Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Another interesting day

Yesterday it was first time meetings at the Crick Boat Show and today we had a visitor from Australia.  Doug and Tom were in the same class of army cadets back in the mid 70’s.  In July last year Doug visited us at Aldermaston Wharf after completing a long trek in Sweden.  These long treks are something he regularly does and recently he completed walking the famous Milford Track in the South Island of New Zealand.

July 2012 – Doug & Tom in front of Waiouru.

We had a text message from Doug confirming his arrival at Rugby railway station on the 10.41 from Euston.  It was a 30 minute walk to meet the train and bring Doug back to Waiouru where he promptly presented Jan with a gift brought all the way from Canberra.

Arnott’s ‘Tim Tam’ chocolate biscuits.  An Australian speciality!

We’ve had three straight days of lovely weather but today it decided to rain.  We gave Doug the choice of staying in Waiouru or going for a short cruise.  Of course he opted for the latter and so we slipped our lines and headed towards Hillmorton.  Doug steered most of the way and did a great job.  Especially as it was the first time he’d been on a narrowboat.

We stopped at the water point below Hillmorton Locks and waited almost 90 minutes for the tank to fill.  The water pressure was very low and as a result we gave up before the water level had reached the top of the tank.

Doug might be a ‘slow learner’ when it comes to exiting a narrowboat with a closed back hatch cover as he hit his head on it twice.  We went up through all three locks with Doug and Jan working the gates and paddles.  Another ‘first’ for Doug!

At the second lock Doug was told he would be taking Waiouru into the third lock.  His reply was “Well I’d better start paying attention to how it’s done!” Jan went forward and set up the 3rd lock whilst Doug did a good job of loitering at the entrance.  He then took Waiouru into the lock like an expert.  Suddenly we realised how much time had elapsed and if Doug didn’t get on his way promptly he’d miss the bus back to Rugby.  A couple of hasty goodbyes and he was off.  Both of us hope he made his transport connections back to London.

Jan walked ahead to see if there was a mooring above the locks.  After some frantic waving on her part we managed to squeeze into a mooring just around the bend.  The grass verge has been mowed and we have both a satellite and terrestrial signal.  We may stay here tomorrow and let the ‘traffic’ from the boat show clear Braunston junction.  But then if the weather is fine it might be a better idea to move! 

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