Nearly a month has passed since our last post, so here is a bit of a catch up. Monday 9/10, we set off from Norton Junction heading for the staircase locks at Watford. On arrival we were first in the queue, so began our ascent almost immediately. We also had the assistance of not one, but two volunteers. Our transit of Crick tunnel was unopposed, although we did receive our customary drenching at the northern end, due to the leaky roof. We know we are close to our winter mooring spot, when the Yelvertoft Marina wind turbine comes into view.
Being not quite ready to give up cruising just yet, at the entrance to the Marina we carried on. On arrival at bridge 21, we found a favoured spot of ours vacant, so stopped for the day. The next day we set about a few maintenance tasks. The hull of the boat is coated in a two pack epoxy paint, which is significantly better and harder wearing, than the more traditional bitumen. However even with the most expert helmsmanship skills, scratches and scrapes do occur and these need attention to prevent rusting. The product we have chosen to use is Hempel Multicoat, and its application by roller was very straightforward. With the port side of the boat completed, the following day we travelled to bridge 28 and the winding hole. There were plenty of spaces available, so once the boat was secured it was time to tackle the starboard side. We had been fortunate with the weather, but the forecast was changing, so on Thursday 12/10, we headed back to Yelvertoft, and after visiting the services dock we berthed in our usual spot. Friday 13/10 was gloriously sunny, but the wind was very strong. We were so glad we hadn’t put off entering the Marina, as manoeuvring in these conditions would be next to impossible. It did not however prevent the next pre winter task, which was to wash the boat, and get a coat of protective wax applied. We now had a few days to kill before heading to Palma Mallorca for a long weekend.
All too soon our time in Palma visiting our son was over, and it was back to a dreary and increasingly colder UK. Back on the boat we were still not quite ready to stay put in the Marina, so on Wednesday 25/10, we headed out onto the cut once more. Our destination was back to bridge 21 a whole mile away, where I would stay whilst the crew popped home for a few days.
|Mooring by bridge 21|
Me and the furry crew member enjoyed our respite, and also undertook a few more maintenance tasks. We also benefited from the clocks going back, enjoying an uninterrupted extra hour of sleep. The crew returned on Monday 30/10, then on Halloween we headed off for Welford Junction, a location sufficiently rural to avoid trick or treaters. On arrival we found a spot on the long straight section with mooring rings, and after securing the boat we went for a walk along the canal, to have a look at the progress of the still under construction North Kilworth Marina. The latest estimate for opening is Spring 2018. They still have a lot to do to meet that date. Wednesday 1/11, we moved off after breakfast, and at Welford Junction turned left heading towards Foxton. Soon we were entering Husband Bosworth tunnel, aware that CRT were conducting a tunnel inspection. We encountered the working boat in the middle of the tunnel and it bounced us hard into the tunnel wall. I was expecting to see damaged paintwork, when we emerged into the daylight, but fortunately we had escaped unscathed. The remainder of the cruise to Foxton Locks was pleasant, and after filling the water tank, we walked down the flight to the Foxton Locks Inn for lunch.
|Taking on water at Foxton Locks|
Thursday 2/11, we took four legs for a walk down the flight of locks, turning around at Debdale Wharf a trip of about four miles. Back at the boat with the weather fine and dry, it was time to wash and wax the starboard side. This was the last of the exterior, winter maintenance tasks completed. Friday 3/11, we travelled back towards Welford. Our transit of Husband Bosworth tunnel was unopposed, and once through, we stopped at North Kilworth Wharf to obtain diesel and coal. We hope this small business survives the new Marina, when it eventually opens. Continuing on to the junction we turned left, and travelled the short arm, to the solitary lock and Welford. After winding at the end of the arm, we popped into the Wharf Inn for lunch. We also booked in for a Sunday roast. Saturday 4/11, we took the furry crew for his daily walk, and opted to have a look at the nearby reservoir. whilst we don’t like wet weather it certainly needs a prolonged period of rain the replenish these levels.
|Low water at Welford|
Over the past few days the weather has become distinctly colder and this morning was no exception. Up until now we have in the main relied on our diesel heater to warm up the boat but now the solid fuel stove has been put into use.
At lunchtime we wandered off to the Wharf Inn for our roast dinner. I opted for the pheasant and would thoroughly recommend it. Back at the boat we decided to move back to the junction in readiness for our return to Yelvertoft tomorrow.
|Mooring at Welford Junction|
- Totals Monday. 9/10. 7 Miles 7 Locks 1 Tunnel
- Wednesday 11/10. 2 Miles
- Thursday. 12/10. 3 Miles
- Wednesday 25/10. 1 Mile
- Tuesday. 31/10. 7 Miles
- Wednesday. 1/11. 7 Miles 1 Tunnel
- Friday. 3/11. 8 Miles 1 Lock 1 Tunnel
- Sunday. 5/11. 1 Mile 1 Lock
- Running total 266 Miles 60 Locks 14 Tunnels