Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Flecknoe (our new home for a while)

Our new mooring in Flecknoe

By Tuesday it was really time to move on from Braunston otherwise we could be accused of overstaying and be fined by the Canal & River Trust (CRT).  But first I had to make a trip to the village butcher shop to stock up with meat for the freezer.  Buddy loves going to the butcher shop as it is one of the few shops he is allowed into.   He is allowed into some pubs of course: in fact we only visit pubs that take dogs.  He has learnt that most dog friendly pubs have dog treats so when we walk past pub doors he tries to drag us in – he must smell the beer!

Later on Buddy and I had an easy cruise down to Flecknoe with no locks.  At one point on the way is a stretch of permanent moorings and one day, on a walk, Karen and I had seen a large dog sitting in a shed.  We couldn’t decide if it was real or not and, before Karen could take a picture, the residents closed the door.  Anyway, the door was never open whenever we walked passed since but we were lucky when we were driving by on the boat.

Seems strange to have such a large statue in a shed

Soon after mooring up a large plane flew really low overhead.  I knew friends of ours would know what it was so I put the picture up on Facebook and soon got several responses.  Steve Joy said that it was a “Lockheed C130j RAF with special colour scheme tail 50th anniversary”.  I had been expecting wise cracks like, “It’s a plane” but didn’t get that comment until four hours later (thanks Maafi!).

Low flying plane

A much better picture of the plane - courtesy of Steve Joy

Whilst I was inside investigating the winter stoppages which are now available on the web, Mark called by to fill us up with diesel.

Mark on the working boat Callisto getting the diesel line

Winter stoppages are put in place on sections of canals where structures such as locks or bridges need to be repaired.  The works are carried out during the winter as boat traffic is lighter then.  The winter stoppages can have quite an impact on those of us that keep cruising all year round but fortunately this year the impact on our area is not too bad.  In short we cannot go south down the Oxford canal during November, we cannot go west of Warwick (and hence down to Stratford) from November until March and we cannot go north of Rugby during December.

Another thing that is put in place by CRT during the winter are what are called winter moorings.  This is where boaters can pay to moor in the same spot from November to March (or odd months during that period).  We have never fancied it as we have preferred to keep on moving but now Karen is working it may be an attractive proposition for a while if there are any near her work.  I took advantage of the good internet signal on our new moorings and found that there will be winter moorings in Radford Semele and Stockton, both fairly near Leamington.  They are the cheapest type because there are no facilities such as water, rubbish disposal, mooring ring etc. but they are probably more suitable for us.  I am waiting to hear exactly what stretch they are on as they need to be near a road for Karen.

Panoramic view of our Flecknoe base

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