*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Friday, 16 June 2017

It is generator time.

Saltisford to Long Itchington.

Tuesday 12th.

Please excuse the lack of photographs. Signal issues means I cannot post them right now.

Monday I made sure it was a busy bee day. I wanted to get some jobs done in the Arm’s garden, but first I wanted to tidy a neighbours hedge and garden as he is away poorly and as we do not know when he will be home, I thought it would be nice for him to come back to a tidy mooring garden wise. So the hedge was trimmed back and I weeded his garden and pathway alongside his pontoon. For any of us with a garden, the last thing you want to come home to is an untidy garden etc, so hopefully he will not have to bother with it for a while. After lunch Keith and I turned out attention to a small hedge and garden near one of our onsite toilets, which was in much need of some weeding and the hedge needed trimming as well. All in all we got a huge wheelbarrow full from a small patch, but it did look fabulous when done. Later in the afternoon we got a phone call from our engineer asking us to make our way to Kate Boats at Stockton, in order to have our old generator taken out and a new working model installed, so Tuesday morning we said “Cheerio” to the Arm, turned right out of the Arm and headed to Cape Locks, where we were behind two boats already waiting for the lock to fill. After we had helped them through the first lock, I then refilled the lock and we were on our way. We did not see the two boats again, because stopped at Lidl in Leamington-Spa for a food top up. As we moored up at 10.20 am a familiar face approached me, it was John from Narrowboat Jubilee and behind him was Jan. We have not seen them for some time, so it was lovely to have a quick catch-up before we went shopping. After I had stowed the food items away, we then joined them for a coffee and a longer natter, where we caught up on our news and cruising plans for the season such as they were. It is always wonderful to see fellow boaters and friends and we hope they have a wonderful time cruising. 12.05 pm we waved Jan and John goodbye and we headed off towards Radford Semele and the next lot of locks. Amazingly the rest of the locks for the day were with us or boats were exiting the locks and leaving them ready for us, which was a real bonus. Now we had thought we would press on past Long Itchington and stop at Blue Lias below the Stockton flight, but my worry was if there was nowhere to moor we would be forced to carry on up the flight, so we changed our thinking and decided if there was any room on the Two Boats moorings at Long Itchington we would stop there and yes you guess it, there was a mooring space with our name written on it (not literally, it was big enough for Hadar to fit into). Having moored up at 3.40 pm, we felt we deserved a pint, so I handed the cash to Keith and he came back with two pints of Bombadier, which went down incredibly well. 5.30 pm The Two Boats was serving food, so we treated ourselves to Steak and Ale Pie, chips and peas, oh and another pint. Well it would have been rude not to have washed a fantastic meal down with a pint, one has to top up the fluids after a hard day working locks. We had an excellent day, with some warm but not stifling weather. All in all fabulous.

Wednesday 14th.

We left our overnight mooring outside The Two Boats at 8.10 am, with a view to getting to Stockton Marina and Kate Boats. Lock one and Keith rescued a small frog, who was trapped in the lock. That was his good deed for the day. The Stockton flight had water supply issues when we got into Lock 8 the pound above was completely empty, so I had to send some water down to get Keith through the pound and into Lock 7. The same again further up, there was very little water in the pound and with no boats coming down, it was up to me to send some water down. I worked ahead and Keith closed up behind, which always works incredibly well for us. We arrived at the top lock and low and behold a boat appeared ready to come down, we could have done with them earlier. Locks done for the day we arrived at Kate Boats and pulled in along the front of the marina, Keith went to find Rob our engineer to find out where they wanted us. We were directed to alongside their Polly tunnel where they paint the boats and do maintenance. We were very happy with our mooring. We had electric and water if needed. Once we were settled, the chairs came out and so did my crochet. I finished my pale green and white blanket and started on a peach and white one. After a salad lunch Rob and Nick came and had a look at the situation of getting the old generator out and made a few decisions, one of which would mean taking the calofier out as well to make it easier to get the generator out. Keith and I are both easy, whatever they need to do is fine by us. So decisions all made and new generator on order, we were looking at being in the marina until next Wednesday 21st June, so rather than just sitting we would go off to Braunston to Midland Chandlers, where we want ted get paint etc. But our evening was spent sent in the marina, sat outside with mog and dog, Keith doing crosswords and I was doing more crochet. Marmite was thrilled at being let out on her lead, as she had been cooped up all day. I took her for a walk up into the grass, where she thought a good old roll was called for. Paddy was more than happy to just lay on the back counter and watch the world go by.

Thursday 15th

We were awake at around 6.30 am after an excellent night’s sleep, albeit rather warm. So warm in fact that we kept the slide open a bit to allow some air to circulate. Both Keith and I had caught the sun, so that made us feel even warmer. Morning brew to begin our day and a morning meow from Marmite. The sun was streaming through the portholes announcing it was to be another beautiful day. Having emptied the cassette, gotten rid of rubbish and done a few jobs we left the marina at 8.50 am and set off towards Braunston. We arrived at the junction at 10.15 am, with a boat coming into the bridge ‘ole and another crossing it, so this was the start of spaghetti junction. This stretch of canal is always busy, with lots of boats on the move. We were following one boat, who very kindly signalled to us when it was safe to come through a bridge ‘ole’s. Not all boaters do this, we have always done it when another boater is following us. We had decided to that we would stop on the way into Braunston and just after bridge 103 was our chosen spot, with no other boats being there. The wind was getting up and heavy clouds were rolling in, which was probably signalling the rain the forecasters said we may get.

We have discovered we are in a definite signal blackspot, hence why this posting is so late. You may have thought we had fallen of the end of the planet, but no we just had no signal. As the day wore on it was clear that this stretch of the canal is like the M25, because it was wall to wall boats going in both directions and many of them have absolutely no concept what tick over is. I could of spent most of my afternoon and evening asking people to slow down, but there was very little point. The giveaway that they were not slowing down was no change in revs coming towards us, passing us or continuing on their journey. I have said time and time again, one day there will be an accident on a moored boat due to boats passing to fast. Someone will fall over, or get scalded by hot liquid all because people are in too much of a hurry. The evening arrived with a sound of a whistle and that meant Adamant was on its way to Braunston for the Historic Boat Rally which takes place on the 24th and 25th June. This of course means Braunston would be busy.
My evening ended with sitting on the slide watching the sun go down, listening to the Skylarks and Thrush singing with the going down of the sun. It was a beautiful evening, with very little wind and peace was all around.

Friday 16th.

Wideawake early, with the sound of the skylark singing overhead. First cuppa of the day was enjoyed in bed. With no TV, so no news or weather, we sat and discussed the plan for the day. The plan was to head into Braunston and if possible find a mooring for the weekend. After doing the usual jobs, we left our overnight mooring at 8.55 am and set off behind two other boats. The run in to Braunston is always a slow one, because of all the moored boats along this stretch, but we were not in any hurry. We arrived in Braunston at 10 am to find there were plenty of places to moor. Our plan was to moor as near to the junction as possible, so alls we need to do on Monday is reverse and turn back on to the junction and then head back to Stockton. We moored up three boats along, locked the boat up and headed over to Midland Chandlers to buy paint for when we go into dry dock for blacking. 
Yippee we have a signal as you can see, otherwise you would not be reading this posting. Keith discovered he had sold a Rag Rug on Ebay. So we wrapped it up and walked into the village to get it posted to its new owner. Whilst in the shop, I bought yet more salad items, because we are set for another hot weekend. We met up with Sue and Roger off of Narrowboat Dunham Dawdler, who we have not seen for years. They have a mooring at Welford, but when we were doing the coal run there, they were never onboard. It was so lovely to have a catch-up in the shop, we then thought we would walk back with them, in order to carry on nattering. Braunston is very much in Historic Boat Rally mode, because the signs are out for No Mooring here, there and everywhere. Where we are moored you cannot moor there from the 21st, in preparation for the boats who are coming to the rally. So we are fine for the weekend. 

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