Monday, 4 October 2010

Yabba Dabba Doo

Monday 27th September to Sunday 3rd October

24 Miles, 6 Locks, 1 Tunnel, 1 Swing Bridge– for this week

Totals: 272 Miles, 295 Locks, 9 Tunnels, 8 Swing Bridges

This has been a week dictated by the weather and other timings. Needing a pumpout and the also to keep the diesel tank topped up I had decided that I would best accomplish these at Willow Wren hire base and they had indicated that Wednesday would be a suitably quiet date – so I did just that and set out on Wednesday morning, stopping to fill the water tank as well – it probably, in hindsight wasn’t the best day to do all of this – the misty rain had that penetrating effect, but there were increasingly longer spells of dry weather during the day.

Prior to leaving Rugby for a second time I saw this unusual little vehicle in the park opposite to where I was moored.

We should also acknowledge the efforts of Sir Frank Whittle, the inventor of the jet engine and native son of Rugby - the picture below is of the commemoration to this pioneer.

Not a long day cruising and moored up just after Bridge 35 with company from various animals on the other side of the canal. I had settled in for an evening being able to see a Man United game – this one a Champions League match against Valencia away from home – a great 1-0 result in the end, but the highlight of the night came about 8:30 – I could hear and then felt another boat outside breasting up alongside – this was a new and strange experience so I investigated through the window – sure enough alongside was another boat and friendly sounding chap asking for Derek and Dot ( the original owners of Gypsy Rover) – it turned out to be Ian on Gosty Hill who hadn’t heard of the change of ownership, but certainly introduced himself and we had a relatively short chat as he needed to round the bend to moor up.

The view opposite the mooring near Bridge 35

The following day I passed by as he was servicing another customer and briefly spoke – we will certainly be on the lookout for Gosty Hill next time we are back on the Oxford.

Invariably after a day of rain and with a cold night that we had, there is an early morning fog and Thursdays was really quite enjoyable – you just knew that when it lifted we would be in store for a very nice day – no disappointments here. Compare the pictures below - both of the same scene but about 3 hours apart.

Knowing that Friday was predicted to be a very wet day it was important to find a decent mooring spot and I had the intention of making for Hawkesbury Junction and the inviting Greyhound pub. So Friday was a day of peace and quiet save for the trip down the 200 metres past the lock to the pub and return.
This one is for Sam and her affection for cows

The rain really didn’t let up all day until about 5 – 5:30 when the clouds started to clear and we were treated to a delightful sunset.

A very uninspiring week, this week was and nothing much changed for Saturday with a cruise back onto the Coventry heading northwards – that will be the catchwords for the next month – ever heading northwards.

Through Nuneaton where I briefly moored up before a message from James in Birmingham to sort out Sunday lunch as Debbie was away and he felt the need to encourage me to the pub somewhere – we settled on The Kings Head in Atherstone, only because I had been there before and felt that it was not a bad meal – in fact it had been very good and had a nice relaxed and cosy atmosphere.

This of course meant that I would need to get myself a bit closer to Atherstone on Saturday afternoon to enable a better chance of avoiding impending bad weather on Sunday.

Not a chance of that happening, it started early and didn’t look like stopping any time quickly, so off I ventured – the only people with less sense than me this morning were those involved in a fishing match around Bridge 36.

Finally mooring up just before Bridge 40 for a short walk down to the designated meeting place, it was quite clear that the internet signal was sporadic at best between mooring and pub, and this precipitated the need for a later move down 5 locks to a previous mooring site where it was much better – this latter movement taking place after 5pm and in the dry.

The lunch was very good – the food being suitable, but getting a chance to see James, Katherine and Rachel once again was worth the effort this morning and Saturday to make it there.

James, Rachel and Katherine (she doesn't always look like this - sometimes it is less appealing)

It was very leisurely and after about 3 hours we decided that it was time to leave and say our goodbyes. James and I had a good chance to talk about things that had been happening and were to happen.

Finally I must end with the reminder that this week has seen the 50th anniversary of The Flinstones – a fact which didn’t escape the people at Google – so hope that everyone else had a Yabba Dabba Doo of a time.

1 comment:

  1. I have never used the services at Willow Wren, how easy is it to get in and out and what are their prices like, did they let you self certify your split on diesel?