About Me

My photo
The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Because We Can!

We went to Cropredy and back yesterday afternoon.

The day started really cloudy with that lank hair feeling all around. A bit if drizzly rain and misty heaviness. But we had promised a friend a trip on the boat. After our Boccia session in the morning we boarded at about 1150. the Boat was pointed toward town and there was a brief debate between the Best Mate and myself as to which way to go. Through town to Bankside winding hole and back? (2 miles, 2 locks, 2 lift bridges, about 2 hours) or to Cropredy and back which is a four to five hour cruise? The boat was pointing toward town. "You make the decision", The Best Mate said, so I backed SONFLOWER to the winding point at Grimsbury Arm, turned,looked at the sky, which had blue patches in that direction, and the sun came out!

WE HAD A LOVELY CRUISE. Warm sunshine. Temperature rising toward 20 deg C. Shedding cardigans and fleeces we had a wonderful time.

Within 2.1/2 hours we were turning at Cropredy Wharf and setting off on the return leg. The sun now lowering in the sky was straight ahead of us at times as we headed south. There was no help at the locks from craft coming in the opposite direction on the way back but we didn't have to queue anywhere. On passing under Bridge 158 I marvelled at the 200 year old structure. It had withstood the pounding of huge earth movers during the construction of the Flood Alleviation Scheme but stands unscathed and proud. A witness to so many events over the past two centuries and to the strength of the men who designed and built the canal.

So 5 hours cruising without any problem: just because we can! May it long continue. 7 miles, 6 locks, 5 hours

Monday, 2 September 2013

Collision Course

I am wondering whether SONFLOWER is seriously magnetic!

I looked up the canal this morning as I untied the mooring straps to see a Napton Boat heading toward me about 200yards away under Tom Rolt Bridge. Having pushed the bow out it was too late to stop on the mooring so I straightened the boat and stopped it. There was a 100 foot space on the other side off the canal at Castle Quay so "no problem" I thought. How wrong I was. The hire boat headed straight for the boat moored opposite. There should have been plenty of room to pass between us but once he had hit this boat the richochez took him into my bow! The crew of the boat I was now alonngside came up and I assured them I had not touched their boat. "Thank you " they said. The helmsman on the hire boat did not say a word! I was stationary so surely they had the responsibility to pass safely!

What is wrong with these people? Would they drive their Volvo down the motorway bouncing from Merc to Beamer in the same fashion? He had just hit about £60,000 worth of boat and didn't even acknowledge the fact!

The rest of the 1/2 mile journey was almost uneventful. A little nudge by nb Shadow, a fellow moorer, who arrived at Sovereign Wharf at exactly the same time as I did! £140 was the total for Gas, diesel and a water cap key. It was a good feeling to pull away with all the main essentials serviced and full. I turned at Grimsbury Arm and moored ready to do battle with the town centre again.

Now for the winter. Summer is officially over after Labor Day according to Google!
3/4 mile, 2hours

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Just Turning Round

We had to turn the boat round yesterday.

Tooley's had finished the work except for giving us a bill and returning my key, so we took our daughter and grandaughter for a little ride. Down the lock, turning at Bankside winding hole and back. As always, a life jacket was provided for the precious cargo!

The trip was not uneventful! On the return, having passed through the lift bridge, I heaved to as a boat approached where the canal narrows. Stood stationary on the far right of the canal, I could only watch as the boat came quickly toward me on collision course with Tooley's trip boat nb Dancing Duck, hit the same, bounced from it onto my bow and wedged itself between her and SONFLOWER! I had to apply full revs in reverse to disengage us. Having unlocked, the boat then backed off a couple of boat lengths. The helmsman told The Best Mate, who was ashore having operated the lift bridge, that I could come through first! I went forard slowly and passed the boat, expecting some form of appology. The helmsman just stared forward so I said, "I hope that my boat is not damaged!" He replied, "I hope mine is ok too". No apology then! The owner obviously doesn't care what or who he hits.

We moored up thankful to be afloat.