Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Queen of Countdowns does it again!

Wednesday 2nd November to Sunday 6th November 2016

Wednesday morning was quite refreshing (read that as bloody cold) – there was frost on the ground outside and ice on the inside of the pramhood – a sure sign alround that winter is fast approaching – as if we needed any at all!

But still, we made a relatively early start, our intention being to just go down 5 locks and moor up where we had done last year.

It doesn’t matter how early you start off, there always seems to be a boat just in front, and that was the case for the boat behind us – how they must have thought to themselves “we’ll get an early start and get through these locks before anyone else and be on our way” and then upon seeing us at the first lock it may very well have been “dammit!!”

After about 4 locks, their supposed thoughts became ours – every lock had been empty and even when we met a boat coming up, the very next lock was then empty – “dammit!!”

We reached our intended stopping point but a couple of boats were where we would have liked to have moored so we carried on, eventually mooring just below Lock 9 (the one that is being closed) - the one we had been seeking to get through before next Monday.

The sun was out and we thought that a walk into the village would be nice as well.

There is a lovely café/store there and with freshly baked croissants still warm, who could resist.

The rest of the day was sunny and quite lovely – we are really enjoying these lovely late autumn days as we drift towards winter.

After a couple of emails, we had a schedule to be in Braunston for Friday – a guy is coming to look at our cratch cover and pram hood cover to do some minor repairs; we also thought of spending a day at the mooring by Bridge 100, so if we were to do that we would need to be moving on Thursday – probably needed to move anyway – to get water and empty the elsan (although that could have easily been walked down from where we were).
Early morning, cold, bright sky and a balloon - Diane managed to capture this
whilst steering toward the first lock - I told you she was good!
So, 1 lock down, elsan emptied, water tank filled, sun out, thermals on, coat on, hot tea and coffee at the ready – I would say that we were set.

It was absolutely fabulous cruising in the morning – if you forget the understeering at a corner and the boat approaching from the other way – collision avoided – we carried on past the junction and then thought, that with the prospect of rain for Friday morning, why not go all of the way into Braunston, so we did and found our spot – right opposite The Boat House, so we are now here for a little while – all moorings have now changed to 14 days.
I think only an Australian will see the sense in this - with one star and
the word blue both filled in with red
We ventured up to the village; Diane was disappointed that the chippy was closed at lunchtime; we stopped for lunch at the café; and then enjoyed more of the sun on our way back down to the boat.
The afternoon was carried through with usual things that you get up to, but about 4:30 a boat was passing by, fairly close, as happens here, when I noticed the name “nb Much Gigglin” – Tone and Julie.
Out we popped to see them; they stopped and we had a brief chat, but they needed to get to Norton Junction that evening – 4 miles and 6 locks in the rapidly fading light – only one thing to be done – we could chat on the move.
So with windlasses in hand, we hi-tailed it to the first lock and we all worked through the six Braunston locks in a bit under an hour; said our goodbyes to them and now looking forward to their return journey when we can catch up with at a more leisurely pace.
Dear dear friends Tone and Julie with Diane - after all of the locks were done
and they only had the tunnel to go - it was darker than the photo may indicate
As forecasted, the rain did arrive on Friday morning, which justified our decision the day before to come right through.
After getting through some work in the morning, there was a knock on the outside of the boat and the guy that we had been waiting for had arrived – Allan, who has a business on the cut – repairing cratch and pramhood covers, as well as making new ones.

Over the last couple of years there has been a little bit of wear on the covers as well as few minor accidents – all of which required some attention before they got worse.

He was able to explain what he would need to do to rectify them, advised how long he would need to take them both away for and the bad one – the cost. Fortunately we have an understanding of most things, and equally some idea of what we are prepared to pay for services – everything met our thoughts on the subject and Allan took away the covers, leaving poor old Ferndale just a tad naked in these cold times.
But we were rather snug and cosy on the inside thanks to the Reflecs.
She's a good girl really and should not be this naked...

...we had a little trouble recognising her

Later on we ventured over to The Boat House for a drink with friends – Stella and Dave – and met a few of their friends from around Braunston; I managed to get chatting with a guy called Crocket who was on a boat on moorings west of Bridge 98 – amongst other things we both extolled the virtues of diesel heaters and the ease of keeping a boat really warm with them, as well as the low cost in running them.

Friday night and Saturday morning were a fair bit colder than we had experienced for a while, Ferndale was relatively unprotected on the outside, but the previous nights discussions emphasised the fact that the boat was indeed very warm and lovely inside.

We didn’t do too much during the day, but come 4pm, we heard a thump on the roof – it was Allan back with the covers – everything fitted back into place and even though I was confident in talking to him the previous day about the work that he intended to do, we were both ecstatic about the quality of work that came back – could not be any more pleased.

So if you need any work done on your covers, give him a call –

On the Cut Cratch Repairs – Allan – 07403 550 058

Yet another onto our list of people for services on the cut.

Sunday, being Sunday, meant that it was out for a roast lunch – our choice today was The Old Plough in the High Street – we had already sussed out the likely venues and this one looked like it would be nice. We have had drinks there previously, but had not eaten there, but with a dedicated dining room, we suspected that it would be fine.

I can highly recommend it – the food was great, the servide was great and the price was great – 3 stars if ever I have seen them.

Only problem for us was that just before we were due to leave, it started to rain and so we had to brave the wet stuff in making our way back to the boat where, dare I say it – we were cosy and warm yet again.

Oh yes, now for the reason for the label for this post - as some will know, Diane is a fanatic about countdowns - usually involving a soon to take trip, a birthday, anniversary, or as the photo shows - Christmas.
Well, she now has an official countdown board for Santa -  and believe me she will be awake on Xmas day at 5 am 

9 Miles, 9 Locks
YTD:  788 Miles (1268 km) , 444 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 21 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4583 Miles (7376 km), 3143 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 66 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

1 comment:

  1. "she will be awake on Xmas day at 5 am".........Sad, soooooooooo Sad!! ;-)