Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Winter plans

We have finally sat down and resolved what our plans are for this coming winter. Armed with the BW stoppage programme and maps we have determined to head off to Stratford-upon-Avon then Stourport and then after Christmas, we are off towards Chester. In the spring we are likely to head south, maybe London...

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Eighteen locks, that will do nicely...

We pulled pins early this morning, watered and serviced Caxton and then went through Becket's lock at  Northampton and moored up immediately afterwards to get a large shop from Morrisons.  By 10am we were heading off towards the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union and the seventeen locks that awaited us....  By 2pm we were moored up again, sweaty, grass stained (I fell off my bike...what a prat) and knackered.  It is going to take a couple of days to adjust to the walking and the locking again but my was it good to do it!  So we say farewell to the lovely CLEAR waters of the rivers and hello to our muddy ditches again.  It has been a fantastic summer over on the fens and we will definitely be returning for more of this experience, perhaps 2012, who knows?

A dull mizzlerling morning and here is the entrance to the GU from the R. Nene
 Narrow canals again after the wide open space afforded by the Rivers
 The lock wheeling bicycle - that which dumped me this morning while I was trying to avoid Floyd's rear end..
 Wired .. you see quite a number of these wire sculptures along the canals and here is yet another.
 Our mooring tonight just short of Gayton junction, and the traffic noise at that spot...

Monday, 27 September 2010

A quick dash to Northampton

The agreement between Narrowboat Matilda Rose and Nb Caxton had been that once we left the fenland rivers we would make a dirty dash for Northampton to get off of  'rivers', i.e. the R. Nene, ahead of any flood threats that autumn might throw our way.  Well we needn't have worried because all things rivery have been totally benign this year and us fenland virgins have had a wonderful time out here.  We took four days to get from Peterborough to Northampton covering close to a 100 lock miles.  Our first stop was Fotheringhay, second stop Thrapston, third stop Earls Barton leaving us a short hop into Northampton town for the weekend.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The canals beckon again...

Dawn breaks in Peterborough on Tuesday as we prepare to pull pins and head back towards canal land for the winter.
Mist rising off of the R Nene as Joe preps Caxton - N Matilda Rose is seen just to the right there.
Floyd is checking that his soft toy - PUP - is also ready for the cruise.
Matilda Rose in the dawn mist as we set off towards the service point on the Peterborough embarkment.
Caxton lining up to go through the Peterborough town bridge.
Milton Ferry bridge in Ferry Meadows Country Park Peterborough
Caxton waiting at Alwalton lock landing while I reverse the lock as we leave it - the vertical gates have to be left raised.

The lovely Water Newton Mill.  There are any number of these former water mills along the R Nene and they are quite lovely.
The cattle at Water Newton lock - giving Jill a hand.
R Nene - a lovely river...
Narrowboats Matilda Rose and Caxton moored at Fotheringhay below the castle mound.
The sun rays still struggling through the evening cloud cover on Tuesday.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

West Country Hols

We are now back from our West Country expedition, refreshed and invigorated ready for our third winter aboard Caxton.  We stayed just outside St. Columb in Cornwall for our first week and the weather was glorious.  Lots of walking for the myself and the two dogs along coastal paths and beaches.  I managed to walk a part of the Camel Trail, destination Padstow which was heaving with visitors on my arrival.  Lovely place though...
The second week we moved east  and stayed just outside Lynton in the Exmoor National Park.  Above is Ley Bay a couple of miles walk away from where we were staying and albeit deserted.  I enjoyed a paddle in the clear warm waters and the two dogs romped and swum.

Floyd on the way out to sea and....
on his way back in again.  I liked the ride in on the surf but my camera skills were too poor to capture the moment.
And here is Woody Bay.  I had been out walking for six hours along part of the coastal path and couldn't miss the trek down to see this.  All rocks but the two dogs still managed a swim.