About Me

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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.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Beautiful days of Boating

Friday 13 September 2019: Crew: Captain Eeyore, Best Mate and Soopercrew

We are free and we set off with two cars. One left at Hawkesbury Junction, our target, and then one back to Braunston. The crew boarded and we let go imediately. The Best Mate busied herself restocking and rearranging and Soopercrew took the tiller to navigate north to Hillmorton Locks. These are manned by enthusiastic volunteers but no sign of them at the top lock. It was set for us and we had a good passage to the bottom. The locks need a lot of tlc and red and white tape abounds effectively turning the double locks into a single flight.

We were on a mission to try and make contact with a boater here. Enquiries at the Café revealed that the boat had already moved south. We let colleagues in Braunston know.

After the locks there was nothing to do except continue to cruise along the straightened N Oxford toward sunset. It was a lovely afternoon and we moored just after sunset at All Oaks Corner. Here we enjoyed a meal aboard and  a traditional game of UNO.

Saturday 14th September 2019
We let go at dawn. A lovely one too. Another wonderful September day. Our target was soon met and the smoke alarm indicated that breakfast was cooked as The best mate navigated through Sutton Stop and handed to the Skipper  for the turn. We moored on the Coventry Canal water point,   replenished and ate a hearty breakfast.

Here we hatched a plan. The girls would navigate to Atherstone Top lock while I drove to Atherstone and whiled away some time sketching.

In the event I left my wallet on the boat, could not buy a refill  of ink and spent the time as a waterways chaplain helping an injured boater up and a single hander down then helping a few hirers, chatting to passing boaters and CRT volunteers.

Time passed quickly and Sonflower caught me up. We went strait down the first five to s mooring just passed the A5 Bridge. Sadly it was signed 48 hours.

We concluded a wonderful couple of days boating with a beautiful bean balti, prepared by the Best Mate.

Sunday 15th Seotemebr 2019   Crew: Captain Eeyore and Youngest Son

The 48 hour was a problem. We have a very busy week. So we drove back to Atherstone this afternoon and navigated the six locks to complete the flight. A dove took a lift some of the way!
Here he is at Lock 9. 

We moored at Bradley Green Bridge 48 opposite the services. Pumping out is the next thing to look forward to!
36 miles, and 15 locks     17.1/2 hours over three days    ///shudders.linked.year

We walked back to Atherestone town centre in glorious evening sunshine. We talked for a time to the skipper og narrowboat Sir T Fiable, who I had helped down the locks the day before. He is struggling to keep his drive shaft coupling tight and we discussed various possible bodges to get him through to the Spring when he is booked in for blacking. He said taking the boat out of teh water just to replace the prop shaft was far too expensive and he would do the two at teh same time. The probable solution is shimming under the coupling clamp with a split piece of rotary drier stand. Needs must!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Sunshine and showers

3-4 September 2019 Crew: Captain and Best Mate, Sooper Crew and  youngest son

Ideal boating weather.

On top level of the Oxford there was a breeze. When the canal runs north west it is behind us when the canal runs north east it is across us and when we are turning from one to the other it is anywhere it likes. And the top level of the Oxford Canal is a serpentine waterway with many twists and turns to confuse the navigational mind. It can make staying in the middle a bit tricky and approaching bridges on bends interesting when others are coming toward you. For most of the way the towpath is backed by a very high hedge. Possibly over 12 feet in places and this shields the canal form teh wind wuite effectively where it is windward.

As we ar effectively heading north the sun does not affect vision this way but it certainly effects the vision of those coming toward us!

We enjoyed the boating. First a couple of hours in the evening to moor at Stoneton Farm. No cows in the byre at this juncture and it looks like thay have ceased using sillage pits in favour of plastic bales so the smell of sillage is not there either making this stop more pleasant than usual.

The second day we started at sunrise and had a very gentle and pleasnt criuse to Marston Doles where the water was hot and replenishment available after our showers. We took breakfast here. CRT had adjusted water levels and were walking back down the flight as we started off. We had the aid of a few boats coming up and made good progress to the bottom without undue effort or any delay or mishap. The crew of a  tug, on hire from a Rugby company, were concerned by the level in one pound but CRT were on hand to let some water down to give tham more confidence. A volunteer told us this was his last week of the season. See you next year!

We deposited refuse and then continued to a lunch spot at Shuckborough,  Jacksons Bridge 104. Here we hoped to view the church which is nearby but it was locked. Such a shame. We re-boarded and boated on to moor on 14 day moorings just around Brauston Turn. ///chats.spillage.fell

                                                                                   16miles   9 locks 7hours

Dinner was taken at The Boat House, a Marstons House.