Monday, November 25, 2019

Herbie goes luxury

I'm thinking of inviting Rob Bryden for a cruise on Herbie, then he can go on telly to advertise  the pleasures of our our new luxury on board swimming pool like he does for P&O.  Here I am emptying it out for the end of season clear up.

If you look closely, you can see the high watermark from before I started baling (or baleing?).  I calculated that the tonneau cover (which suffered a split seam and some broken bungees) was holding over a hundredweight of rain water when we visited last week.  Herbie's private flood in sympathy with the poor folk in Yorkshire I suppose.  The ageing tonneau was already in a somewhat delapidated state but I fear it'll now need replacing, being stretched out of shape and saggy - just waiting to catch more rain.  Next time I'll build in a ridge pole.

We were out at Herbie draining her plumbing down for winter in case we get deep frosts before our next cruise.  I can't see us getting any done now until the new year. 

Talking about next year, we're seriously contemplating a move to a different marina, having done the dear old South Oxford to death really.  Top of our list at the moment is Kings Bromley (near Rugeley, Staffs) which although further from home would give us access to waters we haven't cruised much if at all. We'd have Trent & Mersey  (in both directions), Staffs and Worcs, Birmingham, and more all within reasonable reach.  Watch this space.

Looking at the old calendar on the wall I notice it won't be long until the Herbie Awards season.  Time to brush off the old tuxedos and posh frocks folks.  Kath is in her sewing room  applying sequins to her kagoul as I write. Earlier in the year I had some great ideas for new categories of award.  Of course I never wrote them down so now I can't remember what they were but rest assured I'll be working on it.  Any suggestions welcome.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A good time to go boating?

It doesn't seem five minutes since Claydon locks were on short hours in order to save water and we were worried about running aground down at Twyford wharf.  Well folks those worries are over and we have huge amounts of new waterway available. 

Why stick to the canal when you can pull over onto the fields and even the streets in some places?  You could moor up right outside a corner shop and save all that carrying back to the boat -if it wasn't for the fact that all the goods in the shop are a bit soggy.  Come to think of it, why go under Evesham bridge when you could probably cruise round the side of it and then carry on down the Avon.  You'd be in Tewkesbury in half an hour with your crew enjoying the waterskiing on the end of your mooring rope.   Endless fun.

I think the lovely guys at our marina have been going round lengthening the mooring ropes in case boats are pulled under by the rise in level.  I would think large parts of the S Oxford canal are un-navigable.  Apparently a lot of the towpath is submerged below Banbury and I wouldn't mind betting that  top lock gates are overflowing all over the place down that way.  I've had to paddle across some of them in the past when the canal wasn't nearly so high as it is now.  Here's a link to the Banbury Guardian showing the flood waters pouring over the path and into the canal.  Apparently a few of the villages on the Cherwell flood plain are in trouble. 

Joking apart, is anybody out there actually doing any boating?