Monday 5th June
When I got back to the boat, there was a note on the steps inside, which had been pushed through the gap under the slide. Thinking to myself, what can this be about, I read it to find that it was from Jane and David Brixey on nb Rowan, who had moored right behind for a lunch stop when I was away – that is just bad luck
Nb Rowan is moored at Pyrford Marina on the Wey Navigation and is the boat that I towed half the length of the Basingstoke Canal when their engine broke down some years ago. They are on their way to the Russell Newbury Rally in Stourport, which they go to every year.
Not up as early as usual, but lay there listening to the news until 7am. It did not look like rain at that time of the morning, but things were due to change shortly. Heavy winds and rain were forecast the previous day for most of the week and as I have no deadline, I will stay here for a while on the 7 day moorings. I wonder if I moor up around the corner on the Coventry Canal, do I get another 7 days?
I think I must have spent nearly all day on the internet after having breakfast, writing up this blog and researching things that go with it. Another strange thing happened today with the blog; yesterday I tried to put in pics from my mobile and was instructed to do all sorts of weird antics to do that. Today though, I tried it and all was fine – how the hell does this work? I have changed nothing.
Sure enough the wind blew a hooley and the rain came down gradually at first then very heavily by late afternoon. The boat was being rocked from side to side, yet the wind was coming towards the front of the boat. It was also cold and I finally succumbed to lighting the fire, but I noticed that I was not the only one – in the first week of June?
Many boats went through the stop lock this morning, quite a few Napton Narrowboats moving in the rain – there were four in a queue waiting for the lock at one point, trying to stay still because there was no room on the lock layby. Interesting watching for me inside a warm boat. One boater actually moored up on the centre line and left his boat in gear, exactly the same as I do, when waiting for the lock. I had a word and he was from Holland, where he had his own boat and that is what they do there too.
Tuesday 6th June
I awoke to rain falling from the sky, so it looks like another day to stay in. It is also chilly, so might well be another fire day. A hire boat from Kate Boats moored up in front of me last night, with two elderly ladies aboard. I told them about the Greyhound and asked if they had done a lock yet, being virgin boaters, to which they replied that they had not. I volunteered to show them how if they wanted me to. At 09.00 no boats had passed through the stop lock, which is not surprising considering the weather – no sign of the ladies on the boat ahead either. It seems that they had slept in late, as they had such a busy day yesterday and finally they let go about midday to the water point first. I suggested that they go and watch a boat coming through the lock to see how it works whilst they were watering up. Then it was their turn and of course there was not a lot to do, as another boater drew the top paddle for them. They were away now to go up the Ashby Canal and I recommended The George and Dragon for beer in Stoke Golding, then The Three Horseshoes Indian restaurant for food nearby.
Back on board briefly, Helen came by and stopped for a quick chat on the way to her car. We met briefly at Newbold, where she was moored behind me.
After filling my drinking water can, I popped into The Greyhound to book a table for Wednesday evening and it would have been rude not to have a pint of Sadler’s Peaky Blinder, which is almost a lunch in itself. I went back to the boat in the rain, but true to the forecast, it started again with a vengeance at 5pm and blowing wild with it.
Back at the boat I thought I might have forty winks, thinking that someone would wake me up with a phone call or similar. Imagine my surprise when a boat horn sounded as nb Yum Sing went by with Betty and Ian on board. I rushed up to catch them at the stop lock for a quick catch up of news, before they moored up around the corner on The Coventry. I should explain that they are also members of Byfleet Boat Club on the Wey Navigation.
In The Greyhound later for another pint of Peaky Blinder and Helen turned up for a drink too, so we grabbed a table while the going was good and had a good conversation about boating. I explained centre line mooring with a tiller string on and single lock working as per John Jackson. Even though she had been on her boat for 21 years, she knew nothing of these methods of working a boat single handed, which surprised me.
Wednesday 7th June
I decided that as there was to be no rain today, I might take a short cruise up to Marston Junction and back. As I am meeting up with my daughter again tonight back here, I cannot go up the Ashby - maybe later, after I have been home and back.
I gave Helen a knock to see if she wanted to see how I moored up on the centre line, with the engine on tickover. All went fine, but before I could demonstrate, she had to return to her boat, because it was still unlocked. Around the corner on the Coventry Canal, I stopped and had to wait to fill with water. Just after that another boat moored in front of me and it was nb Seyella, who I had read about in nb No Problem’s blog for quite a long time. Geoff knew who I was, as he had read about me over the years in Sue’s blog. We were almost like old friends meeting up and chatted away merrily whilst waiting for Stronghold to fill.
I eventually met up with Geoff and Mags on nb Seyella.
Now he will read my blog and I will read his. Photos were taken to commemorate the occasion and after I filled up, we parted company. I was going on a short trip to Marston Junction and they were off up the Ashby.
The scenario is always different at Charity Dock.
It was a pleasant trip, although still very windy. I moored up for lunch just above the junction with the Ashby, having to reverse above three moored boats. After that I set off south again, deciding to stop for a pint at The Navigation Inn at bridge 14. Having passed the moored boats there, I reached Bridge 14, but had to reverse back to get a reasonable mooring behind them. Once I was moored up, I set off for The Navigation Inn across the bridge; imagine my surprise at finding that it was now a house! I asked a local guy, who confirmed that it was, so back to the boat and off again back to Sutton Stop.
Once upon a time this was The Navigation Inn ......
..........now it is a very large house!
Yet another sunken continuous moorer's boat that someone wants
to get shot of and waste our licence money having it raised and scrapped!
Fortunately I found another pole position mooring close to the engine house at the front of all the moored boats.
It was almost time for another good dinner at The Greyhound yet again with my daughter and partner – it’s going to be good once more.