About Me

My photo
After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Summer Cruise 15

Monday 29th May

It rained pretty hard during the night and brought down even more hawthorn seeds off the overhanging trees to cover the boat. I saw Southern Cross approaching at 7am and he apologised for early start, but wanted to get back to his home mooring before it got too busy. Ryan knew John and Jenny Jackson well at Awbridge and had even worked for him during his holidays, transporting coal on his boat. We also reminisced about good times at The Bell in Trysull. Having been previously awarded the Coal Boater of The Year last year, Southern Cross is one of the smartest boats I have seen so far. Diesel was 71p/litre and the gas was £29.00

Ryan is in the blue tee shirt.

The remainder of the morning was spent scouring the internet for places to moor and close to a rail station, but that is over a month away, so plenty of time for that. Rugby seems like a convenient place and within walking distance. Whether to moor in a marina or just online is another choice that has to be made. Jaq came in for percolated coffee, so we had another good chat. She has a coffee percolator on her boat, but has not used it, yet she has ground Kona coffee too, some of which she gave me later.

The afternoon was spent changing the bed and making a visit to the marina launderette, where there is a free book and video exchange, which I took good advantage of, even though I had nothing to swap at the time. The interior of the boat is still littered with drying washing, although I did  put the bed linen through the dryer, as that had to go back on the bed immediately.

On collecting the tokens in the shop, there was only Tim Coghlan there (Bank Holiday Monday). He looked at me as though he recognised me and addressed me as sir, to which I replied, “Please don’t call me sir, I’m Ray Oakhill, editor of The Steerer for the NBT.”  It was then that he remembered me from last year and all the emails that I had sent him asking for copy to go in the magazine. I was ushered into the office to look at some old black and white photographs given to him by an old retired boater; two of them featured butty Bude, which was owned by my friend Barry and paired with the motor Stamford at the time. I asked Tim if I could feature his latest story of Alice Lapworth in The Steerer and he was only too delighted, but only after I ask Alice first of course. I shall probably see her in any case at The Greyhound, Sutton Stop next Saturday.

Looking across the cut a little later, I spied a blue balloon fender and asked Jaq if she wanted it, to which she replied, “Is it a blue one?”  It turned out that she lost one during the night, so it was hers anyway. I volunteered to punt the bow of Stronghold across to try and retrieve it, leaving the stern still tied to the bank. I have seen it done before and is often far superior to using the engine and moving the whole boat. Fortunately, there were no other boats passing through at the time.

Tuesday 30th May

We had both decided to move today - Jaq was going to water up and then move to the Oxford to hopefully meet up with friends, although there was no evidence of them coming. I was going to start making my way up the North Oxford towards Sutton Stop eventually, stopping at the Old Royal Oak where I knew I could get a very strong wi-fi signal from the pub. I passed by Waka Huia on the way and told them that Jaq was in Braunston on the water point, so they will meet up somewhere close by.

As I was leaving Braunston, I stopped by Midland Swindlers to see what I could spend money on that I didn’t know I wanted, but they did have a rotating sock airer and even a fly swat! Moving on, I spotted a piling hook (aka nappy pin) that someone had left behind and stopped to retrieve it, just before another boater moored up close by. So along with the double windlass that I found a while ago, I am doing well for spare parts.

Another marina being constructed about 3 miles north of Braunston. 
This will annoy someone close by.

Cruising on, I came to the Old Royal Oak, but both moorings were full right outside the pub, so I moored up opposite on a bend – not the best place to moor, but I was hoping it would just be until one of the other boats moved on. I was so busy on the internet that I did not even notice one of the boats leaving, so I quickly let go and moved across. The remainder of the afternoon was spent trawling the net. The wi-fi here is so good, I can watch YouTube with ease and no breaks in streaming.

I should also mention that President is in the dock here at Willow Ridge Boatyard and I walked over to the yard to have a closer look. I was welcomed and asked if I wanted to see what was being done and sure enough she is just starting to be repainted., not before time either. I understand that she is having a new boiler fitted, but not at this yard. I was reassured that she was going to the Braunston Historic Boat Rally this year and will have to be towed there, but can’t see her opening the Rally.

I have just had really good news and that is that Nuneaton and Brighton are coming to Braunston and have been asked to open the Rally, captained by my friend Barry. If I can get some time off from marshalling, I may have the opportunity to steer Nuneaton again, as I did last year in the parade.

No comments: