Monday, 26 July 2010

Friday 23 to Monday 26 July

We arrived at the boat on Friday afternoon and moved the boat at least a 100 yards to the other side of the cut where BW have installed some nice new piling, we even winded to face south ready for when we eventually set off. The reason for moving across the cut is that Magic can no longer cross the lock gate and I don't intend to carry him. You may think doing only 100 yards over  a full weekend is easy going, but the weekend was not spend lounging around.
One of the down sides of this nice new piling is that boats now moor opposite the "Engine Arm" which makes it very difficult for longer boats to wind, maybe BW will install some "No Mooring" signs one day

Saturday morning and we headed off in the car to Bourn End where Julian, the Commodore of the Cutweb Internet Boat Club was holding his annual BBQ. Caro did us very proud with sweets, cheese, etc and after the main BBQ Brenda cooked a large Paella on the old washing machine brazier,
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After putting the world to rights over a few bottles of beer and some well cooked food we retired to the warmth of a nice wood fire that was still burning fiercely inside the drum of the old washing machine.
To save driving all the way back to Napton Diana and I spent the night at The Water Mill, Bourn End. I booked online and found several prices for the same room,  breakfast was not included and an English breakfast would set you back just over £10 and Continental £6. After the good BBQ from the night before I was quite happy with the Continental. One of the good points about the hotel is that it opens onto the towing path, so it was only a short walk to Julian's complete with dog.

Sunday mooring after breakfast saw us on the road again, heading down to my son's clay shooting ground,The Cotswold Clay Club near Cirencester where we spent the remainder of the day. On our return to the boat we had gained a stowaway in the form of my eldest grandson who will be 5 years old next month and has been dying too spend the night on the boat.

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Monday morning and the first task was a trip to Budgens to stock up with some food for the next few days, it was raining so we also had to buy No 1 Grandson a waterproof jacket. Back to the boat saying hello to all the animals at the farm on the way and we were ready for the off, him in his new jacket and brightly coloured lifejacket that I picked up at a boat jumble a few years back. We met boats at both the Marston Doles locks where No 1 assisted Diana with the locks. We needed water before we went any further so we stopped at the tap just above the locks, unfortunately a hire boat also had the same idea and was there just ahead of us, it must have been 45 minutes before his tank was full and we could make a start, once we had three quarters of a tank full we called it a day and moved on. After about an hour we met a boat who warned us that a boat was sinking just round the bend and the crew were attempting to pull it to the towing path before it went down, A short time later we came across the hire boat " Minervois" I called out to ask if the water was coming in the weed hatch to which the lady replied it was coming up through the floor. She said they had rung the owners and they said "Turn the water off, its a fault in the plumbing" but they had turned the water off and it was still coming up. The boat ahead of me pulled in to offer assistance and when we saw them later told me they had moved the bilge pump so it pumped it out.
We  continued onto Fenny Compton where we moored for the night a little after 4-30 pm. and just passed The Wharf. My daughter in law, Claire, arrived to pick up No 1 Grandson a little after 6 pm bringing No 2 with her, so we all had a meal in The Wharf Inn before she headed off home to Gloucestershire.

As luck would have it Mikron Theatre where performing in the Wharf garden so after seeing them safely on their way we spent the rest of the evening being entertained by them. Tomorrow night they are playing at The Boat, Stockton, followed by Hatton on Thursday night. We were treated to a rendition of Peddle Power.

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