Sunday, 21 January 2018

Lapworth (What a windy night that was)

Looking up part of the Lapworth flight – all calm after the night’s storm

We knew it was going to get really windy in the early hours of Thursday, but we hadn’t realised just how windy.  It was one of the windiest times we have had on the boat – it’s amazing how it can make a heavy steel hulk move so much.  Unlike other strong storms it didn’t last long, and no damage was done; in fact, there were very few trees down in this area according to Tim, a local CRT chap, who I talked to in the morning .  The cover over our bikes had half blown off but everything else was intact.

It was still cold during the day and I went litter picking up the Lapworth flight.  As I said the other day, this is one of the most litter-free areas we know, but I still managed to get a black bin bag full.

There wasn’t much ice on the flight because the recent rainfall has meant there is quite a flow of water which keeps the pounds from freezing.  

I spent a lot of the afternoon gathering more information regarding getting ready to take the boat over to France in a year’s time.  For a place that we tend to consider lax regarding regulations it’s surprising how more stringent they are about having the necessary qualifications to use their waterways.  I suppose more of them are still commercial waterways so it does make sense.

After work, Karen picked up Polly (my youngest) from Leamington station.  Polly had come up for a sleep over and join us on our weekly trip up to Yorkshire.

Polly taking advantage of the following day off work – prosecco in a large white wine glass

We set off early on Friday and had a really good run up the M6.  First we went to the nursing home to show Polly the room that is being prepared for Dad and found out that it will be ready for him next Friday.  After doing a few jobs for my mum we all went to see Dad, who was a lot more lucid and was now moving an arm, so it was good to see him improving.

Dad and Polly having a joke

It was another hassle-free journey back home and we dropped Polly back off at Leam station for her train back to Reading.  

We had a quiet Saturday on the boat as it was sleeting all day and didn’t fancy going for any long walks.  I spent a bit of time working out where we will be cruising over the next few months and realised that we wouldn’t get to Liverpool for the dates we had booked in the basin.  Well, we could make it, but it would mean we would be on a mission and wouldn’t be able to stop off anywhere for too long.

I have now booked to go into Liverpool docks for a week in June thus giving us plenty of time for a leisurely cruise up to Chester first before heading onto pastures new.

Our cruising route over The Pennines to Leeds over the next few months

The next thing is to work out where we will have the modifications done to the boat before we can go to France.  Whilst we are having those done we may as well get it blacked too.  As we are spending September and October holidaying in France and Italy this year that would be an ideal time to get the boat sorted out.  I need to get it booked in soon as boatyards get booked up months and even years in advance.

We’ve woken up to heavy snow this morning, but the forecast is for it to turn milder over the next few days, so the ice will start melting and I’ll probably move on down to Hatton station during the week ready to go down the Hatton flight in a couple of weeks.  We need to get down the Hatton flight by the first weekend in February as the locks are being closed for six weeks for maintenance.  We will then be in Warwick so that Karen can spend her last few weeks of work closer to the office.

Snow just starting to settle this morning - hopefully won't last too long - the water is frozen over but covered in rainwater so it's deceptive

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