Mark came through the ice on Tuesday morning on his way to the end of his round at the Saltisford arm in Warwick. He topped us up with diesel and we had a good laugh about how I struggled lugging the bags of coal from the car to the boat yesterday. If you hadn’t read it, I thought he was heading in the opposite direction and therefore drove to his yard to pick up some coal on Monday. 25kg bags are heavy for me especially once I have walked them up a lock, along the towpath and swung them onto the roof.
Mark filling us up with diesel whilst I went and set Welsh Road lock for him
He had come down a few locks first thing and all the bottom gates had been left open. It is frustrating when this happens, especially if you’re a working boat where time is money. We both remarked how it’s beginning to feel like cruising on the River Lee to the east of London where it is the norm to leave gates open when you leave locks.
As it was time for Buddy’s morning walk I picked up a windlass and we walked along with Mark to see him through a few locks to save him some time.
A young couple, Lewis and Hannah, were moored in front of us and I had got chatting with him on Monday. He works from the boat and they have spent the last 18 months cruising around the country. Hannah has now taken a job at High Wycombe so they are on their way down there to cruise around that area. I fear they will find it quite busy compared to here. We haven’t been south since the end of 2014 and by all accounts the number of boats, especially liveaboards, has rocketed due to the squeeze on house prices.
Lewis asked if there were any fuel boats on this section and I told him he was lucky as one was coming through on Tuesday. I gave him Mark's number so he could place an order. He was going to be out all day on Tuesday so he asked if he could give me some cash to pay Mark - I just love that sort of trust in people.
Over the last few weeks we have sorted out some stuff that we weren’t using and therefore taking up valuable boat space. I had the car on Tuesday so I could take it to our storage facility in Redditch which I did in the afternoon. When I got back I took Buddy for a walk back to Stockton and noticed that all the top lock gates had been left open – obviously another Londoner had been through!
Apart from asking how cold it is on a boat, some people ask about how we manage to get all the food to feed the dog. We’re lucky in that Buddy eats dry food. A bag lasts a month so we buy two or three bags at a time. I bought two when I was at Redditch as we were just about to run out.
I'm hoping to have a day cruising this week as we are planning on getting to Warwick for the weekend as Mike and Lesley are joining us for the day. I'll move today if another boat comes through to break the ice first. Actually, thinking about it, Mark will be on his way back and a little bit of ice doesn't stop a fuel boat!
|Ducks hoping for food on the ice this morning|