Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A somewhat belated final update.

Well that's it for our season, sadly.

We have extended our season a tad due to the fine weather, but finally the time came to pack up, place the boat in a Marina for the winter and go home. We have had a good year and whilst the weather has not been overly hot, it has been largely dry.

I think we last updated when we were about to leave home for a weekend in Manchester to watch England finally win a match! After an overnight stop, we diverted from our return to the boat via , Gnosall on the Shroppie, in order to catch up with Ken and Lynda on N.B. Dionysus.

NB Dionysus (pinched from their FB page!)

I think it is fair to say that their build and launch has suffered from some long and frustrating delays. But they now have a stunning boat which I am sure will give them great pleasure. At least the weather has been kind for their inaugural cruise. Ended up chatting for so long that we forgot to take any pictures!

So back to Crick and the task of washing and polishing the old girl commenced. Hard work, but the results are more than worth the effort. Ali not satisfied with the exterior also scrubbed the floors, then Osmo oiled them. Now looking as good as new, as is the cratch, which she has sanded down and treated. No wonder her back hurts!

Amongst the maintenance  programme, we did find time for some socialising. Going to Isabella's party, seven now, were did those years go? Meeting up with Lizzie for a drink or three and Pip and Rog ( N.B. Windsong}. Great to see you all and sad to be leaving the area. I am afraid living on the boat, in a marina over winter, is not for us. Jane and Paul have as ever supported us and kindly obtained tickets for the Saints game at Milton Keynes for us. A great day out. And Saints won!

Isabella's birthday cake
(made by Ali)

Amongst all this cleaning and social networking we even managed a last few days out. Ok, only to Welford junction and back, but the weather held, the autumn scenery was stunning and the moorings free of other boats. So a relaxing final cruise of the season and one which took us beyond a thousand miles this year.

Fabulous colours and reflections on the canal at this time of year

Now home. As has become something of a tradition, I now have "Man Flu", or as Ali would call it, a cold!

Over winter we have a few jobs to complete on the boat. Some planned for, others forced upon us. One of our radiators has sprung a leak and will need replacing as a repair does not seem possible. Guess what, the model is no longer available, so I foresee some jiggling in order that at least the two in the saloon match. We also want to increase our Solar capacity which is a challenge due to the limited roof space available plus the aesthetics, plus a myriad of other small tweaks.

We will be back on the boat temporarily in a few weeks to complete some minor works and to fully winterize her, but will combine this with visiting family and to coincide with Noah's first birthday.

This year saw us wander mainly in the north. It is still amazing how quiet the northern system is. We have met some amazing people as well. If you see N.B. Twizzel on your travels, pass on our love to this fantastic couple, who made traversing the western L & L such a joy. But tell Sue that Quentin was a bad influence on me!

 Next year, after the Beacon Boat meet on the Soar, we are thinking of heading south. No plan as such, just vaguely south. No agenda is our motto.

Miles 21.


Engine hours 3123
Total mileage covered 1003
Locks 668
Tunnels 41
Moveable bridges 98
Major aqueducts  10

Route Covered
Leicester Line - Grand Union
Grand Union - Main Line
Oxford Canal - northern & southern sections
Coventry Canal
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal
Trent & Mersey Canal
Bridgewater Canal
Leeds & Liverpool - Leigh Branch
Leeds & Liverpool Canal
Aire & Calder Navigation
Calder & Hebble Navigation
Rochdale Canal
Wardle Canal
Shropshire Union - Middlewich Branch
Shropshire Union
Shropshire Union - Chester Branch
Llangollen Canal (Shropshire Union)
Staffs & Worcester Canal
River Trent
River Soar

and finally - a bit of video if you want of the autumn on the Leicester Line

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