Friday, 30 December 2016

Post Christmas cruise

Having enjoyed the Christmas festivities with Ali's family, we opted for a change this year and a bit of a cruise to see us into 2017.  This meant a dewinterise of the boat, with the addition of the heating being put on just prior to Christmas.

After a shop in Rugby for supplies on Tuesday, Wednesday saw us top up with diesel and head off towards Welford.

It was a bright clear day but cold, with a small amount of ice on the marina and on the cut.  Fortunately for us an ex-working boat had already travelled south breaking a passage for us.  It was still very noisy though, somewhat disconcerting.  The ice was worse in some places than others, surprisingly the parts of the canal with a more open aspect although in full sunlight were the worst for ice thickness.  Just north of Yelvertoft the thickness of the ice caused us to stop, obviously the working boat had started from this location on his journey south.  We decided to sit it out for a bit and as it was lunchtime to have a bacon buttie.

After a short while we became aware of the sound of cracking crunching ice, a boat was travelling towards us though the ice at considerable speed, he cleared a passage and was closely followed by another, once they had passed we recommenced our journey.  It was surprising how many boats after this we saw, certainly a lot more than we saw in the autumn.  By mid afternoon we arrived at Welford Junction and called it a day, we were all alone on the moorings.  Turned the fire back up and settled in for the day.

It must have gone cold during the night but then rapidly thawed in the morning as we were awoken by drips from a tree branch overhead.  There remained a thin covering of ice over the canal but no where near as thick as the previous day, although it still makes a rather alarming noise as we set off.  Once past the new marina at North Kilworth the ice largely receded and we had an easy passage through the tunnel and onto Foxton, the sun even breaking through the fog, which returned later in the afternoon.  Upon arrival we winded, watered and moored.  We had a walk down to the basin before the darkness closed in, although not so cold tonight.