Monday, June 29, 2015

Where’s the internet?

The reason for the lack of posts over the last two days is because there was no coverage from the 3 network at Hungerford.  We had Vodafone coverage, but neither of our Vodafone mobiles have a data plan.  In desperation I took the Samsung S4 phone for a walk through Hungerford and up the small hill on the outskirts of the village.  Halfway up the hill the phone found Vodafone, EE and O2.  At the top of the hill it picked up a very weak signal from 3 however the phone couldn’t hold the signal.

I tried changing the SIM card between phones hoping the problem was the S4 phone.  Unfortunately changing the SIMs didn’t make any difference.  Later on today I remembered we had coverage when we were last in Hungerford back in 2013.  So we should have received a signal!  What was different?  The answer was the mobile phone.  Last time we used the Samsung S1. So I changed the SIM cards between the S4 and S1. After several minutes the original Samsung S1 found the 3 network and we are back to having internet coverage.  It appears the S4 gets confused when it loses the 4G signal and then goes on strike.  We’re not heavy data users (no video or TV streaming) and have therefore decided to stick with the slower, but more reliable, original Samsung S1.

Our youngest son visited us in Hungerford bringing his new Amazon Fire Stick and gave us a demonstration of it’s use.  The Fire Stick is slightly bigger than a usb thumbstick and plugs into a TV HDMI port.  It will wifi connect to the internet and stream film, video and music purchased from Amazon.  It has 8GB of storage and a small remote control.  The stick has BBC iPlayer and ITV iPlayer already installed.  We are not interested in purchasing content from Amazon but when our son showed us he had been able to install Kodi (see last post) onto the Amazon Fire Stick we could immediately see some advantages.

We left Hungerford at 9am this morning. Jan was just about to close the gate on Hungerford Lock when a boat rounded the bend behind us.  Good timing!  We shared the locks with John & Christine on nb Serendipity for the remainder of the day.

leaving hungerford

Leaving Hungerford

The pound above Cobblers Lock was low by at least 15 inches.  Probably due to both the upper and lower gates at Cobblers Lock leaking badly.  The former lock keepers cottage beside Picketfield Lock is looking very sad.

sad cottage

The upper floor appears to have fire damage and the grounds are now well overgrown.  I suspect it doesn’t have vehicle access.

serendpityNB Serendipity

We reached the 48 hour moorings at Great Bedwyn just as a Black Prince hire boat departed.  By sharing rings both boats managed to squeeze onto the vacant mooring space. 

Mid afternoon I was out washing and polishing the port side.  All that is left to wash and polish is the bow and stern.  By working consistently I was able to complete the task by beer o’clock!  Meanwhile Jan was inside preparing the Godalming sausages for dinner.    

Friday, June 26, 2015

Karate Kid or “I made it rain”

Wipe on…wipe off

The urge to wash and polish the cabin roof today became irresistible. The two bucket technique did a good job on cleaning the roof and then the really hard work of polishing it began.  I hadn’t realised how much the paint had faded until I polished the area under the solar panels.  It was a darker colour.  Fortunately the paint has uniformly faded to a lighter grey. Jan’s aching joints were unfortunately accurate and it started to lightly rain as I was trying to complete the final section of roof.  I was pleased to note the rain prilled on the newly polished roof and quickly ran off the side of the cabin.

Recently I mentioned using MediaElch to create a database of our video collection.  That is now complete and I’ve commenced experimenting with Kodi.  This is media streaming software (free).  When correctly configured, Kodi enables video, photo and music files to be shared across a cable or local wireless network.  Kodi can run on Windows, Linux, Android and Apple.  The latter requires the system to be jailbroken (hacked) to get around the Apple security.  I managed to configure Kodi and get it to stream video from the Windows laptop to the Android tablet.  It not a particularly practical application on a narrowboat, but I can see the advantages in a house.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Low water

The water was like a mill pond below Newbury Lock.  A complete difference to the last time we were here and thought we were ‘shooting the rapids’.  Bill put in an appearance and I initially  thought it might have been to say goodbye, but then I realised he wanted to place another cake order!  Smile

We had 43 horses with us but didn’t collect a fine as they went under the bridge rather than across the road.

newbury lock sign

In 2012 there were a large number of boats moored above Newbury Lock but they seemed to have thinned out.  The lawn on the roof of the following boat was in need of some TIC.

lawn on roof

It was looking rather dead and unloved.  As we approached Higgs Lock we could see a hire boat preparing to come down.

2ndlock

The crew informed Jan the next couple of pounds were very low and to stay in the middle.  On checking the water level above the lock she noticed it was down 18 inches.  I decided to walk forward to Benham Lock and check the water level in the pound above.  There seemed little point in going forward if the situation was only going to get worse.  Halfway to the next lock I met a narrow boat coming very slowly down the pound.  On asking about the water level above Benham Lock he informed me it was higher.  Rather than attempting to cross in the pound we waited for him to enter Higg’s Lock before we left.

We transited the pound on tick over carefully staying in the middle.  There is a straight before Benham Lock and we could see a boat had entered the empty lock.  The solo boater started closing the gates on us so I sounded the horn to make him aware we were coming.  He just ignored us, closed the lower gates and turned the lock against us.  Despite the very low pound Jan managed to get off Waiouru at the bridge hole and walk forward to the lock.  The boater ignored her and departed the lock leaving the gates open and the paddles up.  The only thing I could think of was his father should have worn a condom!  Jan reset the lock and we went up where we found the water level in the next pound at a normal level. 

NB Pennymist had arrived below the lock.  We informed the couple on her that we would wait for them at the next lock.  On arriving at Hamstead Lock we found Condom Man exiting the lock.  He went forward and moored on the lock landing.  I closed the top gates and lowered the paddles.  I’d just started emptying the lock when a boat appeared from the opposite direct.  I lowered the paddles and refilled the lock before opening the top gates.  The crew were none to happy about Condom Man being on the lock landing.  By the time they had gone down NB Pennymist had arrived.

We shared the remaining locks to Kintbury with Ian & Jan (nb Pennymist) before finding a mooring at Kintbury just beyond the water point.

nb pennymist

NB Pennymist

Ian and Jan carried on whilst we decided to stop for the day.  In the afternoon Jan cleaned the bathroom whilst I managed to wash and polish the starboard (right) side.  I’m now using the two bucket technique (one soapy and one clean) and a micro-fibre mitten.  This removes all the dirt without scratching the paint.  I’m using Craftmaster polish and you can see the difference it makes in the following photo.

craftmaster polish

Right polished and left clean.

Chris (nb Kestrel) left a comment on yesterday’s post asking how Bill cleans the non-slip area on the roof.  The method Bill explained is to use two small nailbrushes. Start on the roof at the high end and thoroughly scrub the non-slip with soapy water.  Then re-scrub it with clean water. 

After all that polishing in the hot afternoon sun a well deserved cold cleansing ale was consumed!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blog Readers

Today two of our blog readers called in to say hello and have a chat.  We are always pleased to meet blog readers.

I had just returned to Waiouru after shopping for white spirits and engine oil in Newbury when Miles introduced himself.  Wilko was selling 5 litres of Mobil 1000 engine oil for £25 and white spirits for £1.50 (750ml).  I then walked to Halfords where I found the Mobil oil  £7 cheaper and the white spirits more expensive.  So the oil was purchased at Halfords and I then walked back to Wilko to buy the white spirits.

Miles had timed his visit perfectly!  He had written an email earlier and knew we were in the general area so he had placed his bike in the back of his vehicle and driven to Kintbury before cycling to Newbury looking for us.

miles

We had a very interesting conversation with Miles with him informing us he intends to have a boat built in the near future and is currently deeply involved in researching and planning.  It’s a situation we know well having been down that path 8 years ago.  The plan and drawings get more and more refined as time passes!

In the meantime Miles gets his canal “fix” by cycling the towpath and enjoying the scenery.  Before he left Miles gave us a very useful gift.

tube nozzlesYou can never have too many nozzles for adhesive tubes.  These are particularly useful as they have a cap to seal the open end.

Best of luck with the boat plans Miles!

Out second visitor was “Towpath Bill”.  We first met Bill shortly after our arrival in Aldermaston for the fit out of Waiouru. After four months of living on a hire boat we needed to find alternative accommodation and Bill was instrumental in facilitating that.  Bill is a very interesting and knowledgeable character who is always entertaining.  He now lives in Newbury so we have been fortunate enough to have the pleasure of his company.  Amongst many other skills, Bill paints boats.  I seized the opportunity to ask his opinion about Waiouru’s roof.  Bill inspected the roof and informed us it still looks OK.  However he also gave me some advice on how to clean the non-slip areas.

towpath billBill is rather partial to Jan’s cakes and he didn’t walk away empty handed.  I did mention that if there was a problem with the cake I was prepared to assist with the eating!  However that might be somewhat greedy as Jan also baked one for me.

It’s been a very pleasant stay in Newbury.  The cupboards are now all restocked and tomorrow we will move on.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning “Mr Angry” who chased all his colleagues away from our boat.

SAMSUNGHis feathers were well and truly ruffled as he chased away all the other local swans from “his” patch.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Newbury

A morning chat will our breasted up partners on NB Lady Kia resulted in an agreement to share the locks to Newbury.  Last night we didn’t introduce ourselves but that was rectified this morning.

mo & Gerry

Mo and Gerry made very enjoyable cruising companions.  They are stopping in Newbury but plan to continue to Bristol.  We may see them on our return journey.

The first lock of the day was Monkey Marsh.  It’s one of two turf sided locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal.  Filling them takes considerably more water than a usual lock so they are on river sections where there is more available water.  Being larger also means they take longer to fill.

monkey marsh lockWe passed two boats going in the opposite direction just before Ham Lock.  I recognised the first as NB Maisibert and scrambled to take a photo.  Unfortunately I subsequently discovered it was out of focus.

The last lock of the day was Greenham Lock.  I think this is a very picturesque setting and always enjoy it.

greenham lock

Unlike last time we were this way; there were plenty of vacant moorings in Newbury and we have moored adjacent to Victoria Park.  The afternoon was spent visiting Sainsbury’s and Aldi before I carried on working with MediaElch whilst Jan stowed all the food.

The cupboards aren’t full so further shopping will be done tomorrow.

I must also thank Tim for his email advising red diesel is available from Hilperton Wharf at 69ppl. That saved be having to carry another 150 litres back to the boat this morning.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Halfway There

Our gas bottle had run out which meant stopping at Aldermaston Wharf wharf to buy a replacement bottle which cost just over £26 <ouch>.  Still, a 13kg bottle lasts approximately two months so it’s not our major cost.  It was only a short move from the wharf to the water point mooring outside the Aldermaston Visitor Centre.  Good water pressure here but it still took some time to top up the tank as it was half full.  Whilst we waited, I disposed of the rubbish and Jan did some washing.  The water was flowing into the boat at one end and out the other.  There were two boats moored on the Aldermaston Facilities moorings.  These are marked on the maps as 4 hours but someone has added an 8 after the 4.

We had some passing showers throughout our cruise to Thatcham.  NB Oakfield was moored above Woolhampton Lock.  No sign of Anne & Keith.  Guess the home baked scones will have to wait for another day!

The 48 hour moorings at Thatcham were full but the boater on NB Adelaide kindly allowed us to breast up against him.  He advised us he was only stopping for lunch and some essential shopping at the nearby Cooperative before continuing on to Newbury.  He headed off an hour later and I went forward to Monkey Marsh Lock to assist him through.

Afterwards I started the process of refilling the fuel tanks with diesel from the nearby Pinnocks Depot.  We have a 20 & 30 litre plastic container which I strapped to the folding sack trolley before walking the 560 metres to the depot.  The diesel was 75.9ppl and I managed three trips before the depot closed at 5pm.

Pinnocks Fuel 50 litres

I used the small 3v pump to transfer the diesel from the containers to the propulsion tank.  The pump has reached then end of its reliable life and is now held together with glue and tape.  We have ordered a replacement ( £10) but it’s on the slow boat from China.  A boat slowly cruised by as I was decanting the second load of diesel and I realised they were looking for a mooring so we invited them to breast up against us.  The offer was quickly accepted.

The final trip to Pinnocks had the fuel tank reach three quarter full.  I’ll probably do three more trips tomorrow morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Busy day at the lock

All day long boats have been going up and down the lock immediately behind us.  A number of them are hire boats from the nearby base and despite just leaving the wharf they don’t appear to have much idea on how to work the lock.  On two occasions it was actually rather dangerous.  A boat had almost got hooked up on the cill when empting the lock and another crew failed to secure their boat resulting in it bounding around smashing into the lower gates.  Jan’s heart was in her mouth watching children running around on the roof of a boat as it navigated under the branches of an overhanging willow tree.  An obscured branch could have swept them off the boat or crushed them on the roof.

Everything was cleaned up and stowed after all the painting yesterday.  The engine has been checked and the fuel tanks dipped.  The propulsion tank is quarter full and we plan to stop at Thatcham to buy more fuel.

Our youngest son suggested I start using MediaElch to catalogue our digital collection. It’s German freeware and I downloaded a copy and spent most of the afternoon teaching myself how to use it.  The program looks at digital TV, film, music and concert files before creating a database.  The program is also a ‘scraper’.  What it can then do is go to various websites and “scrape” information about the data file, then import it into the database. 

Meanwhile Jan has been baking in the galley.  We now have two cakes and some fresh buns for dinner.

buns

I was going to wander down to the cafe at the CRT Visitor Centre and buy lunch.  However Jan checked their Facebook page and was surprised to discover the centre was closed today.  When we were last here the centre was in private management and was thriving.  In summer it might be open until 10pm.  CRT didn’t renew the lease and decided to run it with volunteers.  WE assume no one wanted to volunteer to work on Fathers Day.  They missed out on a significant amount of revenue!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Maintenance Day

The starboard gunwale was painted when we were back on the River Lee and I’ve been looking for a section of low bank to repaint the port.  As you may recall, I’d already rubbed back the gunwale and applied primer.  Today I managed to paint on one top coat of black. 
port black gunwaleYou may have noticed the small masked square on the red panel.  There was a chip in the paint.  Probably a stone from a passing bike.  It was down to bare metal so I masked it up and rubbed the area back before applying a primer,followed by two undercoats.
damage2 The damage
All this preparation had built the level of paint back until it was level with the original surface.  Today I managed to get one topcoat over the area.
The semi trad area at the stern  had a scrape mark from a Thames lock landing.  The gunwale had gone under the landing platform and the cabin side had been scratched by the edge.  The area was masked up, prepared and repainted.
damage1
Damaged area
The last piece of painting was on the port handrail.  Small chips have appeared in some of the paint.work  These were masked up, sanded back, primed, undercoated (2) and then given some red topcoat.
handrail red I think I might be starting to develop a very moderate level of competency painting horizontal flat surfaces without leaving brush strokes.  Vertical surfaces are another matter.
The tunnel bands could do with some attention but they will have to wait until Waiouru is next taken out of the water.  Painting upside down is beyond me!
We had visitors today.  Bec and Tilly called In to see us.  Last time we saw them Tilly was just a baby.  Shortly she is going to have a brother or sister!
tilly blog

Friday, June 19, 2015

Missing posts

Readers I must apologise for the missing posts.  This was unintended and unforseen.  If I had realised there was going to be a problem I would have drafted three posts in advance.

What happened was I had an invitation from our youngest son to accompany him on an overseas trip.  He is rather good a sniffing out a bargain and we managed to get some cheap fares.

The first thing I noticed on arrival were the large number of bicycles. Much of the population seemed to get around the inner city on bikes.

bikes Now you might be thinking …… China!  But you would be wrong.  This city has proper bike lanes with bike traffic lights.

bike lights

Can you see the small set of traffic lights adjacent to the main vehicle lights?

Car parking is done in a manner that provides a barrier between moving vehicles and bicycles.

bike lane

It took several hours to adjust to the idea that the smooth and wide pedestrian lane was actually for bikes (which travelled fast).  Pedestrians had to stay on the uneven footpath.

If you haven’t worked out where we were by now this following photo may help.

mermaid small

Yes, we were in Copenhagen, Denmark.  What were our impressions?  The general population appeared to be healthy and happy.  Perhaps some of this can be attributed to the general use of bikes.  Denmark isn’t particularly cheap.  I have the impression the income gap between rich and poor is small.  There was little sign of excessive wealth and no sign of poverty.  I didn’t see any graffiti.  The Danes appear to be happy with their situation!

After reading all about star forts I was pleased to finally be able to visit one.  The Danes built one down by the water front. 

star fort1

This type of fort became popular around the Napoleonic period.  Cannon could breach stonework but earth more readily absorbed the energy.  The shape of the fort allowed for mutual support as can be seen in the following diagram.

fort designOn the landward side the fort has an inner and outer moat.  Although open to the public, it is still occupied by the Danish military.

There is a round tower in the centre of the CBD.  It’s now a tourist attraction with good views of Copenhagen from the top.

round tower I suspect it is a former ‘shot tower’.  The last time I inspected a tower like this was in Istanbul.  The tower was used to make lead musket balls.  Molten lead would be dropped from the top down the hollow centre of the tower.  It would form a perfect sphere during the fall and also solidify.  There would be a sand layer at the base of the tower to collect the balls.

I happened to notice this man wrestling a bull on top of one of the buildings.

bull

Walking around the reverse side of the building revealed it to be colourfully painted. On looking more closely I found it to be a cinema.

theatre

There are some very interesting buildings in Copenhagen.  I particularly liked this one.

lizard small

It was the spire that first caught my eye.

tails small

Entwined dragon tales I think!

It’s interesting how some things can catch your attention.  We were wandering around the supermarket looking to buy food for dinner when I happened to notice all the price tags were digital and appeared to be part of a wifi network.  The photo is a little blurred.

digital price tag

The system would have an initial high cost but there must be labour saving and it would make it easier to adjust prices.

We wandered down to the edge of the canal that runs through the CBD to take a few photos.

copenhagen waterfront Actually over the 3 days we did a significant amount of walking.  It’s a pity we experienced rain on two of our three days !Sad smile  It was mid June…….??????  And the English complain about their weather.  

Well that’s another one ticked off the bucket list!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Naturalisation or not?

During a meeting with Ray & Diane (nb Ferndale) last month Ray mentioned I was eligible to apply for UK Naturalisation.  I’d previously read I’d need five years of ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) before I would be eligible to apply.  After the conversation I checked the government website and Ray is correct. The question is”Why should I?”  It really comes down to a question of money.  The visa cost us £1500 and the ILR another £1500.  The application for naturalisation will cost a further £1005.  If the application is successful it is mandatory to attend a citizenship ceremony (another £80).  What are the benefits of another passport for someone my age?  Will I suddenly acquire a taste for English ale!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Easy and Hard

An easy start to the day, albeit we were both up before 6.30.  It was a casual morning pottering around the boat before heading to the Butt Inn for our usual Sunday roast lunch.  What a contrast to The Kite at Oxford last week.  This time the meal was delicious.

This is our mooring above Padworth Lock

above padworth lock

Waiouru is looking filthy, you wouldn’t believe I painted the black below the gunwale this year.  She needs a good wash and polish. 

This afternoon I set out our two wheelbarrow tyres to hold the port (left) side of the boat away from the concrete edge.  One of the reasons why we are on this mooring is the concrete edge is low and that gives access to the area below the gunwale.

The generator provided the 240V power for our small orbital sander. I spent several hours sanding down the black paint and removing the rust.  After wiping it down the bright bare metal was given a coat of primer.  After that I started on the paint chips in the red handrails.  They were masked and then rubbed back to bare metal before applying a first undercoat.

rubbed gunwales

The tunnel bands also need some attention, but that will have to wait for another time.  Whilst I was working outside Jan was inside cleaning the galley.

There was time for a walk up to Froud’s Bridge Lane in the evening.  It was going on dark on the way back.  A timeshare boat appeared and I took a photo in the expectation there wouldn’t be sufficient light.  However the camera surprised me and produced something that looked better than the actual scene.

canaline

Despite the easy start to the day we will sleep well tonight.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Change of Plan

Our intention was to stay on the mooring at Theale until Monday, however we had an email at noon which changed our plans. As a consequence of this we cruised the short distance to Aldermaston.  Saturday wasn’t our preferred day to move because we assumed the hire boats would be leaving the ABC base at Aldermaston heading towards Reading and we didn’t want to meet novices during their first four hours.  As it was we didn’t see a single hire boat!

At Tyle Mill we stopped to top up the water tank and dispose of the rubbish.  Whilst there we were approached by a local boater who informed us he had started a business supplying services to local boaters.  He currently supplies coal, gas and blue, but intends to also supply red diesel and a toilet pump out.

His contact details are:

  • Paul Diprose
  • Mob: 07503583523

The services are supplied from his boat and he informed us he planned to cover the area from Reading to Little Bedwyn.

services boatWe carried on towards Aldermaston and were fortunate to meet a boat at Ufton Lane swing bridge.  One of their crew was already operating the controls and we were able to pass through without the need for Jan to alight.  The offside lower gate at Towney Lock kept on swinging open.  I was down in the lock (it’s deep) on the boat and Jan couldn’t hold the lower gate shut whilst simultaneously raising on the of the top gate paddles.  In the end I managed to hold the lower gate shut with the stern fender whilst Jan raised one paddle.

We rounded the corner on the approach to Padworth lock to find a breasted up pair of working boats immediately in front on the lock landing.

paired boats

Two things immediately came to mind.

  1. Novice hire boaters will have an interesting time trying to get against the lock landing.
  2. Paul Diprose (Tyle Mill) already appears to have some competition.

We already knew from our previous stay at Aldermaston that the chances of finding a mooring before Aldermaston Lock would be very slim.  However we managed to get on the offside immediately above the lock.  It’s a concrete edge and the bow is partially protruding across the bywash.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Short Cruise

With a forecast of heavy showers in the afternoon we decided we would have a short day of cruising   Actually it was a toss up whether to move.  But then we were going to have to run the engine to recharge the batteries so we might as well do that on the move.

We hadn’t noticed the boat moored three away from us yesterday at the Cunning Man.  Addicted blog readers might recognise the name.  At least one kiwi couple should!

northern prideWe get amused by the number of people who look at the flag on Waiouru’s stern and then mention Australia.  There is an easy way to tell the difference between the Australian and New Zealand flags.  The Australian flag has white stars and the NZ has red with a white border.  The Australian flag has six stars.  The five small stars represent the Southern Cross and the large cross represents the Federation of Australian States.  The star has six points which represent the original five States with one point for the Territories.   The NZ flag has four stars which also represent the Southern Cross. 

We caught up with a solo boater at Burghfield lock and shared locks with him until we moored at Theale.  He took some pride in telling us he was close to 80 and after a second hip replacement he felt he could be boating for a few more years.

sharing

He was quite prepared to get off his boat and share working the gates and paddles.  Both of us noted the name of his boat.

adelaide

Prior to arriving in the UK we lived in Adelaide, South Australia for 18 years.  It’s the longest we have ever lived in one location during our married life.  However there is no connection between the name of his boat and our last address.  The boat is named after a favourite aunt.

Jan got the finger power ‘high’ at Theale Swing Bridge controlling the road traffic whilst both boats moved through and onto the moorings above the bridge.

theale swingbridge

We had only just finished mooring and setting up the TV aerial when the forecast rain arrived.  After lunch I walked to the large Sainsbury’s supermarket at Theale for some essential supplies (doughnuts). 

We’re not in a hurry and may stay here tomorrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Cunning Man

Yesterday evening I went for a walk up to County Lock and then to the south of Reading. 

county lock

The canal through the centre of Reading is one way and controlled by traffic lights.  You might be able to see the red light in the above photo.  The water level was considerably lower than when we were last this way.

At 9am we pulled the mooring pins and slowly cruised up to the traffic light at the downstream end.  Jan pushed the button and the light immediately changed to green.   We had an uneventful cruise up through the Reading Oracle section of the river.

oracle

The last time we did this the river was just coming off flood levels and there was no time to take photos.

A boat had been up before us so Jan had to empty and set County Lock before I could steer Waiouru into it.

county lock reading

The route took us through the southern suburbs of inner Reading.  I can’t remember how many times I walked the towpath from Aldermaston to Reading when we were fitting out Waiouru so it’s all very familiar.  However there were two new things we noted.

This sign is new

sign in reading

And this boat owner appears to have been caught by some serious flooding with their end of garden mooring. Smile

flood level

We moored above Fobney Lock so I could walk back to the local Halfords at Rose Kiln Lane and buy some engine oil.  They only had one container in stock but that will suffice to top up the engine oil. On my walk back I could hear the sound of a narrowboat behind me.  Feeling in a boaters mood we assisted the single hander through Fobney Lock.  He then went on ahead to Southcote Lock.  We joined him in the lock and Jan worked us up. 

We moored outside the Cunning Man pub at midday.  After lunch I checked the weed hatch because the boat has been making the noises associated with the prop being fouled.  It was clean!  We’ve been on rivers so long we’ve forgotten the sound Waiouru makes when the bottom of the canal is close to the top!

cunning man mooring

Cunning Man Mooring

I then removed the bird droppings from the cabin roof and side before doing some repairs to the handrail paint.

At 6pm we wandered over the the Cunning Man for dinner.  Jan chose the chicken and leak pie whilst I opted for the beef burger.  Both of us chose poorly!

cunning man

The Cunning Man Pub

Jan has been reading Farsebook and identified that nb Sola Gratia is now ahead of us.  We’re not sure where and when Tim and Tracey managed to pass us.  But then you can’t trust those Boating Camping & Fishing (BCF) people!  Winking smile