Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Quiet Week, Sort Of ?

Since last week we have moved closer to London, by 38.71 miles :)  I have taken virtually no photo's due to spending most of my time either locking or computing inside!

I have managed 3 days of study to get the brain back into 'work' mode and be able to complete a second 'test' as part of a job interview.  In all the test took me 2hrs 25mins to complete and the company was expecting 2 1/2 hrs, so not too bad.  Now I am waiting to here whether I actually managed to complete it to the expected standard !

The weather for this past week has actually been very pleasant, considering it is supposed to be autumn. We wonder if the long 2012-13 winter and late spring is possibly also resulting in a later autumn/winter. I for one will not be complaining, yet! Today we cruised further than we originally intended as the outdoor temp on our weather station was showing 21.5deg and the sun was shining.

So a quick recoup.
Since leaving Fazeley Junction we have journeyed to the bottom of the Atherstone Lock flight. The following morning I was a bit late getting out of bed (some mornings the bed is just too comfortable :) ) and while I was having my first cup of tea for the day in preparation for the 11 locks, at least 4 boats passed us by going towards the lock flight. So we thought we would just give them a while to get going through but of course 2 more then passed us. To hell with that we thought, when we got to the top we still needed to restock the cupboard! We did not intend to get to the top too late.  So we gave the last boat past at least 10 minutes to get through the bottom lock around the corner, before we set off ourselves.  Blow me down, we get around the corner and there is a bloody queue!!  The previous boat had broken down again! We passed him the day before and he was having throttle issues, supposedly fixed at great cost but seemingly not very well. He had called the engineer back but needed to get up the bottom 2 locks to be near a road that the engineer could get too!  So he was pulling the boat along by the center rope.  Lucky for him it was just a tiddly little boat :)  Unfortunately for us we were behind him, but I guess we were not really in too great of a hurry. As it was, once we were passed the broken down boat, we caught up the boat ahead in just the next few locks. So slowing down again to the speed of the boat ahead. I do try to remember sometimes that locking is not a race but Andrew and I have, over the past year, got flights down to a quick routine, especially when going up. It is hard when that rhythm is broken by catching up to a boat ahead.  Anyway, without boring everyone with the details, we made it to the top of the flight, found a mooring (whew, was worried they might be full) and had just completed the mooring up jobs, when the rain came down. Rather a lot of rain too. That made the decision for us and we stayed put for the night. The shopping was done first thing the next morning before setting off on the next leg, which ended up being just a very short 1hr cruise to catch up again with Allan. There Andrew spent the afternoon chatting and trying to sort out dud batteries again, while I started on the re-engage brain stuff. On the battery side, we have started having problems again with batteries completely discharging overnight. Having been through this before,Andrew knew what the problem would be, it just needed time to figure out the naughty ones and banish them. Now we need to replace the buggers and the price of them would equate to 2 weeks of food! 
Saturday saw us all off again, heading to Hawkesbury Junction, the spot where the North Oxford Canal joins the Coventry Canal. We were hoping to find some space to moor up here but no luck. The only available space had a very dodgy looking boat moored just ahead of the space, ghastly music blaring out of a radio and 2 obviously well oiled gents sitting on the towpath. They did question the origin of our flag, Aussie / Kiwi and we set them straight with a bit of a laugh and a quiet behind the hand, not stopping there for the night no matter what you might think :)  Up until this point I had been studying for quite a few hours. At the junction we turned the 180deg into the start of the North Oxford Canal. I had hopped off the boat to set the stop lock (a very shallow lock, usually only a foot or less, used originally to stop the flow of water from one canal company to the other!). Andrew turned gracefully under the bridge and into the lock. From here we continued...Andrew looking for a stopping point and me to carry on studying :(  We eventually stopped for the night at All Oaks Wood, a lovely little spot and the all too important GOOD internet connection which I would need to be able to get the test and return it. Sunday was another study day and Monday was test morning, so very little to report there :)  other than Allan caught us up again as he had stopped for groceries the day before and had to stop due to failing light before he could reach us on the Saturday. Allan left again on Monday and I also recall 'hearing' nb Islonian passing us by but my head was down and bottom up getting through my test. Once my test was done and emailed back, we decided not to move on, my brain needed some cool down time :D

So we arrive at today.   We left All Oaks Wood fairly early due to me rising before 8:15am ! and this was due to the very noisy tractor in the field just a few meters from the boat which started work at 7:30am!  We made our way toward Rugby, for yet another stop-n-shop! As we came around the corner after exiting Newbold Tunnel, who should we spy, side by side (or more literally tail to tail) was nb Waiouru, last spotted heading out of Chester at least 4 weeks ago and nb Lucy Lowther (aka The Lovely Lisa), Allan who had left us All Oaks Wood the day before!  We called out a 'Hello' to Tom and Jan and Allan. After a lengthy pit stop with Tom and Jan to catch up on all the news and discussion on batteries, we bid farewell to them as they are staying in Rugby for the winter. We will keep up with their news via their blog as I am sure they will keep up with ours in the same way. Thanks Tom and Jan, it was great having a chance to chat again :)

We continued on to Rugby, just a short hop down the canal, intending to catchup with Allan again, mooring up somewhere after Rugby.  At least the intention was for us to stop at the bottom of the 3 Hillmorton Locks but there was no sign of Allan. So we continued up the locks, the weather was lovely and warm and brain was back in cruise mode :) We eventually found Allan who had continued on to Barby Moorings where he was going to leave his boat for winter. There were not any decent moorings by the marina, so we made our goodbyes and carried on for another 10 or 15 minutes and have moored up here, just before bridge 79. Tomorrow we shall make our way to Braunston. It is here that we will have to make a definite and final decision as to which way we will go, left to London via the Grand Union Canal or right to Oxford and on to the Thames. Our current thoughts are Oxford and the Thames as the current job interview process is for a position based in Reading. If this does not come about, then we can continue on to London.

So there you have it, our news for the week and once again, up to date :)

No comments:

Post a Comment