Sunday, 27 October 2013

Herbie, diesel, and a good mooring!

But first we were somewhat relieved to read that things are improving for Les and Jaq (nb Valerie).  I agree with Jaq when she wrote that the hospital shouldn’t expect to rely on patients or relatives to inform them when an incident has occurred.  In a robust risk management system frontline staff should have reported the incident before patients get the opportunity.  I was fortunate to be able to contact Jaq this morning and obtain a first hand account of the current situation.  It’s apparent the major issue is now the time it’s taking for Jaq to travel between Valerie and the hospital.  It’s taking approximately 7 hours out of each day using public transport.  When you add the time spent with Les to the travelling time and then add everything else Jaq has to do every day I can foresee they might both end up in hospital.  Jaq informed me she doesn’t drive on the wrong side of the road!  Thank goodness it’s the right side on the canals…..  So what she really needs is some helpful local person (or persons) to assist her with transport.  Can anyone help?

The laptop had just started this morning when we received a Skype call from FMIL in Sydney.  The recent bushfires around Sydney must have been rather frightening for her.  She told us about an almost black sky with a blood red sun trying to burn through!  Some 200 homes have been destroyed making 200 families homeless.

We had a boaters meeting in bed last night and after discussing the weather forecast decided to head back towards Rugby before the “big storm” hits on Sunday night.  Both of us donned our heavy foul weather clothing because we know that if we do this then it will not rain!  Waiouru slipped away from Coventry Basin around 10.00am.

That’s a worry…..  Lost AND you have a map!

We backtracked to the water point at Hawkesbury Junction passing the same old boats moored in the same old places.  Jan went forward and set the stop lock whilst I stowed the hose and secured the cratch cover.  The CRT crew weren’t working on the towpath and then I realised it was Saturday <duh… see what retirement does!>.

The reconstruction of the towpath involves laying geotextile membrane and then securing vertical timber edging with wooden stakes before filling the gap with fine aggregate. It really needs a waterproof surface coating (eg, bitumen) to prevent the loss of the aggregate but I suppose the budget didn’t extend that far.

There is a small car cemetery near Stowe Common with VW’s appearing to be the most prevalent occupants.  Herbie was looking somewhat forlorn.

There was a beggar hanging around a canal side house near Ansty.  He was tapping on the windows and loitering near the door.  Jan thought the scrounger might have previously received free meals from the occupants and was returning for seconds.

The M6 came and went.. and then came and went.  Somehow I think it’s the canal route that isn’t straight! Smile

The wind started to strengthen along the straight near Throstles Nest and as it was side on to Waiouru we got pushed around.  Fortunately the bulk of the remainder of the journey had trees on either side of the cut.  Unlike our journey to Coverntry, the pedestrian swing bridge at Rose Narrowboats was open meaning we didn’t have to stop. <duh… it was Saturday!>

There was a rather attractive narrow dutch barge in the boatyard poly tunnel.

The next section of the canal was  attractive with the green and gold of the trees and the surface of the canal covered in brown and gold leaves.  The only problem is that damned leaves clog up the propeller.

We had seen quite a few urban jellyfish in the Coventry Canal and suspect a number of them had become entangled around the prop. Despite having done some “bursts” in reverse to throw them off Waiouru gradually got slower.

Several boaters had left comments suggesting fuel could be obtained for a good price at Lime Farm Marina.  It’s an awkward entrance and Adam (nb Briar Rose) had mentioned they always reversed onto the diesel point so we did the same.  Unfortunately I missed seeing the diesel point and we reversed too far down the arm.  At least it provided some needed practice!

Lime Farm Marina

So here we are with the bow sticking out towards the canal filling the diesel tanks.

Domestic was 80p/ltr and propulsion £1.14.  We’re not sure whether the person who served us was a member of staff or the owner.  Either way he was most helpful and it transpired he had been out to Australia for several working holidays and wanted to go to NZ.

We reached Newbold around 3.00pm to find a trip boat had managed to snag the best mooring.  On rings and right in front of the pub.

“What’s that black and white cast iron post over there darling?  The one with the water hose connection?”

Yes, moored on the water point and gone to the pub for a long lunch!

We managed to find a gap just the right size on the 48 hour moorings.  First job was to strip off and take the plunge down the weed hatch.  I’m getting rather good at these reverse push-ups!  One hand to get a good grasp of the urban jellyfish, fishing line, jacket zips, etc and the other to weld the bread knife to surgically remove it with a vigorous sawing motion.

The last task is to mentally prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s Sunday roast at the Barley Mow!


James and Debbie said...

Probably would have been John, the owner you meet. Great guy and very good mechanic. We hired a boat from them a few years back, they even wrote to us afterwards thanking is for bringing it back in such clean condition.

Tom and Jan said...

He certainly seemed a nice guy!

Adam said...

I did also say you'd have your bow sticking out into the canal, so that should have been a clue as to the position!

Tom and Jan said...


You are absolutely correct and had provided all the required information. It was ME! I couldn't see the diesel bowser and assumed it had been moved further down the arm since you were last there.