Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A babble of bloggers head up the Llangollen

I've spent the last hour or so catching up on boaters' blogs, and it seems the Llangollen is very popular at this time of year.  NB Armadillo is leading the advance party, followed by NB Rock N Roll, Moore 2 Life, and NB Seyella, with NB Jandai bringing up the rear.  Give 'em a wave as they pass, or leave a comment!

On Friday (13th) I blogged that a boat had arrived at the bottom of Grendon, hoping to ascend the Atherstone locks - which were padlocked.  Dave also showed him a photo taken on his mobile phone of the works in progress on the lock above.  We later left to walk into Atherstone to get some shopping, it was around 4.30pm by now and starting to get dark.  We arrived back a couple of hours later by taxi to Grendon (as we had shopping to carry, and nothing to do with visiting the Market Tavern), only to find the newly arrived boat had disappeared.  Ah well, we decided he'd backed up to Grendon winding hole and decided to move off - somewhere.  On Saturday morning however, we see him backing out of the bottom lock.  It appears that a fibreglass cruiser approached the lock (in the dark) removed the lock from the gates and ascended.  Our man didn't need any more encouragement and immediately followed said fibreglass up the locks, only to find fibreglass boat coming back towards him as he exited the second lock up, and proceeded to descend the locks again.  It was only then, on approaching the third lock that it dawned on Matey that - yes - the locks are actually shut!  Duh!  So he than had to reverse all the way back to where he started.  Apparently he had phoned BW Fazeley who had told him that they would try and lock him through, if and when the work was completed.  The arrival of a fibreglass boat at the locks was Matey's ticket to Atherstone.  Yeah - that's likely at 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon!

Backing out of the bottom lock

Broken padlock on the bottom gates

Matey - back in position on the lock bollards - not as if anyone's going to be using them any time soon!

Unfortunately, Matey's maiden voyage continues to be rather fraught - we're now iced in here at Grendon and he's short of fuel, so Dave lent him our 2 jerry cans so he could get some diesel, along with the stack-truck.  However, his biggest problem was that his batteries were flat, as he'd only run the engine for an hour or so for the past couple of days.  Dave had tinker, then decided to disconnected one of our batteries, so he may do a 'jump start'  which thankfully worked.  Dave did tell him he needed to run his engine for longer - alot longer.  After an hour of engine running, he switched it off, so it'll probably be the same problem tomorrow. 

As for us, we're just fine.  We checked the weather forecast and knew ice was on the way, so moved up to the Grendon services and did the necessary filling and emptying, so we're ok for a few days at least and moved back to where we were at the bottom of the lock in the peace and quiet.  We thought we'd rather be in sight of a tap - than not - in the ice! The temperature is due to go up into double figures again Wed/Thurs, so we'll move on then.  We've also had a delivery of logs from Carl in the pub (Market Tavern) - yes - we've finally used up the logs on the roof which we've been carting round the country for the last few months. 
It's pretty cold here this morning!

Nemo keeping busy, catching mice....

(Action shot this one)  This is the mouse making a break for it - and succeeded!

Ah, that's better,  I've had such a busy day .......

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