We have had another great week on Captain Hastings travelling from Foxton to Kilby Bridge and back again. The weather has been good for boating and we have really enjoyed ourselves – as usual!
So, what have we been up to this week?
On Tuesday after arranging the previous night to share the double locks with Helen and Peter we headed off around 9.30am with six locks ahead of us on route to Kilby Bridge our destination. We were pleased we had met up them the night before and it was great to meet people you have chatted to regularly on Facebook. The next three hours went really fast as we laughed and chatted going through the various double locks. Helen also gave us a pack of gram flour for us to use when making Indian snacks. We were very grateful for this and as with most boaters; they did it from kindness and refused to take any money for it. Peter showed us a technique for turning a boat on the spot without the use of bow thrusters etc – which was great. On arrival at Kilby Bridge we turned the boat around and then had our last chat before our friends continued their journey through Leicester and onwards to Nottingham. Sandra and I settled down for lunch, just in time before some really heavy rain came down. It was funny reminiscing over the two previous times we had moored up in exactly the same position, not far from the pub. The first time was an absolute disaster as Sandra slipped off the boat into the canal and ended up breaking her arm on the side of the boat as she went in, the second, we had to call out River and Canal Rescue as we had a leak in the engine bay, and fortunately this was from the heating system. We decided to stay on board, keep our fingers crossed and think positive!
On Wednesday the weather was still damp and to be honest a little chilly. We decided to crank up ‘Big Bertha’ the nickname we have given the AGA. Soon we were warm and Sandra decided to do a clothes wash on board, especially as they would dry quickly. At lunchtime we had arranged to meet Elaine and Robert Sandra’s sister and husband. We always enjoying meeting up with these and it usually ends up with us in deep discussion of some sort on a popular topic, the referendum result was today’s topic. At the pub we had a super meal which was very good value, Sandra had Burger and I had faggots – both presented well and both tasted great. We left to a little better weather and by 6.00pm the sun was out and the boat ‘toasty’ hot. Time for wine!
Thursday we moved the boat over to the other side of the canal and we filled up with water and wiped the boat down whilst waiting for the tank to fill. We noticed another boat further down and when they disposed of some rubbish they were pleased that we suggested going up the 12 locks together. So for the next five hours we boated with Bob and Jan heading back to Foxton. A little stressful at times as their boat was only month’s old, but still fun, really nice company. We were soon leaving the last lock with the Fleckney tunnel ahead of us. I suggested that Bob go first, which he agreed to do. That was the last time we saw them as we decided to moor up a few miles before Foxton. It was a good rural mooring, weather hot and we chilled with a bottle of wine.
Friday we decided to touch up the paintwork around the rubbing strips. We like doing this regularly so the boat always looks good. I painted the pole which I had wanted to do for a while and after lunch we headed a short journey to Foxton. We thought we would fill up with water, but yet again we found an owner boater had decided to moor up – at a water point –so inconsiderate, and getting more regular. We moored further down and decided we would fill up the following day. Emily our daughter had arranged to meet us after school (she is a teacher) and it was fantastic to meet her at the ‘posh’ pub at Foxton for a chat. When she left us, Sandra suggested we have a beer at our favourite pub ‘Bridge 61’ a proper boater’s hangout. We had a beer sitting outside and soon headed back to the boat to enjoy a great curry we had prepared earlier.
Saturday the weather was amazing, sunny and very hot. We went for a good walk with the dog, passing the water point where the inconsiderate boater was still moored! We returned back to the boat and decided to give it a good spring clean inside and out. I also checked the oil etc and all was good. When teatime arrived we decided to prepare a salad and sandwiches for later and headed off to the pub. We met some amazing boaters two of them Richard and his wife who moor at the marina we were heading for on Monday (Debdale Wharf Marina). When they left we carried on drinking and met a whole lot of other folk in the bar area. We left around 11.30pm and wobbled back to the boat!!
Sunday was a blurry day for us both, we still couldn’t fill up with water, so we decided to head for the marina (Debdale) and moor up there which we did. When we arrived we visited our new ‘friends’ from the night before and was blown away by their 30ft Springer which they had almost completed renovating from a shell. The boat was absolutely stunning. In the afternoon we chilled and rested our eyes! In the evening we drove to Fleckney as we had heard the Indian Restaurant there was excellent. We decided to have a take-away and it was indeed one of the best we have had. We decided to have an early night as we were still a little fragile – when will we learn!!
Monday was another lovely sunny day; in fact we were awoken around 4.30am by birdsong. Mooring in a marina means there is little risk of any security issues, so we had slept with all windows and doors open. Today we spent shopping in preparation for our next long trip which will last around three months as we head towards Oxford in a week’s time. We stocked up our main stores, filled the freezer with meats and decided we would wait until the end of the week to buy fresh produce. When we returned to the boat we added an extension to the hose pipe (we borrowed one last time we moored here as our hose wasn’t long enough to reach the water point) and then filled up the tank – finally!. In the evening we chilled on the boat – again with no alcohol!
So another week over, this coming week we will be moored at the marina before starting the next leg of our big journey.