Friday, 3 May 2013

OMG… It’s May!

Another month has slipped past us and suddenly it’s May.  Time to start “cramming” for the ‘Life in the UK’ test!

We left our overnight mooring in Cropredy at 9.00am slipping silently past the earthmoving machinery digging the large hole for the new Cropredy Marina.  The sign states it’s opening in Summer 2013 but there are only a few pontoons in place and no water in the hole.  Nor are there any signs of buildings or services.  I’m glad we haven’t pre-paid for a mooring.

The next 4 hours were spent slowly cruising through delightful rural countryside.  Only twice did we see a vehicle although a number of boats passed us going in the opposite direction.  This worked in our favour as Jan found most of the locks empty meaning all she needed to do was open the lower gates.  A total of eight locks with three almost immediately after leaving Cropredy and then another five at Claydon.

There is a private winding hole just north of Elkington’s Lock.  Six years ago we hired a boat from Black Prince at Wigrams Turn for a fortnight and managed to complete the Warwickshire Ring before making our way as far south as this winding hole.  We winded the boat in it without realising it was private!  Actually we winded there because the Pearsons Guide had the other winding hole in the wrong place and we passed it.

John we didn’t have time to visit the Bygones Museum at Claydon!  Perhaps next time we pass this way.  Jan walked between the locks and managed to speak with some of the ladies passing in the opposite direction.

We passed a row of moored boats on tick-over just before the first of the Claydon Locks but this didn’t stop the grumpy git on the scruffy looking little plastic boat yelling out his window to “Slow down!”  To which I replied “We are doing tick-over!”

Once through the five Claydon locks we knew there would be no further locks for the next couple of days <phew>! This time we managed to transit through the '”narrows” before Fenny Compton without making a mess of it.  Either Waiouru handles better than the hireboat or I’ve learned something during the intervening six years!

Entering the “Narrows”

I recall reading somewhere that the “Narrows” used to be two tunnels which were subsequently opened (roof taken off).

Last time we went through the “Narrows” a boat came from the opposite direction and I managed to get myself into a “tizz” which resulted in me grounding the boat in the reeds across the cut!  Fortunately we had the canal to ourselves on this occasion.

The strategy of cruising until lunch time appears to be working as we easily found a good mooring in Fenny Compton.  Jan put on a load of washing during the latter part of the journey which confused me at one point as I could feel a vibration in the boat.  Then I realised the washing machie was doing the spin cycle! Smile

As we entered Fenny Compton I looked back and the prop thrust from Waiouru didn’t look right.  Instead of being a straight line behind it was off to starboard and there was a “bubbling” effect at the stern.  So when we moored I went down the weed hatch to feel around the shaft and propeller.  It had to be by feel as the water was too murky to see.  I could feel vegetation, plastic, twine and nylon fishing line.  Trying to clear it with my hands didn’t work so I resorted to using the serrated bread knife which cut through it like…… bread!  Don’t tell Jan I used the bread knife as the taste of tomorrows bread can be a surprise!  OK… just joking!  I used the £2 bread knife from Wilkinsons which was purchased for clearing the propeller.  The rotary clothesline was then erected on the stern for Jan to dry the laundry.  I then washed and polished the port side.  There’s considerable more surface area to wash and polish when compared to the car!  I needed a beer afterwards but they were all warm! 

Tonight we’re going to The wharf Inn for our evening meal and to rehydrate!

1 comment :

nicknorman said...

I think a good response to "SLOW DOWN", providing you are going slowly, is "TIE YOUR BOAT UP PROPERLY". Expletives optional.