A kind of record of a narrow boat and what has to be done to keep her afloat and usable.
We might even be able to tell you where we get to as well.
Hoping you enjoy the intimate detail of boating on the UK canals.
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.
In this picture the Best Mate stands at the entrance of our "pod".
This overturned clinker built Avon bark contained all we needed of a hotel room for an overnight stay in Bradord on Avon. SONFLOWER was far away.Had she been moored at Bradfrod on Avon Wharf on the K & A she would, of course, have the first choice but this is fourteen days away by canal and river.
Inside the pod is a double bed, en suite shower room and loo, kitchenette with sink, fridge, microwave and kettle and supplies to keep us happy, a DVD player with large LCD screen and LED mood lighting.
Staying here gave us ideas for storage lockers under beds, tanking the bathroom/shower and mods to the lighting arrangements. A very educational trip.
Being in Bradford on Avon for a wedding celebration yesterday afternooon and evening we couldn't leave the town without trying the much recommended, world renowned and "as shown on TV" boater's breakfast available all day every day (except Christmas Day) at The Lock Inn.
I admit to leaving food on my plate! Not because there was anything wrong with it buit it was just too much for one meal!
We are now wondering how we can make the fourteen day cruise to get another one! One can probably survive that length of time.
I seized the day and backed SONFLOWER from Tom Rolt Bridge to her home mooring, 20 yards north of Marsh Footbridge No 163.
According to Nick's Canal Planner this is a distance of 515 yards. Forwards it would take 10 minutes. Backwards it took me 40 minutes. Only one boat was navigating toward me. I stopped for him to pass and he offered to let me go ahead. He hadn't realised I was going backwards!
I didn't hit another boat as far as I am aware. I was very close to one though and had to use the long shaft to push away from the bank!
I had a text from a friend about an abandoned narrowboat spotted under Tom Rolt Bridge today. That is of course SONFLOWER. The only way for her to get back on own mooring is if I take nb Auriga back to Cropredy and her home mooring. So that is what I did today.
I thought out the logistics:
take car to Cropredy
Get bus back from Cropredy
take Auriga to Cropredy
This seems simple enough but the current health of the Best Mate means that I had to meet our son for his Wednesday lunchtime at General Foods Club.
The timing was imaculate:
0945 Drive to Cropredy. A text to The Coal Wharf ascertained that there was somebody there and they would let me leave the car.
1005 Bus back to banbury
1030 to 1130, Prepare family meal for the evening: spicy lamb kebabs with nachos grande
1200 Lunch at General Foods
1300 Walk to Home mooring and cast off
1515 Arrive Cropredy Coal Wharf and moor Auriga
1600 Collect older son from drumming lesson in Cropredy and take him and his PA home.
1630 Make the salad for the family meal
1715 Collect other son from violin lesson at school
1800 Serve Dinner
Right:- I did all that. Here is nb Auriga rising in Hardwick Lock
Here is nb Auriga leaving Slat Mill Lock: oops I had better get on!
Lovely picture of the "mackeral Back" cloud announcing the depression coming from the northwest to bring us wind and rain
No folk club or singing tonight. An evening to relax.
Now, tomorrow, I can take SONFLOWER back to her home mooring. Just the usual 2 hour cruise to do after boccia in the morning. I might take the short cut and back her up first thing. It would only take an hour to rope haul her back. I'll see how I feel.
So this morning we are arresting a period of considerable neglect. No time for pics, I am sorry to write. They certainly would not be pretty, anyway.
The LOG speaks for itself.
We have not been anywhere, or doing anything on SONFLOWER so the gas bottle had run out leaving all sorts of smelly stuff in the fridge, including a leaking bottle of milk. After a gas bottle change a full refridegerator clean was required . The Best Mate set about evicting the spiders and wiping over the saloon from the pine roof lining to the floor. She also derusted the top of the stove and blacked it so it looks the business now.
I went outside, squeegy in hand, and washed the boat from stem to stern. Looking at her from across the canal she doesn't look so bad now except below the gunwhales where we need a passing canoeist to run a wet broom along her side. More spiders were evicted. I don't like doing that as they are very good at catching flies, mosquitos and midges before they get into the boat.
SONFLOWER is under Tom Rolt Bridge. When we regain our strength we will start on the decoration.
There is a "Boaters Bash" this evening. We hope to be there.
Tomorrow I might get enough time to take a picture. Who knows. Hopefully I will see some of you throughout the day. We hope to give you tea and cake.