Friday, 22 January 2010

Water - lovely water

Thurs 21st: Made it - to the water point that is, at Snarestone the end of the Ashby Canal. Everything filled that needed to be filled, and everything emptied that needed to be emptied! Also got 2 containers of diesel, after a bloke in the pub asked if we needed anything ... well, yes actually .... Thanks Mick, very kind of you. We're going to try and get back to Stoke Golding, before it freezes over again! Friday 22nd: Didn't get very far, couldn't get past Shackerstone as the ice is still too thick. Rumour has it that a BW dredger had left Shackerstone bound for Market Bosworth/Stoke Golding, but there's no evidence of a "path" carved through the ice, dredger was here on the way up but he's not here now though, so it MUST be thinner & easier ahead. Ah well, we'll have another go tomorrow, well Dave will, I'm in Chirk for a few days visiting family.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The pub is in sight!

Yesterday (19th) we managed to move. We waited till 1pm, then made a break for it. After 3 hours we had managed to move one mile into Snarestone, the ice here hadn't melted as much as it had further down, and was still 3" thick, and we came to an abrupt stop. That'll do - we can see the pub from here. Both Dave and I have sore backs from carting water on trolly dolly the 1 1/2 miles from the pub, so we're now much closer. Again, thanks to the Landlord of the Globe for letting us use his water tap and elsan point. Unfortunately my hands are swollen and bruised from smashing the ice sheets at the bank with a steel stake, as Dave drove Beefur forward ramming the ice. Captain cat is not impressed with this mooring. Dog **** everywhere, you really have to watch where you put your feet. Is it the same everywhere after the snow? Dog owners have just been burying their dog poo under the snow, and are now surprised that there's so much of it about ?

Desperate Times!

Sorry, computer has been playing up a bit due to new "improved" update (now wont work properly) so i'm a bit behind ... My sister Rachel kindly volunteered (the previous week) to deliver some diesel to us at the weekend as we are still rather stuck, as well as shopping and water! Wed 13th: After dipping the diesel tanks (back for engine & front for heating) our fears were confirmed - we only had a couple of days diesel left, good job Rachel was coming to the rescue. We syphoned some from the front into the back to even it out a bit, so that would keep us going. Thurs 14th: Walk, & 4 buses later into Kenilworth to Rachel's, time for me to have a long hot shower and catch up on her news. Fri 15th: Rachel's car breaks down. We needed a Plan B. Dave contacted Ashby Boat Co. who agreed they would deliver 2 cans of diesel to Br57 for a large fee. Sat 16th: Diesel delivered by wheelbarrow to boat. Rachel's car out of action till at least next wed but she managed to hire a car from B'ham Airport - no other cars available any nearer, so off she went by bus and train to pick it up. Sun 17th: Rachel transports me, load of spare fuel filters, new toilet cassette (just in case), container of water, also stops on the way for a tesco shop, container of diesel from Hinkley. Fantastic - that's us sorted for another week!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Not Winter Cruising

It dawned on us a few days ago (after looking at the long term weather forecast) that this is the end of our winter cruising for this year. Our plans to go down the Oxford to Banbury area are now out of the question, we didn't get down there last winter so were looking forward to this winter round Napton etc etc. We had a lovely few months planned - ducking & diving the stoppages! We did take our time getting here tho (2 months). Judging from the thickness of ice up here at the top end of the Ashby, even if it starts thawing NOW, it'll still be a couple of weeks before the ice will be thin enough to plough through. Mind you, we couldn't have picked a more beautiful spot to be frozen in, and not that far away that we cant get water & empty the portaloo. Just worked it out - that's 20 days without a boat going past us, incredible. This compares to one day at random in September on our moorings on the Llangollen canal, we stopped counting at 86 boats and went to the pub. Never mind there's always next year. This, I feel, entitles me to post a few photos of previous cruises - of Dan the Dog on his holidays with us (sadly no longer with us), Beefur and Sans Souci (soon no longer to be with us)

Stuck Fast

Thanks for the emails and texts. We're doing OK - so far! We are iced in about a mile and a half out of Snarestone, and have been unable to move since 22nd Dec. We went to Chirk for christmas, so didn't have anything to worry about there! Dave is getting a container of water daily from the Globe pub, this involves strapping the container to trolly dolly & trundling up and down the towpath. Poor Dave, he has to visit the pub every day, what a trooper. The landlord is also kindly letting us use his elsan point (he has some caravans on his land). We've just put on a new gas bottle, so that (hopefully) should last 3+ weeks. As mentioned previously, we've been going into Atherstone on the cross country bus for supplies. The bus stop is 1 1/2 - 2 miles away but the bus driver kindly drops us off on the side of the road nearer the canal on the return journey, which means carting the shopping for only 1 mile. Our only concern now is diesel - again. We know Gosty Hill (coal/diesel boat) has been frozen in further down the canal, so we don't know how he's getting on with his route. Even if he is back on schedule, he won't be able to get to us by boat as the canal is just impassible, just hope he can deliver by van again. Water is extremely rationed. We just try and avoid doing anything that will bring on a sweat and walk around with our arms firmly by our sides. Just as well no one knows us up here. So thanks everyone for your concern, but we're not giving up yet .....

Saturday, 9 January 2010

It's cold out there

This is the view of the INSIDE of the windows - ice. Theres alot of condensation on the windows in the evening, which tends to freeze overnight. Thanks to NB Gypsy Rover for their blog postings about "Stormguard". As mentioned in previous blog, we took an excursion to Atherstone & Dave then went on into Nuneaton in the hope of finding said "Stormguard Double Glazing Film". He managed to find some in Focus DIY. We have put it on the windows today, and boy, what a difference. No more ice on the windows at all in the morning. Its basically heavy clingfilm & double sided sellotape but its extremely effective.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Cross country bus ride

Went into Atherstone yesterday to get some supplies - wow what a ride that was! The bus route was the number 7 from Ashby De La Zouch to Nuneaton. waited patiently in the snow and ice for said bus... it arrived! "You're lucky I came this way" said the driver. Apparently the other bus drivers of this route had decided that the roads were too icy to traverse so were taking diversions. I'd like to explain this route: It picked us up on a side road just on the outskirts of Snarestone (great), it then veered off the B4116 down a single track lane and went into Twycross Zoo. Fine, somewhere to visit later. From there we were onto the A444, great. After a couple of miles, that was obviously enough on a two lane road and we veered off again down single lane tracks, all ungritted and extremely icy. Through Sheepy Magna, Sheepy Parva, and onto a 'proper' road again, horay. A straight run into Atherstone now ... oh no ... the driver found another one track lane and managed to eke the journey out another 10 minutes. Past King Dicks Hole (Eh! not joking - look it up) and eventually arrived in Atherstone. Only 9 miles but 40 minutes later. I'd just like say that I am extremely glad that bus routes like this exist, linking rural communities to a town. We passed an upturned 4X4 who didn't make one of the bends in the ice. The return journey was like a private taxi ride. The (different) driver avoiding all the icy roads, keeping to the main roads purely to deposit the existing passengers. Hope no-one was waiting to get on .....

Captain cat walks on water

Unfortunately Captain Cat has decided that she can walk on water. We have tried to break up the ice around the boat daily by running it in gear but the last couple of days the ice hasn't moved much, so the cat has taken to chasing the birdies looking for food on the frozen canal surface. When you shout "NO NO NO" at her she knows she's doing wrong but then tries to run back to the bank but her legs are moving but without the momentum. Looks like a cat out of a cartoon. Hope she survives the night .....

Post Christmas

We did manage to catch up with a few people over christmas with a visit to Chirk marina and the golf club, also had a quick jaunt to the Aqueduct Inn. Great to see everyone - Happy New Year to all! Dave returned to the boat earlier than planned, as we were concerned about ice etc. We had hoped to come back to a de-frosted canal so we could move to a more convenient spot to get water etc, but no chance. Dave did try and move, but only got half way to bridge 57. I rejoined Dave on the 29th as we had to pick up Captain Cat from the cattery in Stoke Golding, so with trains and busses to SG, then a taxi to cattery we were soon all back on Beefur. Our only problem now was that Gosty Hill (the coal/diesel boat) woudnt be able to get to us as the ice was so thick and we were quickly running out of diesel. We spoke to Iain (Gosty Hill) who confirmed our fears - they were iced in at Sutton Cheney (9 miles further back), they were also way behind schedule as pushing through the frozen ice was taking an age. He did however say that he would try and deliver some diesel by van to Gopsall Wharf (Br58) if we could meet him there. We cracked ice for 3 hours and managed to move 1/2 mile to Br57 but came to a halt with no way through the 3" slab. Tried phoning Iain again to explain our predicament but he wasn't answering the phone - perhaps he'd been and gone - with no sigin of Beefur Boat had he turned around & gone back? Just then, through the mist, a rumbling and clattering noise - whats this? - Horah! A saviour with a wheelbarrow full of diesel! Iain knew we werent far away, and with the help of Ralph (nb Annabelle) the man with the van, delivered containers of diesel to us. What a kind thing to do! They really saved our bacon, its not just running the engine that requires diesel, we have a bubble diesel stove for the heating. We would have been really in the **** Our sincere thanks to them both!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Ashby Canal Between Br56 & BR57

As you can see from the photos, the ice is getting thicker every day.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Christmas in Chirk

After getting the cat to the cattery in Stoke Golding (booked in August & with no chance of getting any type of animal into a closer cattery for christmas with 2 days to go), we abandoned Beefur boat in the ice, leaving the heating on so as not to get frozen pipes, and headed to Nuneaton to catch the train to Chirk. No problem with the transport, trains on time, with only a couple of minutes between connecting trains. We had a wonderful time with Mum and Dad. Big fat goose for christmas dinner with all the trimmings and a fridge full of goodies. We didnt venture out very much as the ice was so thick and dangerous - Dave however volunteered to walk George the dog who was spending his christmas holidays in Chirk as Bethan, John & Nell had gone skiing for the week, joining up with Rachel, Bruno and the girls. We had a fall of snow while we were there, which made everything look lovely. Pics are of me, mum, dad & goose, mum resplendant in the home made scarf I knitted !! PS Dave was taking the photo!

Pre-christmas arrangements gone awry

Now I've started 'blogging' again, thought I'd kind of get things in date order. We moved from Market Bosworth on the Ashby Canal on about the 19th December 2009. We had it all planned .... Captain Cat was booked into the canal side cattery in Stoke Golding on the 23rd, we would then get the bus from Stoke Goldings to Nuneaton train station and be back in Chirk for christmas within a couple of hours. Beefur Boat would be left outside Ashby marina - jobs a good'un. We had a few days spare before heading back to SG to commence the chrismas festivities, so we decided to moor for a couple of days up the top end of the Ashby in our favourite mooring near Snarestone, in the middle of the countryside with no noise and hardly any walkers. However, things didnt exactly go according to plan. We did get to our favourite spot and miraculously there wasnt any boats moored there. Bliss. We woke up the next morning with the canal iced up (20th) and despite trying to plough through it, we had to abandon it after only 1/2 mile - the ice was 2" thick already, and even thicker the next day. So plans changed - Captain cat was transported to the cattery by taxi & we left beefur Boat out in the sticks & got the cross country bus to Nuneaton (more of that later) to get home for christmas.....

Ashby Canal and frozen in

Well its been a whole year since I last wrote on my blog site. It must be said that its extremely difficult to upload anything via a mobile - ask any boater who attempts to write a blog! As we're frozen in at the top end of the Ashby Canal I thought i'd give it another go! See how long the novelty lasts this time.