Thursday, 2 August 2012

Thursday 2nd August

Managed a short lie in today and then took Phoenix a walk back along the canal to the bottom lock and then up the hill to the village shop for a paper.
After breakfast I walked round to Midland Chandlers for a look around and bought some varnish with my IWA discount. The guy behind the counter said that the canal had been very quiet of recent due he thought to the bad weather and people not having the money to spend on a hiring. Indeed we heard that boats which cost £1000 for this week were now going for a couple of hundred just to get them out of the boat yard. I can believe that as we have seen so many moored up.
Returned to the boat and picked up June and Phoenix and walked around the marina having a nose at the boats for sale and called in Tradeline Rope and Fenders, a really interesting little shop run by husband and wife who are a very helpful couple. They have a black Lab, like Tucker, so made a big fuss of Phoenix and let them have a little play together.

* Tradeline Rope and Fender.

* Inside View.
Walked around the other side of the marina and came back onto the canal next to where the Boat Café Moors. The smell of bacon cooking wafted across to us and made us feel very hungry. If we had not already had breakfast I am sure we would have been tempted.

* Café Boat

* Braunston Marina.
Back to our boat for coffee and then decided to move off to the country side 2-3 miles outside Braunston where we moored up for lunch. As we went through Willoughby Bridge we met 2 boats coming the other way and it was a tight squeeze to get between them and the boats moored both sides of the bridge. The first boat warned us that a Broadbeam was following them, yes a Broad Beam on a narrow canal.

* Broad Beam Boat on Narrow Canal
It was true for as we came to the next bend there it was, fortunately we had plenty of room to get through, the boat who was following some distance behind us met him just through the bridge and managed to squeeze in between two moored boats otherwise there would have been a problem with one of them having to reverse a distance to find the space to pass. The steerer on the broad beam said he had scared the S - - t out of other skinny boats he had encountered so far and though it was great fun. He will certainly have a problem getting through the last few bends to Braunston Junction and the safety of the broad canals.
* Braunston Junction
Not long after we moored up Emily Jane a very unusual boat came past with it large Chimney and Wheel Steering at the stern. They nearly collided with a boat coming the other way, I guess because it caught the wind and wheel steering is not as positive as the tiller.

* Emily Jane

* Emily Jane Wheel Steering Position
The weather took a turn for the worse in the afternoon and we had a few very heavy showers and a couple of rumbles of thunder but fortunately it cleared up to give us a nice evening.
This was only spoilt by the number of boats who don’t seem to know what “SLOW whilst passing moored boats” means. The culprits were both hirers and owners and the last one got the sharp end of my tongue as he passed with a bow wave which you could surf on. I am afraid I called him one of Graham’s terms “A Tosser”.
It is strange but for the last ten days we have never had a problem but they all seem to be out today on the North Oxford. Even the Mallard Mom was concerned to get her chicks to safety when these boats came by. 
* Mallard Mother protecting her chicks opposite tour boat.

We turned on the TV the other night to watch the Olympics and were just in time to see of our neighbour scoring a goal for the Ladies GB Hockey Team. It was particularly unusual because Sally Walton is actual a back and not normally expected to score goals. Lets hope that is an omen and they go on to win.

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