Thursday, February 26, 2009
However at Cowley lock, as I stood on the lockside wating for Kath to bring the boat in, she reported a loud clanking from the propeller. Once in the lock, I went down the weed hatch to see what we had collected. Nothing. Not a sausage.
So off we went again and very soon -clank clank clank. "Perhaps the prop is falling off" said Kath, ever the optimist.
Back down the weedhatch. Blimey that water is cold when you have your arm in it for a minute or two. No sign of anything. Wait a minute - a bit of fishing line on the shaft, I'll get rid of that anyway. Eureka! On the end of the fishing line, dangling like a pendant necklace below the prop shaft, a copper fishing lure. It hung so low that an arm in the water couldn't detect it, and the fishing line was as invisible as it is designed to be.
Of course as soon as the prop got up to speed the lure was whirled round and struck the prop or the bottom of the boat causing the clanking. A quick snip of the line and problem solved.
We're back home now after having left the boat at Uxbridge, but I'll be back aboard tomorrow in readiness for our early spring/late winter cruise. With any luck the new stove will keep us toasty warm.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Then from Saturday we're off cruising for several days. We might tootle down to Brentford and have a jar with Simon of Nb Tortoise fame, we might even manage a music session as we are all guilty of playing an instrument or two. Or we might head north for a change. We'll see what the weather is doing. Can't wait.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The South Oxford is one of the most popular canals for holiday cruising. We did it once some years ago on a boat hired from Weltonfield. Of all the hire trips we ever did, this was the wettest. I don't think it stopped raining from start to finish. Jaz, our dog (now sadly departed) fell in the canal before we even cast off and proceeded to do so at regular intervals. I think this was the first boat we hired that had fitted carpets throughout. A daft idea if you ask me. It was also the holiday on which we invented the Jim MacBeam, a whisky mac made with Jim Beam and still a great favourite as a warmer after a good soaking or freezing.
Perhaps this year we might get to see the canal in the sunshine. I imagine it might be nice.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
For our 50ft boat:
Annual BW licence (before April 09) £555 inc prompt payment reduction
Annual Gold licence £852. This covers virtually everywhere for the year.
Giving a difference of £297
If we only had the BW licence then for our planned summer cruise we would also have to buy
31 day EA licence for East Anglian rivers for our fens trip £179 (after April 09)
extra 7 day licence if we stay on a bit longer £71 (a possibility)
15 day Thames licence if we head up that way en route (which would be nice) £90
So £269 if we don't hang about in the fens or £340 we stay there a while. Given the fact that our home mooring is only a day from the Thames, we could well get a bit more use out of the gold licence at other times, which would mean it was worth it.
£852 sounds a hell of a lot of money though, and if our plans fell through for whatever reason we'd be severely out of pocket.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Whether 'tis wiser in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous short term licences
Or to take arms against a sea of navigation authorities
And buy a Gold licence
Its time to renew Herbie's BW licence. This year we hope to do our fenland cruise which means travelling a lot on Environment Agency waters for which we would have to buy short term licences for the rivers. Alternatively, we could buy a Gold licence, costing an extra £190 and go almost anywhere without further charge.
It all depends how long we stay on the rivers. If the weather is good we might easily hang around on the Ouse or Nene then perhaps head back south via the Oxford canal and make a leisurely return down the Thames. Then we'd get our money's worth, especially if we added a short cruise back up the Thames later in the year. If we get a wet summer though, our extra money will go down the drain along with all the extra water because we'll stick to the canals.
I didn't get where I am today by being a gambler, which is why, I tell myself, I'm so desperately dull. Our financial adviser classifies me as risk averse. However a little voice in my head of me says "Bugger it. Get the gold licence and then you won't be inhibited in making route choices." The pot of money we laughingly call Herbie's sinking fund can stand it. Maybe I will.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
There were four cans, one very small, one probably two gallons, one probably three gallons and one looking about four. The larger three had inscriptions where a boat name would normally go . 1. London Pride 2. Fisherman's Cottage and 3. Fuller Smith Turner (the brewers). No for sale signs so we wandered out towards the door. Kath told the barmaid we were just looking at the cans in case they were for sale and she replied that they might be.
They wanted £20 each but to cut a long story short we bought the 2 and 3 gallon cans for £30 the pair. The smaller of the two needs a bit of TLC in the paintwork, and the larger one just a touch, but they are sound galvanised cans. I know new galvanised cans of this type and size can cost about £60 unpainted in a chandlery. The painter's signature on the bottom of each can says Terry Remp 1985.
I now have to decide how much to attempt to restore the paint chips. New paint probably won't blend in too well.
Anyway we're quite pleased with them and you can look out for them sitting on top of Herbie in future photos :-)
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
I've managed to generate them entirely in XL and word, so there is no hand drawing involved and I can publish them as PDFs.
At present I have four available covering the GU from Brentford to Braunston (that's two), through London from Bulls Bridge to Limehouse and the Lee Navigation from Limehouse to Hertford.
If you'd like to download one (or more) just click on the The HerbieFiles link on the right of the screen. This will take you to a new web site where I'll keep them and any other useful info such as a pub/ restaurant list I've just started. I aim to generate a lot moreCanalOmeters for my own use, but also for others to try. If you have any particular lengths of water you'd like me to do, let me know and I'll put it on my to do list. CanaOlmeters don't / can't list every place along the canal for space reasons so I'm especialy interested to know what places or features I should include.now