Boatwif Blog

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Coventry, its cathedrals and canal

Friday 27th August: Coventry to Hartshill, near Atherstone: 14.35 miles, 0 locks       I woke in the night – because it wasn’t raining any more! Nor has it since – and it is easier to see and to think when not under a peaked hat and encased in waterproofs!       We set off for the Cathedral early, crossing the ring road by a high footbridge and heading uphill. Up a cobblestone lane we reached the distinctive front of...

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Sent to Coventry

Thursday 26th August: east of Hillmorton Locks to Coventry: 22 miles, 4 locks       Mid-afternoon I may have been sent to Coventry: the fact that we were approaching it was the reason.     ” Whose idea was this?” shouted the Captain, several times. I played the Deaf Ears tactic, as it had been mine… Things could have been better all day, so perhaps the rhetorical question was disguising steadily increasing despondency.       Rain had provided background noise throughout the night. With an...

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HEADLINE: SUNK BOAT REMOVED FROM LOCK

Wednesday 25th August: Braunston to near Hillmorton, North Oxford Canal: 7.5 miles, 6 locks       Readers of yesterday’s blog (apologies for getting the date wrong) may recall the late entry of an accident that had occurred on the Whilton Flight behind us.       Early this morning the Towpath Telegraph reported that the boat had been lifted out of the lock overnight. But the crew of Wandering Star (see Monday’s blog) had been witnesses, moored outside the lock waiting...

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Sloe, blow, lock, lock, slow

Tuesday 25th August: Bugbrooke to Braunston Tunnel (West Portal) :    12 miles, 7 locks       An idea has just struck me: you know how at Christmas time you come across cheery little books on specialist subjects, such as tractors or garden mowers: perhaps a publication of boats with gorgeous decoration or witty names would make a welcome stocking filler. I say this because yesterday at Gayton Junction we passed a boat called L’escargot, a happy looking snail picture on...

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Out of signal again – Braunston

Quick update from Son-In-Law here. No blog post tonight due to lack of 3G signal near to Ken & Sue’s current mooring. As you should be able to see, from the map on the right, they are currently moored at the West end of Braunston tunnel. Normal service should resume tomorrow.

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Fast Trains and Frisky Dogs ( and the mystery of the missing holes)

Monday 23rd August: Northampton to Bugbrooke,  9 miles, 17 locks       Was it an omen that just as we were about to cast off Wandering Star (owned by residents of Congleton) sped by?  Yesterday they were moored at Northampton Park, he head down into the engine compartment, doing some routine servicing work. They were going to be ahead of us as we toiled uphill … The Captain had words to say about my very reasonable desire for a newspaper from an...

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Flags, flowers and a flotilla

Sunday, 22nd August: Cogenhoe Lock to Northampton: 6  miles, 6 locks         Picture if you can those scenes of a great ship’s homecoming, passing the Isle of Wight maybe, the ship shepherded by tiny craft towards her berth – now hold that scene in your mind until the next paragraph. Despite no need for an early start (since there was to be only a short distance today) the Captain could not resist setting off towards the blue sky, blue water and warm...

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Breakages and brokerage …

Saturday 21st August: Irthlingborough to Cogenhoe Lock: 13 miles, 10 locks         Apart from the slight leak from the waste water pipe under the bathroom washbasin (a broken seal) and a broken tree, thankfully the breakages have not been ours. Last night, at the lock behind us, I fell into conversation with a pair on a boat they were moving from Leighton Buzzard (Southern Grand Union) to Norfolk, onto Brandon Creek, off the Great Ouse. Shortly into the trip they...

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“Just the Diamonds now.”

Friday, 20th August: Moored at Irthlingborough (rope-hauled boat 80 yards to and from water-point)       As planned and as promised the gasman came to call… chatted, serviced the boiler and left, all in less than two hours.  I had slid off the boat when I heard he was on his way lest I be subjected to another gasman confessional… Two months ago, after much badgering of our gas servicing supplier, the three times cancelled servicing of our domestic boiler...

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Down to earth at Irthlingborough

Thursday 19th August: Denford to Irthlingborough: 7 miles, 4 locks  .     It would not normally be a choice of mine to cosy up with a team of footballers, but here we are at Irthlingborough moored right behind Rushden and Diamonds Football Stadium, on a long bankside mooring, obvious to any stray gasman who should chance to drive into the car park tomorrow…       This afternoon we walked from the moored boat up into the town. The footpath took us out to the...