Friday, 30 January 2015

Snow !!!!!!!!!


IMG_5929While on the Onley moorings we decided to have a walk and with Hamish leading the way we went through the hedge from the canal and towards the prison which is only a couple of hundred yards away . We didn't realise that there are in fact 2 prisons here. The first one you come to is Rye Hill which is a category B  privately run prison and right next to that is Onley prison which is run by the prison service and is a category C prison. There are over 1300 inmates in both of the prisons and after seeing the prisons Carolyn was not that happy about staying on the moorings.

IMG_5936As we walked around the prisons we got the feeling that someone was always watching us.

IMG_5941After a safe and very uneventful night on the Onley moorings we pulled pins at 09.40 and cruised towards Braunston. The one thing i miss about being on Inca is the lack of a workshop were i could escape for a bit of peace and quiet  do any DIY jobs. Maybe i could have something like this to tow behind Inca.

IMG_5945Even better His and Hers boats…. Perfect ! 

IMG_5957As we approach Braunston from the North you can see why they call the church The Cathedral of the canals.

After filling with water and disposing of all our waste we picked up a mooring in exactly the same place we were last time we were here. We are now sorted and safe for what ever the weather decides to throw at us.

IMG_6036And then on Thursday this happened. It started at mid day with hail and then turned in to the white stuff.

IMG_6034The view from our mooring back towards The Boathouse pub.

IMG_6043A Snowfie .  Its just a selfie ,but in the Snow.   With Mark on coal boat Callisto on the way it looks like we may have to reverse back past the junction and on to the water point as he is not coming this way . That is sure going to be fun in this weather.

                                                                                              Happy Days

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Rope dog


IMG_5896We spent a night on this mooring at Hillmorton opposite the famous radio masts . The masts are soon going to be taken down and a new housing estate of over 6,000 houses built . I'm not sure how close it will come to the canal , but i hope they don't build on the fields adjacent to the canal.

IMG_5901On Monday we had a late start and never pulled pins until 13.30 .We were going to stay here for a couple of days but with freezing weather forecast for midweek we thought it might be a good idea to get closer to civilization and canal services. Its handy having a canal at the bottom of your garden for keeping a boat.

IMG_5906We stopped at The canal shop to pick up a new gas cylinder . We also wanted to look at the composting toilets which are sold here. They do 2 different models , The separatt which was too big to fit in Inca and one called an Airhead . I have read a lot about the Airhead and was a bit disappointed when i saw it . For £800 i expected the quality to be a lot better than it was. It probably didn't help that the display model looked a bit shop soiled. We do have a plan B regarding the toilet, so it looks like we may have to go on with that for the time being. We did buy a new expensive kettle , I looked at the price ticket and thought it was priced at £13.99 , Carolyn looked at it and then gave me a funny look when i said buy it and i would pay for it. When we got back to Inca she asked what was the matter with me spending £39.99 on a kettle , “how much”! …My fault for not taking my glasses everywhere with me. Still we do have a lovely new kettle and at that price it should will last us forever .

IMG_5912Another bridge that is soon going to need some serious attention.

IMG_5914This is the first Muscovy Duck we have seen on our travels . He/she looked a bit lonely as there was no sign of a mate.

IMG_5918We are approaching the bridge just before Barby straight, and with Captain Carolyn on the tiller keeping an eye on the Port side, her first mate Hamish is watching out on the Starboard site ….. Picture taken by Gary the cabin boy  .

IMG_5924We thought that this was a very good piece of rope work and looked really good.

IMG_5926Birds of prey are almost as hard as Kingfishers to take a photo of. Seconds later it flew off as we got closer to it.

IMG_5928It wasn't a long cruise today as we wanted to spend the night on the Onley (prison) moorings. These are very popular moorings and most times we pass them they are full. We will push on again tomorrow towards Braunston .


                                                                              Happy Days

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Egg chasers


IMG_5846We pulled pins at 11.00 on Sunday morning and headed to the winding hole (turning point) opposite the entrance to the Willow wren hire centre. It was then back to the Brownsover moorings and we moored on the opposite side to get rid of rubbish and the best boating job of all , empty the toilet cassettes.

IMG_5848As we pulled away Ann from nb Oakfield was out with her camera as we said our goodbyes. I guess she will have a similar photo of us.     Snap !!

IMG_5855Typical , Just as we were making the first cuppa of the day the gas ran out. No problem we thought as Clifton cruisers is only a short distance away so we could fill up with diesel and get a new bottle of gas. But as usual boats were moored on their wharf 2 deep . There was no way i was going to struggle and carry gas bottles over 2 boats, so we will take our business elsewhere.

IMG_5857The first calf we have seen this year . We are still waiting to see our first lambs of the year.

IMG_5866You certainly know you are in Rugby as most of the bridges have murals of egg chasers Rugby players. Shame that some idiots have spoilt it with all of that Graffiti.

IMG_5871After filling with water at one of the slowest water points on the system below Hillmorton , Carolyn prepares the bottom lock . All of the locks at Hillmorton are in pairs. As it was a busy flight of locks it speeded up the time through the locks back in the good old days when canals ruled.

IMG_5874The lock beams are well known for having poetry carved on them . Although i have heard some people describe it as a form of graffiti.

IMG_5879Do you know how much that is in todays money ?……..Unfortunately ,although i don't look it  I'm old enough to remember old money  .                      .

IMG_5882I'm glad to report that Hamish is now getting a spring back in his step after the loss of Molly. And he is so proud of his new coat that Carolyn has bought for him. Doesn't he look good ?.  Well Carolyn thinks he looks good , but i am not so sure.

                                                                                     Happy Days

Friday, 23 January 2015



IMG_5787After a couple of days at Hillmorton and with all the ice on the canal melted we pulled pins at 13.30 and after dropping down the locks and filling with water we cruised towards Rugby. We were very surprised to find only Keith and Ann on nb Oakfield the only boat on the moorings at Brownsover. These are normally very popular moorings and with a week of cold freezing weather you would have expected them to be full.

We were kindly invited by Keith and Ann to join them on Tuesday for a cuppa and a good old yap on their lovely boat Oakfield, and then on Thursday it was good that they joined us back on Inca for a cuppa and another good old yap. One of the best things about this way of life is all of the new friends we are making. But the downside is that as you travel all over the country and on different waterways it can be months and even years before meeting up with them again.

IMG_5790“My feet are bloody cold” . Quacked one Duck to the other .

IMG_5802A new shell being towed pass the moorings . By the height it is sitting in the water it looks like the engine is yet to be fitted.

IMG_5808Goggers (group of bloggers) . As well as ourselves and Keith and Ann on nb Oakfield we were joined on Thursday at Rugby by Gary and Della on nb Muleless and then by Paul and Jill on nb Falcon. So with all of us being Bloggers that has to make it a gathering of Goggers. It was good to have a cuppa and a catch up on Thursday evening with Paul and Jill who also come from Devon.

IMG_5809On Friday and with a thick layer of ice on the canal this is the last thing you want to happen. A boat speeding through the moorings. I usually shout at   ask boats to slow down if they are passing exceptionally fast, as the rule is to pass all moored boats with your engine on tick over. After politely asking this steerer to slow down I'm pleased to say he did , Although i didn't get much of a smile from him as he passed.

Hamish is still a bit down in the dumps . I'm not sure how long it will take him to get over the loss of Molly , but every day he seems a little bit better.

                                                                                                 Happy Days

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Swan at 10 o’clock


IMG_5709After spending far too long in Braunston it was time to leave ,so after stocking up with supplies from the village shop and butchers we pulled pins on Friday morning at 09.00.

IMG_5712Passing the battle scarred tree at Braunston junction.

IMG_5714What a bleeding mess at the services next to Midland chandlers in Braunston. There is no way of getting to the water tap without getting wet feet. Add to that the rubbish pile is now worse than the picture in my post on the 14th January. And as for the Elsan , well we won’t even go there ( Although i had to ). There is apparently a sum of money now available from CaRT to be spent on service points ,so hopefully some will be spent here.

IMG_5744On route to Hillmorton and most of the fields are full of these humps. They come from a type of ploughing used in the middle ages and is known as Ridge and furrow.

IMG_5739Winter has to be one of the best times to cruise. On a day like this although it is cold we have the canal virtually all to ourselves. We only passed one other boat on our trip to Hillmorton

IMG_5749That was flipping close . This swan came within a few feet of us as we cruised past Onley (Prison) moorings.

IMG_5760After a night at Hillmorton we woke to find the canal frozen and a light sprinkling of snow on top of the ice.

IMG_5766On Saturday we had a walk down the locks and looked around the boatyard at the bottom lock. They always seem to be busy which is a good thing.

IMG_5767It was very good to meet and have a natter with fellow bloggers Keith and Ann off Nb Oakfield as they were filling with water at the bottom of Hillmorton. We met them briefly back in April at the top of Foxton locks and have followed their blog for a long time.

IMG_5782The loss of our dog Molly not only affected myself and Carolyn but it has had an enormous affect on our other dog Hamish. They have been together for over 8 years and have never been apart in all that time. He seems to be constantly waiting for her to come back and is just not himself. We are giving him all the attention we can and hopefully he will eventually get over the loss of Molly.

                                                                                              Happier Days

Sunday, 18 January 2015

R.I.P Molly


                                                            wendover 056

                                                                                                             Molly 07/07/2005 – 15/01/2015

Its with great sadness that we have recently lost our dog Molly . She had been unwell for some time and it was eventually discovered that she had a brain tumour. An absolute bundle of fun and a great little character….                                                                                                  


                                                                                                  Carolyn's best and most loyal friend.         


                                                                                                                    Sad Days

Friday, 16 January 2015

Pot Belly Pig ? Not me surely.


IMG_5670 With the stoppage now in force at Braunston locks we decided to have a walk up the flight and see what was going on. With the locks closed there is plenty of room to moor below the bottom lock. The closure is for lock and gate repairs and it should be completed by the 6th of February.

IMG_5680Empty pounds on the Braunston flight and doesn't it look strange.

IMG_5690I always thought it would be a good smooth bottom to the pounds and not full of rocks.

IMG_5682This is next to the mooring bollards in this pound. It just goes to show that you haven't got a clue what is below you , Just imagine the damage this could do to your hull.

IMG_5693The pound below Braunston top lock.

IMG_5697Canal and River Trust workers putting in the stop planks before the top lock and then dropping sand down to seal the planks and stop the water leaking through in to the lock.

IMG_5674How different does it look ? .

IMG_5673The locks are fenced off from the bottom lock to the top lock .

IMG_5705 This boat was moored below the bottom lock.  What a strange name for a Narrowboat. I'm sure there must be a good reason why they gave it this name. Carolyn said i should have stood next to the boat name and let her take a photo ….I'm not sure why though !!!!

                                                                                                           Happy Days