Thursday, 31 December 2015

Christmas in Devon


IMG_1486After a 4 hour journey on Christmas eve we eventually made it back toTotnes in Devon. It wasnt long before number one son met up with us and we had a glass or three of wine together.

IMG_1491Christmas morning and a very excited Curly is up first thing and openeing her presents.

IMG_1529I also opened my presents and Guess what ? . I got a radio controlled Hellicopter from Carolyn… Just the ticket !!

IMG_1505It was then down to my number one sisters house for a lovely Christmas lunch. We even had Champagne and Caviar, How the other half live !!.

IMG_1515A Happy Christmas day was had by all.

IMG_1514In the evening the games came out. We discovered that only some of us were Articulate while the others were a bit Unarticulate. With Liam and Tasha (right in picture) being teachers the rest of us didnt stand much of a chance. But it was all good fun and we had a real good laugh.

IMG_1548After a brilliant time and all of that excitement it became too much for my dear old Mum and she just had to have 40 winks.

After a few days in Devon its now time to start heading back home to Inca and then out of the marina and on with our Winter cruise.

                                                                                               Happy Days

Testing again




                                                                                                        Happy Days

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our family ,friends and blog readers. Have a great time.
Best wishes from Gary and Carolyn
Happy days

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Marina bound

 On a very cold and windy morning and with Carolyn tucked up in the warm cabin we pulled pins from Fox's gate at 08.00 and started the 1 hour cruise to Wgrams marina. Inca is booked in for a week while we go back down to Devon for a few days over Christmas.

 We make it through the narrow entrance and then head up to the end to find out where are mooring is.

Inca moored up safely for the next week after paying for our stay at the office . The last time we came here back in April the electric was included with the cost of mooring , but unfortunately they now charge extra for it.

Hamish was then picked by a Taxi and taken to the kennel he is staying at for the next week. I'm not sure that he was that keen to go, We did tell him that it was a luxury 5 star dog hotel ,but I don't think he believed us. I'm sure he will be OK.
We are now waiting for the hire car to arrive and then its back down to Devon for Christmas with our families.

                                                                                          Happy Days

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Braunston + friends

 Our mooring outside the marina at Braunston . With good TV and Internet we will be OK here for a day or so.
Although there's a shop up in the village the shop at Bottom lock is very good. We had run out of Bread ,but not a problem here .Half an hour later and they had baked us a lovely fresh loaf. Just the ticket...

It was good to meet up with friends Keith and Ann on Nb Oakfield. We had a very good meal at The Boat House in Braunston and had a most enjoyable evening catching up on what we had all been up to.

We now have to make our way towards Wigrams marina as Inca is booked in for Christmas while we head back down to Devon for a few days.

                                                                                               Happy Days

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Up Buckby

  We pulled pins from Weedon Bec at 08.00 with the intention of doing the Buckby flight of 7 locks and then through Braunston tunnel and then down the Braunston flight of 6 locks and pick up a mooring near the marina. A journey that should take about five and a half hours.It was good to see the guy above at Bedazzled near Dodford decked out in his Christmas clothes.

 The approach to the bottom of the Buckby flight and I always try to get a picture of the canal in the middle then the trains on the left and the M1 Motorway on the right. This has to be one of the noisiest stretches of canal anywhere.

 After a few problems getting into the bottom lock we eventually start our climb up the hill and with several boats in the first pound we are expecting a long and busy journey up the flight.

  As we make our way up past the giant Snowman at Whilton garden centre it soon becomes apparent that the flight is very quiet with no boats coming down.

 Now this is very bizarre. The flight of locks have been closed for 7 weeks to allow for repairs. There has been new gates fitted on several of the locks but what is this all about.

On closer inspection it looks like steel plates have been stuck to the lock wall using expanding foam. I would imagine that the brickwork has failed and this repair has been put in place. But why if the locks have been shut for 7 weeks wasn't a more permanent repair carried out. I have e-mailed Canal and River Trust and asked for an explanation about this repair. I will report back their reply.

We shared the flight up with the crew of Nb Broomsticks and Dandelions, sorry but forgot to ask your names but it was a pleasure to lock up the flight with you.

After a very enjoyable 6 hour cruise we eventually reached the bottom lock at Braunston and were lucky to pick up a mooring outside the marina. We will have a day or two here and meet up with a couple of friends before moving out into the country and towards Napton.

                                                                                               Happy Days

Monday, 21 December 2015


After pulling pins from Gayton at 09.00 and with no locks we made good progress in slightly windy conditions. Every time we pass this boat we look in the window to see ifthe wallpaper is still on the walls. The boat was the one which Guy Martin did a TV show about several years ago and yes the wallpaper is still there.

Spot the phone mast. Whats the point of putting it in a false tree then having that bloody great lump sticking out of the top.

I thought this was rather good and did suggest to Carolyn that we could have something similar on Inca. She didn't need to answer as the look on her face said everything. 

We were lucky to bump into Ryan who was using Jules coalboat Towcester .If we can we will always use and support fuel/coalboats as they will always try and get to you no matter what the weather. We filled the roof with coal, so with all the wood as well we should be OK for a month or two.

As it was Christmas Carolyn heated up a couple of mince pies and filled them with cream for Ryan as he passed us later. Sometime ago Carolyn did scones jam and cream for Richard and Jules , so this time it was Ryan's turn to have a bite to eat .
We will have a night at Weedon bec and get a Chinese takeaway tonight before making an early start in the morning and then go up the Buckby flight which has just opened after being shut for 7 weeks. Hopefully we can then drop down into Braunston and pick up a mooring for a day or two.

                                                                                                                 Happy Days

Sunday, 20 December 2015

I'm a Lumberjack and .....

With all that wood on the roof its time to get the first lot of heat out of it. So with the chainsaw serviced and the blades sharpened lets get cutting.....

They say that you get two lots of heat out of wood . Once when you cut it up and then the second lot of heat is when you burn it. So after sawing it with the chainsaw its out with the Axe and chopping it up into logs.
Carolyn then gets it all loaded onto the roof.
Then finally the second lot of heat from the wood, burning away in our stove and keeping us nice and toasty
Happy Days

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Through Stoke Bruerne

With it being overcast we pulled pins from Cosgrove at 08.55 and soon arrived at the lock.

 The wicker man below the lock at Cosgrove.
These new houses have just been built in front of The Barley Mow pub. I think they blend in very well and look very good.
 A good price for diesel at Baxters.

                                                                    Gotcha Sharon !!
At Grafton Regis we were lucky to bump into friends Lew and Sharon on Nb Diana. Sharon just loves having her photo taken (not). So that she doesn't hit me the next time I see her its just a small picture . Its been sometime since we last saw each other so it was good to catch up with all the latest news. Hopefully we will meet again somewhere on our Summer cruise next year.

 I like what someone has added to this sign at Grafton Regis .I know a lot of boaters are confused as to what you are and are not allowed to do. Its simple if there are spare spaces you can stay on them as long as a permit holder isn't on it and if one turns up you have to move. But with the poor take up this year there is more than enough room for everyone.
Not long after reaching the top lock at Stoke Bruerne its into Blissworth tunnel which should take us about 35 minutes to pass through.

Going through the tunnel and this is one of the many air shafts. Every time we pass under one we get absolutely soaked as the water runs down the shaft into the tunnel. Its always a good laugh passing under them.

Just for the good people of Totnes.....Your twin I believe .

After a good 5 hour cruise we moored just past Gayton junction. With only one other boat anywhere near us it should be a peaceful night, apart from the high speed trains that are about 100 yards away.

                                                                                 Happy Days

Friday, 18 December 2015

Testing Testing Testing



Just checking that Open live writer is working after live writer failed to talk to blogger.  Thanks for the link Tom nb Waiouru … Fingers crossed


                                                                                          Hopefully Happy Days

Slow tap

 We had a bit of a lie in at Campbell park and never woke up till 09.00,probably something to do with the whiskey the day before. Anyway we pulled pins at 10.00 and got on the water point at Gifford park which along with Hillmorton has to be the slowest taps in the World.

 After doing the rubbish and elsan there's plenty of time for a cup of tea while we wait.

 I love all these old signs on this new build at Bradwell.

 Next stop is Wolverton and a Tesco shop.

 Now this is something I just couldn't resist, 25% off wine when you buy 6 bottles or more .So after buying just a few bottles and carting them back to Inca I think that should last me until ???????. ... Thank you Mr Tesco.    Just the ticket.

On our way again and we have decided to head to Cosgrove and pick up a mooring there for the night, as we know there's good TV and Internet so that will do us. We passed this load of rubbish on the way . Its obviously a boater that's dumped it. Such a shame as it makes us all look bad.

                                                                              Happy Days

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Milton Keynes

 We had an early start as Carolyn wanted to get into Milton Keynes as early as possible. As we approached the town we came across this motorcycle that had been thrown in the canal . No doubt someones pride and joy that some little scroat nicked.

 We passed this boat with a generator and I was well impressed that someone added an exhaust and tried to quieten it down.
 No sooner had we moored at Campbell park then Carolyn is off over the bridge being watched by Hamish. Its a one mile walk uphill to the shopping centre in Milton Keynes.
 With Carolyn gone myself and Hamish went around for a cuppa with our friend Paul on his boat and ended up on the Whiskey. Needless to say I had one or three too many and after returning to Inca I didn't see much more of the day. ZZzzzzz
 With the camera in her bag Carolyn snapped a few festive snaps from the centre.

After what she said was a very enjoyable 7 hours shopping Carolyn caught the bus down from the shopping centre to Campbell park and somehow I walked over to meet her and carry everything back to Inca. Hopefully that's all the Christmas shopping done ,but I wouldn't bet on it.

                                                                Happy Days