite a tall order to keep that sort of service up.

Another BW man with his hands full, two seventy footers and him in the middle. The front of the leading barge is well under the bridge here and the trailing barge is still a long way off.

Hilmorten locks.

They will be closing a lock here during the winter stoppage programme but as they are side by side locks there should still be a way through. They are also closing the Braunston Tunnel and an awful lot of the Grand Union below Buckby locks, so, we have decided to overwinter on this side of the tunnel.

If all goes well we should still have access to Rugby and through to Atherstone one way and Banbury the other. We now know where to get water, diesel, gas, pumpout, food and of course the most important commodity,! along that route.

Until next time..........................

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Rugby to Braunston. Three Locks.

Another day that I cannot really describe properly, O for a more masterly interpretation of the English language to relate this day to you.

The Sky's were once again almost cloudless and the sun had no mercy around noon. We are as toasted as we have ever been this evening.

The absolute silence at this water point filled the air.

Time for a catch up on the news while the tank was filling as the man on the boat moored behind gave us his paper.

This was one of "those days" just a perfect canal day.

Chugged far too far really but it was just too good to be sitting on the bank.

Until next time.............................

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Harborough Magna to Rugby. No Locks.

Not too long a day today, even though it was glorious again.

We were headed for Rugby to top up at the almost canal side Tesco, we knew where the moorings were located and how plentiful they are.

We just squeezed into the last available space, this is the view ahead, is was the same behind. As it turned out most of these boats were waiting for the coal and diesel barge to arrive. This boat runs to a time table during the winter in this area (Ice permitting) which is going to prove to be very useful for us. We now have a roof with a covering of coal bags.

This machine is something they use to grind the stumps out once the tree has been felled.
A felled tree must mean logs!! off we went to investigate only to find the logs were far too big for me to cut as I still haven't got a chainsaw. This though seemed to open the flood gates for all the other boaters around who have now got huge tree parts on their roofs.

As it was such a nice day we decided to stay put and get the Brasso tin out along with the bow saw. We now have shiny brass and lots of logs from the stock "up top".

On the run into Rugby the Newbold tunnel has to be negotiated, you can make out a boat entering the other end just as we enter this end. Knowing this is a two way tunnel there should not be any problem, the man on the other tiller wasn't of the same mind.
He is the second person we have met to date who seems to think that these tunnels are for them and them alone once they have entered. He really did not want to move over but he had to as we met in the middle, you should have seen the look on his face, we just smiled sweetly and bade him a cheery good morning, that threw him.

Until next time.......................................

Monday, 12 October 2009

Hawkesbury to Harborough Magna. No Locks.

Today was one of those days when this type of life style paid its dividends.

Its Monday morning, its very chilly and the last thing you want to do is get up, so we didn't.

The fire was lit, warming the boat for later, the coffee was made and back to bed we went. Decadence.

Much later, we were on the move under an almost cloudless sky. T shirts and sunglasses again,
this is a lot better than the "Barbecue Summer" that the weather guessers were offering earlier in the year.

There are so many bushes etc loaded down with berries. Hard winter? Soft winter? Hard winter? Soft Winter?

I'm going with soft, as I have just tossed a coin.

On the way we came across Sue, who with her husband Vic are long term Bloggers and have an eight year history on board their boats No Problem. This is the second one of the same name.

Some of these bridges are well past their use by date and the newness has definitely worn off. Don't even think about sneezing!

On the other hand you have this monstrosity carrying another motorway across the canal.
Under there is a high speed rail link as well.

This cutting was interesting, the signs warned of landslides and falling trees, what on earth you would do should a tree come falling towards you beggars belief, but there was a sign warning you,...... so that's ok then.

I wasn't going to post this picture, but as you cant see who it is I have.
This man has just had a two hour lesson from one of the instructors at Rose Narrowboats but he is terrified. He just stared straight ahead as he went by, hardly daring to move and gripping the tiller so tightly his knuckles were white. Relaxing or what?

Our mooring for the night. Now that is relaxing.

Until next time..............................