Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 update & a very Happy New Year to our readers

Its been a bit of an odd one for us.  Because we had the house on the market we did not feel that we commence any extensive cruising after the boat was blacked, so we returned to Crick and home to North Lincs to focus our attention on selling the house.

You from the south will not appreciate just how slow the market is 'upt North' so we were under no illusions that we would get a quick sale and completion.  Luckily Ali was still working.  By mid summer we had a positive offer on the house which we accepted, but the process was somewhat slow.  We had decided to to sell our current home, put our goods and chattels into storage and move temporarily onto the boat.  This would enable us to search our new area of the Southern Midlands for a new home.  Triskaideka was moored at Crick Marina, but for various reasons we decided to move on and so we relocated to Dunchurch Pools, via a mini break up the Ashby Canal.  Dunchurch is and was work in progress (which we knew) but the essentials were in place and we settled in nicely and feel it was the right decision to move.

So with our house sold and us on the boat we began the search for a new home.  After trawling the area for suitable properties, it didn't take long before we decided to make an offer on a property in a small village between Leicester and Lutterworth.  So we put in a cheeky offer and after much wrangling we eventually agreed on a price and the process of purchasing began, not easy, our Conveyancer was not the best and theirs wasn't much better.  To be honest the Estate Agent was brilliant and despite our thinking that they are a complete rip off, in this instance they made the process much smoother.  Eventually we go the keys in late October, but decided to remain on the boat whilst we did some decorating and some remedial work.  Little did we know, after bragging that there wasn't much to do, we discovered the opposite.  We are now quite au fait with local electricians and plumbers, and B&Q, Wicks, Homebase & Screwfix think we have built an estate!  We have also cleared the shelves in the local supermarket of cleaning products (I'll say no more!)

By early December it was getting a tad chilly on the boat and we decided that this was the time to move into the house.  We had achieved most of our goals of making the house ours and upgrading the electrics and the heating, decorating and cleaning to our standards!  Our worldly goods came out of storage and we started the process of unpacking the boxes and trying to squeeze into our downsized house!!  The boat has been a godsend, whilst we have been quite comfortable living on board the boat in quite severe weather, we are not winter dwellers on water and do enjoy our home comforts.  So it was nice to move in and flush a toilet, without having to empty it! and not worry if the hot water was going to run out in the shower.

Apart from the odd weekend and bimble here and there, we haven't travelled any distance this year on Triskaideka, but hope normal service will be resumed in the spring. 

So we wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope to meet up with as many of our boating friends as possible in the coming year and meet new ones.  No route planned as yet other than a trip up the Soar, in the spring and our cruising will be fitted around 2 weddings as we both have a niece getting married in 2018!  (and John says hopefully none of the other of the film title), but he is a wedding short!.

A trip out

Along the Ashby Canal
Hawkesby Junction, around in one and no bow thrusters

Our new home berth

Lovely views

A trip to Braunston

Our new house

Work in progress

Another little trip to Braunston to see the locks being repaired

The bridge into the marina is a replica of the bridges in Braunston the only difference being that the rails are closer together due to H&S regulations now!  Does look amazing

A trip to York in November and something you don't often see the Shambles with no people!

Fuel still not available at the marina so Ryan comes in once a month
was a bit frosty on this morning.

and then the snow came

and finally

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Escaped at last (temporarily}

Last weekend we escaped the marina, Triskaideka was cleaned & polished over Easter, our escape is a trip for blacking.

Look at that smile!

We didn’t venture far, just onto the cut outside the marina.  On Sunday Ali returned home & John took himself to Watford, winded and found a nice rural mooring for a few days. 

 Ali returned on Thursday & John moved back to Crick, after a car shuffle to Braunston, we set off, heading down Watford flight.  It was good to be cruising all be it brief.  

Friday the promised clearing of the showers never happened,  but mid afternoon we had a knock on the boat, and a lovely surprise of Denise & Steve from nb Riverside Escape, they had braved the showers for a walk and found us, a lovely afternoon was spent, great to see you both again, and have a lovely time at Crick looking for new ideas & gadgets! 

This morning we had an early start, again to beat the showers, an hour to the tunnel, we met two boats as we were exiting, and a good run down the locks saw us moored in Braunston just before 10am.  A lazy day, but one needed, Ali enjoying an afternoon of rugby.

Monday sees us out of the water for blacking and returning home for a few days, back later in the week, with a list of jobs whilst we are on dry land.

It is going to be a strange year, the house us on the market, Ali is still working at the moment, the chances of extended cruising are looking limited, although we do hope to get out at some point, so the blog us going to be a bit hit and miss. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A belated Happy New Year

We spent New Years Eve in the company of fellow boaters from Crick marina enjoying a very pleasant meal and evening on NB Panda, we made our way down to Bridge 61 and found it virtually empty, so after a few beers we made our way back to NB Panda to see in the New Year aboard.

On New Years day the weather was as we expected, awful, but we had to make our way back to Crick so we decided to go for it, despite it being freezing cold, when we got to Welford we decided we were cold and wet so we continued, deciding that we would make the journey in one push and return to the marina.  We arrived just before dusk and warmed up with a shower and turned the fire up.

On Monday we packed up and re-winterised the boat, calling in at Northampton to collect our Christmas presents and then we made our journey home.

So that was our final cruise of the year and our first of 2017.

We hope you all had a good New Year.

Our travel statistics for 2016

Total distance 847 miles 543 locks.  68 movable bridges (that we operated), 13 tunnels.

Made up of 273 miles of narrow canals, 180 miles of broad canals, 211 miles of small rivers and 182 miles of large rivers.  145 narrow locks, 330 broad locks (inc 88 Thames locks) and 68 large locks.

the view through the port hole