Sunday, January 6, 2013

Onward to Loughborough

Christmas 2012 has been and gone and by the time this gets posted so will New Year.

A frosty morning at Barton Turns Marina

While waiting for the lock repairs to be completed we were delighted to see our good friends, Lindsay and Carmen, from South Africa, who we have not seen for 24 years. It was great catching up on past memories and family histories.

A Tufted Duck at Barton Turns Marina

We eagerly left Barton Turns Marina on the 19th December as intended, to continue our journey to Loughborough. What was not expected was that we would run out of diesel along the way. Our intention was to push through the evening to get to Loughborough before the flood waters rose to impassable levels. I have to say that lucky for us the diesel ran out before we joined the River Trent and not once we were already on it.

The boat interior now that we have partly 'redecorated'

Unbeknown to us, the radiators use an awful lot of diesel. We had used them quite a bit at Barton Turns after we ran out of coal for the stove and to help dry the towels in the bathroom while the outside temp was below freezing. We did not check the diesel level before leaving Barton Turns Marina as we had filled up the tank the previous week! We will not be doing that again in a hurry.

We got as far as Ashton Lock and ended up moored on a water point as we could not get the engine restarted to move back around the already moored boats. Andrew went to appologise to the boat owners behind us and they offered him a lift to get some diesel, which would enable us to get to Shardlow and refill the tank. Unfortunatey the overnight delay was enough to allow the river to rise and subsequently close. After filling up again at Shardlow and no safe over Christmas mooring, we then retraced our steps and have moored up in Mercia Marina, after what I might add was a scary night trip (for me) up the Stenson Lock, a 11' 10" double lock with terrible turbulence when filling the lock.

This winter has been the wettest on record and it has rained almost every day since the 15th December. With over 200 flood alerts over the Christmas period, it has not been that pleasant. I have however managed to complete a 1000 piece puzzle in just a short time.

We left the boat in Mercia Marina and hired a car to travel to Woodcote to stay with Jody and Gina for Christmas. We invited ourselves a couple of days early due to the circumstances and had a wonderful time and delicious Christmas Lunch.

 Gina, Andrew, Kathy and Alan


Michele and Andrew (after lunch)

We left Woodcote on Boxing Day to catch up with Andrew's cousins and aunt, before returning to a rather chilly boat and no coal! This time we will check the level of diesel in the tank.

As we were not able to get the boat to Loughborough, we hired a car to get there for the Banter on the 28th Dec. The CWDF banter was great fun and we came back to the boat the following day with rather more luggage than when we left. Andrew went a bit crazy at the auction.

We are now 'stuck' within a stretch of canal which we cannot get off as the flooding River Trent has us boxed in. Our current plan is to return to Barton Turns Marina as it has better access to food shopping than here at Mercia Marina and at least there we also had some internet access which we have not been able to get here.

Unfortunately it turned out that the internet issues were due to the portable wi-fi and not the service, although we did still have problems even with our 'smart' phones.

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