Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Hire companies aren’t what they used to be

Tuesday 5th July; Napton flight to somewhere on the summit level

Generator man was at it again at 8 o’clock but I suppose we can’t complain about that.  Unfortunately we had to hang about for a while as Dave needed to sort out the problem with the Stop button.  He did some investigation himself but in the end called Calcutt marina, as they had just carried out a service. Luckily the engineer who did it was able to come out quickly as we were close to a road.  While we waited, I walked up to the lock to chat to the family on the Anglo-Welsh we locked up Calcutt flight with yesterday. They seemed to have been sent out without even a map, let alone a Nicholson’s or Pearson’s.  We didn’t have the right old Nicholson’s to give them, but I did manage to find an old BW leaflet which at least had the towns and villages along the whole route.  When we last hired – admittedly over 10 years ago – Anglo-Welsh supplied a Nicholson’s with each boat.  They were offered one – for £18!

The engineer arrived and diagnosed a failed solenoid.  It won’t stop us cruising though as we can use the emergency stop button on the engine – inconvenient as you have to lift the engine boards but it works.  We will see if Tooley’s in Banbury have a replacement solenoid but it’s unlikely they will have the correct model.  But as the engine is a Barrus Shire, and Barrus is based in Bicester, we will see if we can get a bus or train there, or order one via Tooley’s. 

We set off soon after 11. The goslings are growing fast.

1 growing goslings

As I walked by (having made sure the dog was safely aboard), the adults hissed furiously and the babies joined in, learning to be fierce little things – sweet!  There were lots of boats on the move in both directions, so although there were slight delays at the locks there was little actual work to do. 

On the summit pound, the canal twists and turns extravagantly as it follows the contour.  You can often see a boat approaching from across the fields, but this wasn’t one of those occasions – this is the landlocked boat, sitting in its puddle in a field with the canal bank reinstated so he gets free mooring.

2 not a sharp bend in the canal

These cattle were all coming down for a drink as we passed, all lining up along the canal.  There were as many again all walking in a line to the edge.

3 cow bar

We had lunch on the sunny stretch of piling after bridge 123 at Priors Hardwick.  The grass hadn’t been cut for a while and was alive with butterflies – Meadow Browns and Ringlets.  Their caterpillars feed on grass – I wonder when CRT has planned this section to be mown?   We would have stayed here, but needed to run the engine a bit longer for the batteries so went on to the long and lovely moorings near the aerial mast between bridges 129 and 130.  Just two other boats and a work boat, none close, and sunshine.  Bliss!

4 lovely moorings bridge 129-130

Dave had some painting to do but I got the chair out and enjoyed the sunshine!

6 miles, 5 locks.

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