Sunday 14th May
There was a heavy shower in the early morning, but shortly after that it cleared and the sun appeared to give another very bright and warm day.
The water was not hot enough for a shower this morning, so I cleared out the locker above the hot water tank to have a look at the immersion heater, wondering if I dare try and heat the water with it and the inverter with the engine running. Sure enough it was only 1kw, so should not trip anything if I turned off the fridge at the same time, which also ran off the same pair of batteries. All went well, but with the volt meter on the batteries, I watched as the voltage went down to 11 volts, so only left it on for 15 minutes. The fridge had been running all night, so the voltage was probably well down by that time. Sure enough, in that time the warm water was now almost too hot to touch – problem improved, but not solved.
After a shower and washing up, I noticed that there was a list on the boat. Looking at the water level outside, it had dropped by about 4 ins. A little further up the towpath was a notice for boaters telling them that there was a ledge beneath the water; I thought this was to deter boats from mooring there, but maybe it was true. Anyway I moved hastily before I was really stuck on the bank.
At that point another boat was approaching with a large crew, so I decided to go up a few locks into deeper water. I did the lock and opened one gate and went in. As I was pulling over to the other side of the lock, I saw that they were hesitating; I waved them in, but they were aground just outside the lock. They did eventually get off and joined me. We did two locks together before they picked up more relations and moved on. In the meantime I had moored up as well, having decided to stay here until Monday.
The house opposite - love it or hate it.
Who painted this I wonder?
In greater detail for my collection.
I spent the remaining time reading Towpath Talk and gongoozling outside The Riser in the sunshine, before returning to the boat.
Monday 15th May
Unfortunately it is raining again after the promising weather yesterday. If it eases off later, then I will move off. It is also chilly enough to light light the fire after several days without.
I heard the rattle of paddles later, which indicated that another boat was coming up the locks. Hoping to accompany them further, I hastily took down the aerial and had the mooring lines cast off forward, when the guy on the other boat appeared and asked if I was leaving – so I vacated my mooring in vain; however, I did carry on as the rain had stopped by now.
I was on my sixth lock at Dudswell, when I heard my name called out, much to my surprise. No one knew me around here, so who could it possibly be? Looking around I saw Doug Williams from nb Chance with a windlass in his hand. He explained that they had been reading my blog and were hoping to catch me up. I waited at the next lock for James to bring the boat in alongside and it turned out that they were taking her up to ABNB at Crick to sell her, which I had read about a while back. At £85,000 I thought that was expensive, but then they paid £120,000 for her new and had only had her for six years and looking as good as new.
James and Doug on nb Chance.
I moored up at Cowroast between two other boats left here while the owners go home I presume. Only after mooring up did I realise that I was on a winding hole, as I was reminded by Alan Fincher on his way past. Being really tired, I decided to stay there and move off early the next morning.
Paying a visit to The Cowroast Inn, I noticed that it was under new management by the notices outside. It was just as dark as it had been on my last visit here; there were only two other customers in the bar; no more Thai food was on offer; the big open fire had been lit and was comforting. So apart from the food nothing else had changed and I am wondering if this is going to be a successful takeover – it doesn’t look like it, but having just looked it up on Trip Advisor, a lot of the recent food reviews are very good.