Live Aboards

October 30, 2008

We are now back on board our boat at Newbury, it always amazes me when we get back to find the boat in one piece, I don’t know why but I always feel that a boat is more vulnerable than a car or a house.

Still someway to go with the house sorting but big inroads have been made for when Gaby and Sam move in next week.

We were speaking to a couple living on a boat near where we are moored and they said were we live aboards and yes we are and now that we are clearing our stuff out of the house it certainly feels that way.

We have until the 3rd November to get beyond the lock at Woolhampton so we will probably stay here until Saturday and then move on then. After that we have to decide where we go next.

Today we did 0 miles 0 locks 0 Swing Bridges 0 Tunnel

Statistics so far:

315.89 Miles, 246 Locks, 38 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator

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He knows where he is going

October 29, 2008

Quite a surprise this morning with the snow, I was up early and had the car started up to defrost before 7am. The temperature was -3, hope the boat is alright.

Thanu came around and off we went to West Burton to hopefully complete our job there. We arrived at the gate house to sign in and my name was there as expected but in brackets next to it was “He knows where he is going”, so we all had a bit of a laugh at this, and so you see it is official, I know where I am going, I might not know where I have been, and I might not know much, but I do know where I am going.

More sorting of the house and more things relegated to the bin, life is so very very hard. Still on the positive side Frances loves every minute as she is thinking that it is one less thing to get rid of when we do finally move.

Today we did 0 miles 0 locks 0 Swing Bridges 0 Tunnel

Statistics so far:

315.89 Miles, 246 Locks, 38 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Croxley our second home

October 28, 2008

Well yes here we are again back at Croxley Green, and yes I am off to the power station again tomorrow. I have been really hammering that rail card, certainly worth the money. This gives us the opportunity to sort some things out prior to Sam and Gabs moving in. So I am busy clearing out the third bedroom to make way for little Ralph.

Sam was here when we got back, which was really nice. He has now taking our bed back to Hereford so it will be the boat for us or the floor. I am clearing out some of my history, Frances is jubilant such is the way of the world.

Later we will see Celeste and Mick for some wedding talk, apparently.

Today we did 0 miles 0 locks 0 Swing Bridges 0 Tunnel

Statistics so far:

315.89 Miles, 246 Locks, 38 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Dry Newbury

October 27, 2008

Very nice day today after the rain of recent times and you can tell it has become much colder as we have had the fire on for the first time during the day. There isn’t one mooring slot along this stretch going through Newbury, so we were very lucky to get in when we did; there is about 10cm between us and the boats on either side.

I keep meaning to say that anyone wishing to spend the day with us is certainly welcome to come along and join us, I would advice not using the BBC for the weather forecast though.

Today we did 0 miles 0 locks 0 Swing Bridges 0 Tunnel

Statistics so far:
315.89 Miles, 246 Locks, 38 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Wet Newbury

October 26, 2008

Plenty of rain today coupled with very cold wind made for another miserable trip, I was very surprised at the number of hire boaters out but I guess that it must be half term. We are glad to be moored up in Newbury with a cosy fire, I am about to cook dinner and then we can settle down to some reading, oh and there is the second part of strictly.

We managed to get to the pump out at Newbury and had the added bonus that it was open, yet another British Waterways pump out was out of order this time at Kintbury so we were forced to come all the way through Newbury, but we have found a decent mooring.

Today we did 6.06 miles 8 locks 1 Swing Bridges 0 Tunnel

Statistics so far:
315.89 Miles, 246 Locks, 38 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Tantric Falling

October 25, 2008

Frances has concentrated on water sports, she has been in the canal twice. I on the other hand am more focused on the gymnastic side, hey use your imagination. We started cooking the evening meal last night and the gas ran out so I had to go into the front locker at the bow and change over the gas bottles. Frances was holding the torch and she said be careful don’t fall in the canal (her trick) to which I took a step back onto the bank, slipped and did a double backward summersault which was necessary to avoid the mud and pools of water across the tow path. I did succeed in not getting covered in mud or water but recovered to find Frances rolling about laughing. She said that it looked like something out of Starsky and Hutch.

Actually I practise Tantric falling, that is to say the controlled response to spontaneous accidental falls. I have inherited this falling gene from my mum and this has been past on to Gaby, we are all waiting to see if Ralphy has got it.

A very tiring day as we had no other boat to go through the locks with, unfortunately all of the locks were empty so we had to fill them before we could go down, a slow process. It was interesting revisiting the area now that the trees are loosing their leaves, when we came through previously it was sunny with light rain and now it is cold with light rain.

We came out of Brunsden Lock to the sight of two Red Kites (I think) hovering above us, I managed to get a shot of one of them.

Red Kite

Red Kite

We have arrived at Kintbury in time for Strictly.

Today we did 7.99 miles 13 locks 2 Swing Bridges 0 Tunnel

Statistics so far:
309.83 Miles, 238 Locks, 37 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Mid Canal refuelling

October 24, 2008

A couple of hours of work and then we set off, still a couple to do after this. As we were setting off a boat came up from the lock below, so for once we had some one else to share the locks with. They were going to beyond Great Bedwyn so we would have some one with us all of the way. They turned out to be a lively and enthusiastic family out on their first canal holiday and they were addicted.

Bright sunshine all the way after the grey overcast morning, the sun had managed to burn its way through and now we have clear blue skies as far as the eye can see.

As we came out of the Bruce tunnel we came across a narrowboat and butty selling diesel, they were going the other way and we both ground to a halt and reversed back so that we could take on our fuel. Not quite midair refuelling but it was mid canal refuelling. We took on 78 litres which is less than I expected and worked out that we were using about 1 litre per hour on the engine. We had to find all the money that we had on the boat to pay for it, it was a cash plus cheque transaction but by counting up the pennies we didn’t need the cheque and we were left with the princely sum of 15p. We are now up to 43% non propulsion use of diesel, the government guideline is 40%, I believe this figure will go up as the weather gets colder and we move the boat around less. We have to calculate this as of next month when we start paying tax on fuel moving the boat around and don’t pay tax on heating and generating electricity.

Sorry no pictures we are on a slow connection

Today we did 6.15 miles 13 locks 0 Swing Bridges 1 Tunnel

Statistics so far:
301.84 Miles, 225 Locks, 35 Swing Bridges, 1 Lift Bridge, 4 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator