Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Looking in the other direction from the same bridge, things weren't a lot easier.
Heaven help anyone trying to merely pass through, for this was the annual historic narrowboat rally with 90 boats, mostly 70 footers, on parade. There are some mouthwateringly good boats here, fabulous signwriting and paint jobs, and wonderful sounding vintage engines.
All having a jolly time in the hot sunshine and stoking up a thirst for the beer tent. Big boats in tight spaces call for expert handling and we did see one or two smack into the far side bank piling on exiting from the marina. However the star performance was probably a chap we only know as Pete reversing a butty into the entrance and down the narrow channel next to the workshops.
Here he is, on the little boat which is pushing the big one, both being in reverse, and heading under the narrow bridge I am standing on to take the picture.
To warm applause he did it!
Another highlight of the day was seeing Sarah steering Chertsey on its first public outing since all the restoration work she and Jim have done. She was well pleased.
Those with keen eyesight might just spot James and Amy "Duck" hitching a ride.
A brilliant day and a good chance for an informal mini gathering of boat bloggers too.
PS Today's title was thought up by Rick, so don't blame me.
Meanwhile Herbie awaits us at Fenny Stratford where we will resume our travels tomorrow.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
1. It has a natural history museum that is amazingly amazing. You need to like stuffed animals and birds and fish etc, but the collection, which was put together by Lionel Walter (later Baron) Rothschild, seems to have everything from polar bears to sharks. It is a huge collections and nicely presented too. And its free.
2. (one for the anoraks) Tring has a cracking ironmongers shop with lots and lots of everything. And of course it is largely free from the dreaded multipack, so you an buy a screw or a nut, not packet. Forget your chandlery, go to the ironmonger.
3. It has Tring Brewery, where very nice people will let you taste their very nice beer and sell you some in 9 pint tins. Be aware though that the brewery is shortly to move to bigger premises on the outskirts of town, right opposite Tesco.
The best access from the canal is to moor up at Cowroast and catch a bus, taking a mere 5 minutes to Tring.
We did Tring on Wednesday morning while we awaited the arrival of Simon and Carrie to accompany Herbie on Tortoise. Once they arrived we set off through the cutting and detoured up the Wendover Arm (because it's there). They both agreed with us that on the way up, it really feels like the boat is going uphill even though it's all on a level.
Emerging out of the arm we encountered Jem Bates's lads maneouvering two old wooden boats (the last of their class apparently) in and out of the dry dock.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
today Kath washed Herbie's roof while we took on water. The water was evaporating oin a cloud of steam in seconds, such was the heat. A good job we have wooden handrails. Earlier, we had to endure a choking blizzard of willow fluff falling from the canalside trees.
One interesting but somewhat unpleasant event today was seeing a heron snatch a poor little duckling right in front of it's mum. I'm not at all sure I like herons and I certainly don't when they have a duckling dangling from their beak.
Altogether we did 15 locks in the heat of the day and we were glad to arive safely in Cowroast where Herbie now nestles immediatley behind Simon's Tortoise who we will cruise with tomorrow.
here is our view tonight
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Some pictures of our back garden tonight. Nice eh? Click the pics and see them big. We're at the Grove, the posh bit of the GU hereabouts. And the news you're waiting to hear - the batteries seem fine. Now at 100% and seem to be staying up well. Phew!
I quickly deduced what had happened. On leaving the boat on monday I had not switched off at the battery master switch, but I had turned off the water tank stop cock. The kitchen tap has a very slight drip. Eventually the pressure accumulator calls for more water and the pump switches on. because the water main cock is off, the pump fails to supply any water and it just runs and runs and runs - depleting my precious new batteries.
I dashed to the Smartgauge to see the battery level. 47%. Not at all good, but could be a lot worse I suppose. You're not supposed to let them go below 50%.
Anyway we picked up Peter from the station and set off with the alternator doing its bit to recharge the batteries. Four hours later at Black Jacks lock we were on 86% and that stayed level all night. Now at lunchtime on Sunday we're at Rickmansworth and the Smartgauge says 94% with the fridge running. We might just have got way with it.
Anyway, we're on our way and the weather is OK. The canal is at its best at this time of year and we have already seen more wildlife than you can shake a stick at, including parakeets, tufted ducks, loads of herons and lots and lots of chicks of one sort and another.
Further on up we hope to run into (not literally) Indigo Dream and Tortoise. Tonight we stop at the lovely Grove park near Watford, when I shall post further news and some pics.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
The folding system (the brainchild of David "Rainman" if I recall correctly) works brilliantly and the table is up and down in a trice. However I wouldn't want to sit on it. For light dining or card games use only I think.
Note the cunning recess at the bottom of the leg so that we can access the water tank filler when the leg is laid down.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Will this threaten the business of our moorings further down the arm? Apparently not according to the owner of our yard. The new marina will have basic facilities only, i.e. a place to keep a boat, but no facilities. It might be very cheap to moor there I suppose. Of course the planning permission may not be given so it might come to nothing. Sadly I don't think it will lead to a fresh determination on the part of BW to address the much needed dredging and weed clearance in the arm because the new marina will be up the "good end", not far from the main canal.
Changing the subject. A good day's progress on Herbie yesterday despite the heat. Working down the engine hole in such weather is not my idea of fun, but the batteries are now properly lined up and restrained, ready for the new ones to be installed next week. I also nearly finished the cratch table. Photos of the finished work next week I hope.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
I do however have a secret weapon. My digital camera. An eye that sees where my head won't reach. The other day I used it to see what lay behind some of the batteries, where I can't possibly see by normal means. There just isn't the headroom. Here we see two things hidden from my normal view, the back of the master switches and the space behind one of the batteries, showing a batten I didn't know was there.