Friday, 2 October 2015

Partying and working and revelling in being boaters

We are moored up a boat’s length from the waterpoint at the bottom of the Leicester Arm. We are in beautiful sunshine and we feel very lucky indeed. It is a week till we leave the boat and some maintenance tasks have been continued this afternoon in lovely warmth.

I did have to have a nana nap before commencing work though, as we had a late night last night and an early and chilly start this morning.

I am blaming Doug from nb Chance for the late night – I’m not saying it was his fault, just that I am blaming him, OK?

In yesterday’s post I said we were going to Doug and James’s boat for drinks and nibbles and that we did. Loaded up with two bottles of wine (Muscato for him and chardonnay for guess who) and various nibbles from our fridge, we set off about 5.45pm for the walk back down the towpath to opposite the Boathouse pub. I had forgotten how far it is from the Admiral Nelson pub down to the Boathouse – yesterday because I drove Tim’s Hilux to the bottom lock my memory hadn’t had its re-fresh …

There was a veritable party onboard – eight altogether including D&J. We met Liz and Roger, Alison and Dave, all fellow boaters. There was much hilarity and a fair amount of wine and G&T consumed before we headed to the Boathouse for a meal. 
Doug and Liz on board Chance. I think Liz was trying to find a video of her 3 year old NZ grandson doing the haka.

David and James enjoyed meeting and getting to know each other.
Alison from nb Free Spirit

And then we repaired to the pub. Doug and Alison were discussing Dave (nb Free Spirit) and his chest for some inexplicable reason ...

James was contemplative and Dave was amused at being the focus of attention from across the table

A selfie of Liz and me. Not sure why we look so depressed ...

David and Roger deep in discussion

I know David and I didn’t need a meal after our nibbles consumption, but it was too nice an evening with lovely company to cut it short, and anyway the fish and chips were very good.

I am unsure what time we all departed and we headed back up the towpath to Waka Huia, but it was very dark, the torch was useful, and my steps were not steady or in a straight line. I fell into bed pretty much straightaway, but David stayed up composing an email.

He had to get in touch again with one of the customer service managers at Vodafone. It appears that our account is still not being paid by direct debit and once again payment is overdue. When we collect our new credit cards from Emma, David will ring and provide the card details - we will pay by cc from now on. Clearly trying to set up a direct debit with this company is an exercise in futility. The sooner Telecom gets fibre optic into Waikanae the better, is all I can say!

This morning we were out of bed at about 7am and underway by 7.30 – no brekkie, just a cup of tea. We had four locks to do and were on our own in the peace of the morning. It was lovely and my only complaint was that I was a bit chilly.

We entered Blisworth Tunnel (2042 yards, approx. 1900 metres) at 8.34 and we left it at 8.54, so a 20 minute trip. A minute for 100 yards. If speed equals distance over time, then by my calculations, we were travelling at an average of 3.48mph. I had to slow down for an oncoming boat which was about 300m from the Braunston end. No doubt they were hoping for a passage with no other boats, as was I, but they were almost through by the time we passed. They were the only boat we saw, but there was one following us some distance back.

The boys were having a paddle this morning as we came past them.

We moored up after getting water just through the bridge at the junction – it is a fairly inconveniently placed tap actually, as if you don’t have a long enough hose, you can end up blocking the bridgehole for oncoming boats. A boat was ready to depart from the nearby moorings as we came through the bridge. They waited for us to pass but we signalled we were getting water and off they tootled. Lovely jubbly, as it meant we could have their space.

We were going to have brekkie when we were moored up – but it was delayed as I took some rubbish to the waste disposal point, found a set of bathroom scales** and some plastic bowls carefully set down for free-cycling, started walking back and got into conversation with some boaters filling with water above the lock. By the time I got back, David had made his own breakfast and was in the throes of consuming it. I made mine and was pleased it was so late – today is a fasting day and dinner will be late as we are waiting dinner for when Barry and Pauline arrive and they won’t be here till about 8pm. I sense there may be crudités eaten prior to that time …

It is so lovely waiting for them (crudités and B&P) here. We can vaguely hear the A5 traffic in the distance and there has been a large piece of farm machinery working over near the pub by the lock; even so this mooring has a very peaceful feel.
At 5.35 the sun was still on the boat

A lovely sunny spot, isn't it

It’ll be an early start tomorrow so we can hopefully whizz up the Watford flight – perhaps before the lock keepers arrive if the locks are not chained shut … So, it’s a good thing David and I aren’t consuming wine tonight – three nights in a row of over-indulgence would be too much for the systems.

** The scales work but I am not sure I like what they say … I will get Pauline to do a standardisation test tonight.


nb Chance said...

Thanks for a great evening both of you. Was a pleasure to meet you and hope we meet up again next year. Safe travels on your way home. Doug & James xx

nb Chance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Fantastic to meet you again before you fly off back home.
Thanx for saving the lovely sunny spot for us to slide into on your departure too.
Will certainly look forwards to seeing you when you are 'plunged' back into canal system next year.
Keith and Ann xx

Allison said...

Lovely to meet you xxx Allison and Dave

Marilyn McDonald said...

Doug and James, It was such a gift to meet you! And such a lovely surprise as I had no idea you were in the vicinity.
We are looking forward to seeing you next year, esp the Manchester Pride celebrations (it's in our calendar) - but hopefully earlier than that! Big hugs to you both, M&Dxox

Marilyn McDonald said...

It was such a lovely surprise last night to see Keith and this morning to see you, Ann.
Let's keep in touch so we can get together sooner rsather than later next year. I predict a Chance encounter with Oakfield and Waka Huia ...
Big hugs, M&Dxox

Marilyn McDonald said...

Allison and Dave, It was lovely to meet you and we look forward to seeing you next year, so let's keep in touch!
Big hugs, M&Dxox

Anonymous said...

Have a great journey home, hopefully see you next year. Don't forget to pre order your whisky cake.. Mike.x