Monday, 14 March 2016

Home home via quite a drama

All was well. We set out from Crick with Pete reversing Bella into one of the marina entrances to turn around. Back through the Crick tunnel with Maxwell on deck, Pete at the tiller and Elizabeth happily watching the scenery whilst knitting. Of course. Through Watford top, all well, though a strong East wind. Through the staircase, then, with Elizabeth at the tiller for her favourite snappy turn and lock entry of any flight, the drama began. Wind caught Bella broadside, leading to much serious maneuvering (which E seriously enjoys - really! No irony).

Then the gear handle disengaged from the gears. No panic, but no manageable movement. Pete walked to the offside bank, trying to understand the issue. Finally, with E making no headway, she cut the engine and we all began working against the wind to pull push Bella to the towpath side of the pound. With E handling the boat pole, P handling the centre line which E threw from standing atop the roof, and the Watford Lockie letting more water into the pound to float us free of the silt, we finally got Bella safely to the towpath side of the pound. A few long minutes later and P manged to re-engage the handle with the gears. All well!

The rest of the trip was drama free with P in control of the wind as he turned us at Norton Junction to moor up at home home. Mr Well enjoyed watching the splendid turn.  More importantly, E was able to resume knitting.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Gorgeous sunny day

It started with bright dense fog and our world was so quiet.  Not only because of the delightfully muffled atmosphere, but also because the first boat didn't pass us until after 11. By the time we'd had our brunch (after E's creative head ran out of mind mapping in OneNote), the fog had cleared and we set out for holiday day 2.

Maxwell managed to remain on deck whilst we untied, but he wasn't quite so good at it whilst we moored in Crick. After coming back on board, his lovely muddy feet managed to make their way at pace all the way through Bella as he followed Pete's movements from the windows inside. Holding ropes, instructing, dishing out training treats, ignoring bad behaviour and tying up all at the same time is quite a comedy to watch all on its own! We'll get there 😊

Saturday, 12 March 2016

First Spring Cruise

Here we are, now by Kilsby Road Bridge on the GU Leicester line. One view is out the side hatch and one view is out of the dining room window. We set out this afternoon after our usual Saturday of brunch and shopping, delighted that the forecast sunny afternoon did indeed arrive. Dear Maxwell is learning to sit on deck whilst one of us runs off to do something.  It's a tough learn for him as his preference is to be at our heels...! But he's getting there. In fact, he managed to sit watching (and whining!!!) as we were both bankside mooring up. Good progress.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Snow, after many years and a happy pooch

Finally! We know that snow is no news, really, but this is the first we've had at Welton Hythe since we moved here as our home mooring 2 years ago. Our blog shows the snow many years before that, but we'd quite given up.

This is our first snow with Maxwell. His predecessor, Josie, loved it, so we guessed as much with Mr Well. Oh my. Yes, chasing snowballs. Yes, running madly. Then, eating snow. And he had so much fun, he ignored the trees! He came inside, grabbed his toy, and wanted to go straight back out, far more like a happy child than a dog. Well, he is a Maxwell.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Back at home-home

Why the double home? Bella is home, no question. But we have a home mooring, so together, it's home-home.

The weather forecast was showing a dismal morning with a drier afternoon, so we decided to set out in the dismalness, giving us a glorious afternoon. As it was, we reached the Braunston locks in just light mizzle and were pleased to be joined for the flight. Pilgrim's happy, confident, and relaxed boating crew were a pleasure to travel with, even to the point of entering locks at the same time.  We've done this with a few other boats, but each crew needs to trust the other. Brilliant. Not until lock 5 did the rain descend, and golly, did it ever. It stopped by the time we all got round lock 6 and then we were in the tunnel.

Coming out the tunnel felt like coming into a new country with it's blue sky and bright day. The turn at Norton Junction was again skillfully done, and it is always such a treat to see our mooring. Maxwell hopped off and immediately started barking at his tree. Here we are.

Friday, 6 November 2015

What, no pub?

We stayed home tonight. Who would have thought? It's Mr Well, you see. He implored us to protect him on the Friday after Guy Fawkes. The weekend nights after the 5th are full of pows and bangs. So we agreed, and though we're still on holiday, we stayed home. Happily. We both had a half work day in any case, so we were happy to remain on board.

Travelling tomorrow, and this time we promise to remember to tell you we got to home-home. We usually leave you in suspense and you don't know we're back at Weltonhythe until we tell you we're out again. Blog tomorrow.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

So nearly not a pair

No, not E&P. The brandy glasses. They had a night of not being the pair they are now, waiting for the evening nightcap.

Last night, Elizabeth was doing her usual thing when we're all out. Sitting on the arm of the sofa, feet on the footstool, leaning out of the side hatch and soaking in the fresh air. With a drink on the gunwhales. Enjoying the atmosphere, the fragrance of the air, and the space. Said brandy glass, one of the pair, was on the gunwhale. She moved. She gesticulated. This is how we eventually lost a set of six champagne glasses. Yes, brandy glass overboard.

Oh well. Chase through umpteen charity shops to find the right size. (again). But no! Pete to the rescue. This morning, before we set out, he grabbed the grabber, otherwise known as a metre long pole with a set of moveable prongs at one end and an operating handle at the other. He leaned out the side hatch. An arm holding the grabber made its way into the canal (Warwick and Napton Canal to be very precise) up to elbows. Feet left the floor. Ah ha! Brandy glass found!

A grateful Elizabeth then put the glass in sterilising fluid. Hey presto, the team is back in action. Now it will be up to Elizabeth to remember that there is a shelf. Inside Bella. Close to the hatch. For drinking vessels. Hmmm.