Sunday, 6 September 2015

A little home for a week

A quick trip today, after a great visit to All Saint's, Braunston, the "cathedral of the canals." We've had a fabulous weekend with good friends and today needed to move to a mooring allowing a longer stay so we can get back to work. This is one of our favourite sections of long stay mooring in Braunston, and each time we're in a slightly different place than the last and delight in the new view. Pete will be pleased that there is a good break in the trees for the solar panels to soak up juice, Elizabeth likes the new open view out the windows and Maxwell is thrilled. We're moored port to, so he can sit out on deck again. Win, win all round!

Right, off for some shopping and to collect Marvin, Pete's work van.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Braunston again

Here we are again. We set out south this morning turning at Wigrams Turn or Napton Junction, depending on which canal map you read. We're happily here to welcome a dear friend to dinner. Our Mr Well enjoyed his journey, meeting another lovely friend at the Stop House, near where we stopped this afternoon. The Stop House is usually known to us as Pete's central office of the CRT Grand Union North. Fun to be here not for work!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Fuel and a few more miles

We had booked a coal visit, so knew we needed to wait in Braunston until the Southern Cross, one of Jules' Fuels boats stopped by. Elizabeth went to the shops (We know! It's usually Pete who likes this! Needs must in the case of 25kilo bags of coal...). The pictures show Southern Cross arriving and then pulling in to work.

We then set out to a significantly colder and darker day. Shockingly, the 2nd of September required the layers of wool. Good we have coal for Squirrel! We're now moored on the South Oxford Canal, just west of Flecknoe in Warwickshire. Oh, and Maxwell is doing so incredibly well as a boat travelling member of the family.

Out again

So, we’re sorry, but we forgot to blog that we’d actually returned to Welton Hythe on July 19th.  It was a warm and dry day, with good lock work.  The tunnel was packed, however, with perhaps 7 boats.  We’ve never had it so packed!  

We set out again yesterday, turned at the maintenance point and enjoyed the sunny break in the day to cruise down the mature tree lined canal ‘avenue’ which is our home mooring.  Pete made one of the best turns ever at Norton Junction and we headed to Braunston once again.  Note – we had plans to go southeast, but the Buckby flight has a serious lock damage problem.  We decided to keep out of the way and head back west.

Back to yesterday.  On from Norton Junction, we headed toward the tunnel with high hopes compared to last time, as we passed only one boat coming the opposite direction from the tunnel before we entered.  Well, hopes dashed quickly with headlamps galore.  We passed six boats in the tunnel, one a pair with one towing the other.  Fun around the bends, not! Out in the sun again, we did half the lock flight and moored in what we call the Nellie pound, the pound ending in the lock by the Admiral Nelson.  So, of course, we took Mr Well for a walk, now that we have a dog who can greet the public, and had a lovely stop at the pub.  Including sitting under the parasol. To stay out of the rain.

Today, we traveled the remainder of the flight and are now moored outside Braunston Marina as we wait for the coal boat.  It’s that time of year again!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Quintessential English canal evening

This is one of the reasons we enjoy this life. This scene is, well, normal. But each time we see a scene like this, it feels special. A gorgeous night.

Braunston again

This is one of our favourite moorings, down at the bottom of the hill looking up to the Braunston spire. Gorgeous.

We set off from Hillmorton today with Pete doing an amazingly expert reverse of Bella to the winding hole at the bottom of Hillmorton locks. The expertise included passing moored boats, passing moving boats (which confused them as we were facing the same direction) and then turning in the ideal moment as the locks were bringing boats down so that we were ready as soon as they opened. Star.

The locks were busy indeed, with Elizabeth at the tiller in between locks 2/3 and 4/5. Bridge, sharp corner, two boats out, others waiting, still she managed to bring Bella into lock with not a tap. What a team!

OK. Enough for the cruising. Now for Maxwell. We continue to be amazed. A. Mazed. We walked him up this gorgeous hill to the villadge. Two country swing/arc gates and he knew what to do. Next one, he waited on the right side for the opening. No barking at people. Almost no noticing of people. First trip to the pub with us. Drank water put out for dogs - Josie never did this, no matter what. No barking at dogs in the pub garden. Unlike Josie. Wagging tail with people. Who knew dogs could be like this? Not us, for sure. Walk home, some dogs met, most ignored, some quickly moved away from. Woooo. We have a nice, hospitable, beautiful dog. Wow.

Oh, and it's a nice mooring.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Watering up

Here we are, watering up below Hillmorton locks. Pete had a half day time off in lieu, so we untied and travelled north on the Oxford, cruising past our old home mooring of Hillmorton Wharf Marina. Elizabeth spent the cruising time at the desk, with Bella variously moving in and out of data coms. 4G was enjoyed to the east of Rugby, so we should be in connectivity when we moor up. Fingers crossed.