Sunday, 11 January 2015

We don’t do wet & Mind the Gap

A very broken sleep last night.  The mooring had a shelf below water level and despite my effort with fenders I was unable to stop the boat banging against it all night.  The problem was compounded by the strong gusts.  Both of us were up by 6am and we started cruising just after 8am.

Halfie had left a comment indicating we might pass Jubilee on our way south.  We looked out the side hatch this morning and there was Jubilee moored opposite (name in window).

Oops… wrong Jubilee!  Smile

It was a cold and grey start to the day.  Fortunately the camera lens takes great photos making this look better then they were.

You only get a few photos of the top lock because for the remaining six locks in the flight the heavens opened and it seriously rained cats, dogs, sheep and the odd goat!

By the time we were halfway down the flight Jan’s fleecy trousers were saturated and so were my jeans.  Oh well, at least it wasn’t very cold (got that one wrong too!) and skin is water resistant.  We stopped on the water point below the bottom lock to top up the tank.  Jan also took the opportunity to get into a dry pair of trousers and then put on her waterproof over trousers.  This ensured the remained of the day was fine (ie, didn’t rain again).  Jan is sure there was a sprinkling of snow in the rain (I think she was right) but it was too warm to allow it to settle.

We cruised on towards Cosgrove.   Why do boaters decide to moor leaving three boat lengths between boats in rural locations and 2/3 of a boat in good (eg, village) moorings.  The gap is just big enough to prevent me from increasing boat speed between moored boats.  It gets to be rather slow going long distances doing tick-over!

We only saw three boats on the move the entire day.  The first was (of course) at a bridge on a blind bend.  After going down the Stoke Bruerne  flight with every lock against us we arrived at Cosgrove lock to find a boat coming up.  The wind gusts were so strong that for most of the morning we were”crabbing” down the canal.

Whilst waiting for the boat to come up I happened to notice there were narrow gauge rail tracks on the lock mooring landing.

One assumes some type of cargo was transhipped here in days gone bye?

There is a long straight embankment immediately beyond the lock which appeared to be a preferred mooring location.  At least it was sheltered from the wind and we were able to pass the moored boats on tick-over without any difficulty.  This Tjalk was moored on the off-side.  Its mast was very tall and with all the low bridges between here and the Thames it must obviously have been lowered to reach Cosgrove.

A boat built to operate in both deep and shallow water with keel boats that can be raised to reduce the draught.

The plan was to get beyond Bridge 84 as it is due to close for maintenance this month.  The CRT winter closure notice states the closure commences 12 Jan but we also received an email stating the 19th.  Rather than risk the date in the email being an error we decided to be through it before the 12th.  Today we broke two of our rules.  The first was to not have long cruising days and the second was no cruising on weekends.  Hopefully it was all worth it.  Now we can start to slow down. <Jan here……….yeah right  and It was three rules…….no rain!>


Sue said...

You not got any of those wheels Tom from screwfix?

We have those finger fenders that sink if they fall off. They are really good in that they go under the water and stop the bumping on any shelf.. Musn't forget to tie them on somewhere though!

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Sue,
We have both the Screwfix wheels and the finger fenders. The latter didn't work and the former were in the bottom of the BT locker. I was too lazy to pull everything out of the locker (to my subsequent regret). I won't make that error again!

Leo No2 said...

I would say the right Jubilee! The one shown in your image is a very important boat historically having been built as a horse boat in 1927, converted by FMC to motor, carried, at different times, the Queen and the Queen Mother (at the opening of the Southern Stratford), operated as a trip boat, carried coal for a number of years and now earning her well earned retirement as pictured. It's boats like this one that kept the waterways alive during the difficult times.

Tom and Jan said...

Fascinating. I should have taken more photos.

Halfie said...

Its far less significant namesake was/is tucked away in Thrupp Wharf Marina which you passed just before Cosgrove, by the Navigation Inn currently being refurbished.

Tom and Jan said...

I remember pointing out to Jan the size of the waves at the entrance to Thrupp Wharf Marina as we passed. The wind had whipped them up to almost a foot. Entering or departing would have been a tricky operation!