Perfect Harmony

Perfect Harmony
Moored at Huntingdon

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

23rd August '11

I know I haven't put a lot on lately but am struggling with what has turned out to be gall stones and I've been suffering so apologies. Having said that we haven't been out in the boat since the show so there's not been a lot to report.
We had a few days on Exmoor with Katie, Simon and their respective children which was nice. The journey there and back was interesting (when you take interesing to mean horrible, scary and we won't be doing THAT again in the van). We were camped in Doone Valley, and the scenery was amazing but the weather was not brilliant.
There was a stream running through the valley that Paddy took full advantage of!

Further up the valley it became quite isolated....

Katie, Simon, Jacob and Kera claim this land for Britain (didn't like to tell them - bless!)

Up this high and the land was suprisingly boggy - guess who hadn't put their walking boots in the van?

there's nothing like sitting around an open fire when you're out camping! Simon was not to be deterred by a little rain.... (actually quite a lot of rain AND it was quite cool for August!)

Jacob being sensible and taking shelter in the van with Granny! Checking to see exactly where we were.

This is the Church at Oare where Lorna Doone was married - I wasn't well enough to get there so John walked and took this for me - thank you xxxx

This is the plaque in the Church dedicated to RD Blackmoor - if any of you haven't read Lorna Doone SHAME on you - and get off to read it now..... questions will be asked later.

We are unable to plan what we are going to do over the next few months until we know what is happening with my operation - we had planned to go to Llangoglen in September but we shall see. In the meantime we have Steve and Pam coming at the weekend and so we will go off for a short cruise with them - can't wait to get out and about again.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

2nd Aug.'11

Back from the show - glad we went but very disappointed with the range of stalls there. We went with a long list of things to buy from a heavy duty fuse to a new length of centre rope and we couldn't buy any of them. There were stands there by the hundred for canal restoration and plenty of food outlets but nothing in the way of chandlers apart from a stand run by the chandlers we have on the marina, and they didn't have any of the stuff that we wanted! We shall have to go into the shop here and get it but we were hoping for the 15% show discount!!

Our mooring was just over a mile from the site - due to us booking late - won't make that mistake again! and we were next to a lorry transport depot so there were tooting horns all through the day and night as lorries came and went.

The highlight of the event was that we got to both the Mikron Theatre productions and they were both great as ever. This is a troupe of 4 actors who travel around (on a canal boat much of the time) and perform funny yet meaningful shows. The ones we saw were about the start of the canal network in England thanks to the 3rd Earl of Bridgwater and the story of beer brewing since it was at Burton which is one of the brewing centres in the country!

Knowing how most people are here for the pictures here we go - lets hope they upload quicker than last time! (I'm doing this in between going up to the laundry by the way!)

Just before we left for the festival John caught this beast - it's about 20lb carp and has to be one of the fattest most ugly fish I've ever seen but he was delighted with it! There are carp in the marina at least twice this size but this is pretty impressive - there you go Kev - proof he did it!

Arriving at the show was interesting - as we got nearer the centre the boats were moored 2 on one side and 1 on the other leaving a gap just wide enough for one boat to get through - there were a couple of passing places and it all went off OK apart from as we were nearing the only lock we had to go through, a boat came up from behind and started to overtake - we called out that we were 5th in line and they would be 6th and it turned out that it was being crewed by two older ladies, one of whom was deaf and the other hadn't ever done it before. It took several people to get them in the right place and we were heartily glad that they didn't have to travel far as they were in a disabled spot near the centre. Apparently deaf Doris is well known on the water and avoided whenever possible although she's a sweetie when you meet her off the boat - just totally out of control when aboard!!!

Two old working boats coming down a lock - the one in front Nuneaton is towing Brighton so has to go down the lock first then wait at the door for the second boat to go through and then ties up and tows her off again - it obviously takes a bit of time to do this - no-one's on the boats if they like speed!

These two pictures were taken from the central footbridge showing some of the moored boats - if you could see a mile into the distance from the lower picture you would see us!

On Sunday after the show had closed lots of boats were moving away before the rush - we had to book our sailing out time on the Monday - so we took advantage of that and moved down nearer to the road into town so we could get some bits and pieces on Monday morning. Paddy and I walked down with the walkie talkie and found a slot and told John to come on down and while we were waiting another boat from the other direction came into the space. It's not like a car park where you can say excuse me but this is our place - so we headed back up and found another place where a fisherman was sat right in the middle. Being desperate since John was already cruising along and had no-where to go, I put on my helpless female face and asked if he would mind moving a bit as he could go either in front or behind us when we were moored. Much to my delight (and suprise because some of the fishermen don't have great relationships with boaters) he agreed and moved all his stuff for us - not only that but he held the rope while we got moored! We ended up chatting the rest of the evening with him and he and John had so much in common I was expecting to find they were long lost cousins! I took some pictures but they went a bit wierd for some reason.

On Monday we started home and got to just before the lock and since there was a boat in front, John said he'd pull in a gap and go to check what was happening ahead. This was a bad move...... there was a sudden horrible noise from the deck and John checked the prop shaft and found the remains of a pop-up tent, complete with all the stainless steel wire, wrapped around the shaft.

This is just some of the mess!

over 3 hours later and he finally gets it all out - thanks here go to the owner of Elizabeth who loaned us a cutting tool that got through the wire or we'd still be there I think!

This is Elizabeth - one of the first working boats to be converted - and it's gone through many stages including being a sailing boat at one time! This conversion was in 1936 I think and the owners have had her for 45 years! You are unlikely to see anything else quite like this on the canals!

We got home eventually to find our new neighbours - Serenity - moored up alongside. She's a wide-beam and they are fitting her out themselves so there will be lots of excitement to come!