Sunday, 31 July 2016

Power gives way to sail

As part of our preparations for leaving Brownsover I walked the rubbish bag to the park and managed to leave it behind (in the bin).  To my surprise I passed nb Hanser which was moored just around the bend.  I’d assumed Brian & Diana were somewhere back near Hawkesbury Junction.


There was no sign of movement aboard so I quietly walked back to Waiouru where Jan mentioned she had read Brian’s blog and they were somewhere in Brownsover!  We were slightly late moving off the mooring as the boater behind had borrowed one of our adjustable spanners to fix a battery terminal.  I couldn’t understand his logic of removing all the tools off his boat before they started their summer cruise?

Brian & Diana were up and on deck when we passed so there was only time for the briefest of greetings.  The moorings the other side of Bridge 58 looked quite full.  Hotel boat and butty Duke & Duchess were breasted up.


Shortly afterwards a canoeist caught up with us so we slowed down and moved to the right to let him pass.  He powered on ahead and then suddenly started to slow down in the short gap between the two aqueducts.  He was obscured by the bow very quickly and then I realised he had stopped because a hire boat was very rapidly approaching him in a race to the narrows.

Power gives way to sail and sail gives way to oars…. but obviously the steerer of the hire boat didn’t know the rules.  The canoeist managed to get to the edge and we loitered before the second aqueduct to let the hire boat through.


By the time we reached Newbold there were three boats ahead and we were sure at least one would stop on the Newbold water point. It was our lucky day because not only did they not stop but the water point was vacant.  Jan had already put on a load of laundry in anticipation and with good water pressure it didn’t take long to top up the tank.

Two of the boats stopped at Armada Boatyard to take advantage of the cheap diesel (58ppl) whilst we carried on.  There was smoke coming from the stack on the narrow dutch barge, but I’m not sure whether it’s from the engine or a stove.


When we last came this way nine days ago I didn’t manage to take a good photo of the Terrapin on a branch over the canal.  Today it was in exactly the same position.


I did wonder if he had been washed up onto the branch by a passing boat and was now stranded.  Having been hooked up on concertina barbed wire in a previous life I can sympathize.

We stopped for the day on the moorings before Easenhall Bridge.  The bow thruster locker received a good cleanout and the new boat hook a 3rd undercoat.  Jan made a bacon and egg pie for dinner and an apple cake using the last of the old apples.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Toot toot!

Another trip to Halfords and Wickes this morning.  This time we needed paint masking tape. Jan then went to Elliot’s Retail Park whilst I rubbed down the small rust patches below the starboard side hatch doors.  After Jan returned I gave the new boat hook a 2nd coat of undercoat and then did some undercoat touching up in the cockpit.  There are a few chips in the original paint which need to be built up before the area gets sanded.  After that I used one of our cheap artists brushes (thanks Poundland) to apply a coat of primer to the small sanded bare metal spots below the side hatch.

The TV mast has been fully extended for the last six months and today I lowered it to half its height and replaced the coaxial table.  It hasn’t made any difference to the signal so the pixilation must be due to our current mooring.  But we have the dot!

Mid afternoon we heard the sound of a steam horn and several minutes later nb Tixall passed us

IMG_0293 The lady in the bow noticed our boat name and mentioned she was originally from Wellington NZ.  I managed to get a look (but no photo) of Tixall’s vertical boiler.  No sign of coal so I guess the boiler is oil or diesel heater?

The rope on stern, port side, horizontal rope sausage fender was looking very frayed so I cut off the damaged end and spliced on a new rope section.  After looking at it I realised this is the second time I’ve spliced a new section into the fender.

If the weather forecast is accurate this weekend might see some painting completed in the cockpit.

It’s very pleasing to read how the boating community is rallying around to find the boat stolen from Mercia Marina.  I’m pleased we have a boat alarm, gps movement alarm and remote engine immobilizer.  Not that we’ve really had to use them living on the boat.  Anyone stealing Waiouru would get a hell of a fright when the alarm triggered and the engine died.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Small maintenance tasks

The weather has been too unpredictable to paint but that didn’t stop me completing a couple of small maintenance tasks.  We left Hillmorton around 8.30am after the drizzle had stopped dropping down through the three locks to reach the water point.  The volunteer lock keeper had a notice about the boat stolen from Mercia Marina and informed us he was asking all boaters heading towards Braunston if they had seen the boat.  Boaters heading north like us were asked to report the stolen boat to the police if we saw it.  We cruised on to Brownsover after topping up the water tank and disposing of our rubbish.  It’s exactly a week since we were last in Brownsover and today it was full.  The water point on the park side is still unserviceable but at least It has a “CRT Aware” tag on it.

Jan went off to Tesco whilst I had a decision to make.  The barrel bolt that secures the starboard cratch window has lost its knob.  The nearest hardware centre is Wickes and they has a 51mm barrel bolt in stock for £2.99.  I also checked Screwfix which is further from the mooring.  They had them in stock for £1.25.  Decision……. do I walk the extra distance in the rain to save £1.74.   Well of course I did!  This is the new barrel bolt complete with knob

barrel boltAll I now had to do was remove the original barrel bolt and replace it with the new one.  These days I’m getting older and don’t rush into jobs like I used to.  After a minute of contemplation I wondered if the knob from the new bolt would fit the original.

cratch boltIt does!   Then I realised if the original barrel bolt knob had worked loose there was a chance all the other barrel bolt knobs on the boat might also need some attention.  Yes, they were all loose!  It seemed like a good idea to go around the boat and tighten all of them.  Finger tight isn’t sufficient, so I decided to use pliers.  But the teeth in the pliers would probably mark the chrome knobs.  To prevent this I used masking tape over the teeth.


That worked rather well and I was able to successfully tighten all the barrel bolt knobs. 

The second task was to visit Maplin and buy a replacement plug for the laptop power supply.  You may recall I made a power converter so the laptop can run off the boat 12V supply.  The original laptop plug is a right angle but I can only buy straight plugs from Maplin.  The problem is these straight plugs are regularly damaged and require replacing approximately once a year.

laptop plugThis is my locally made power adapter.  The red arrow points to the plug requiring replacement.  The “black box” contains a DC to DC step-up converter which raises the boat 12V to 19.2V for the laptop.  I now have a replacement plug (and spare) which will I will fit next time we run the engine (soldering iron requires 240V)

By now Jan had arrived back at Waiouru with a heavily loaded shopping trolley.   

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Mixed Day

We awoke to find it had rained during the night.  The sky was covered in ominous dark clouds and there was a damp feeling in the air.  Obviously thoughts of continuing with the exterior painting were suspended.  It then rained before fining up around mid morning so I decided to walk to the Sainsbury’s at Hillmorton for Jan’s weekly magazines.  A mistake as it started to rain on the return leg.  I arrived back on Waiouru damp and sweaty.  I hung my tshirt  In the cratch to dry out.

The sun decided to put in an appearance mid afternoon and I decided to gamble on the conditions getting a second undercoat onto the new boat pole.  Meanwhile Jan had busied herself cleaning the galley.  I’ve noticed one of the knobs on the shower mixing valve is slightly loose so that’s another small tasks which can be done.

Boats have been passing; some at rather high speed.  Not all of them are hire boats!  Yesterday I configured a spring mooring at the stern which has been very effective at limiting any movement from boats. 

We managed to get some good results from the solar panels despite the periods of rain and cloud.  Whilst the solar didn’t charge the domestic batteries it did provide sufficient power to match our consumption. 

So it’s been a rather quiet day!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Like ships in the night

We were preparing to quietly move off the mooring this morning when Geoff (nb Seyella) popped his head out of the cratch to say good morning and then helped us bow haul Waiouru the short distance to the water point mooring.

After the tank filled we winded (turned) and then headed back passing Seyella with Geoff trying to take our photo whilst Jan simultaneously attempted to take his.

P1030078Their plans will take them in a different direction to us so we’re not sure when our paths will next cross.  We headed back towards Rugby.  I have a dental and doctor appointment in a couple of weeks so we have decided to spend the intervening time cruising the Ashby Canal.

There is a very overgrown and narrow section of canal near Wise’s Bridge and (as you do) we met a boat coming in the opposite direction.  I recognised the boat and suggested Jan take a photo.


Yes, it was Molly and that guy who’s name escapes me! Smile Another of those brief passing conversations before continuing on to moor above Hillmorton Locks.  I walked to Aldi for a few supplies before starting on some further boat painting.  One task I wanted to complete was rubbing down the short length of pipe which is the mounting base for the TV mast.  Sanding complete, I attempted to rub all the dust off with a rag only for the rag to catch in the end of the pipe and gracefully slide down the boat and into the canal.  I could have recovered it with the ‘SeaSearch’ magnet but I haven’t bothered to buy one.  Oh well……. Plan B  Strip to the birthday suit and climb into the cut.  I probably didn’t need to strip but it was one way of ensuring the fish and swans stayed away.  I managed to find the pipe by groping around in the mud with my foot and then raising it by lifting it with my foot until I could reach it with my hand.  This was followed by a hot shower and then it was back to the painting.

This next part is for those readers who asked for more information regarding the iPad external storage dongle.

Jan’s iPad has 16GB total storage capacity and she has now used almost all of it.  We needed a cheap solution.  One of the characteristics of Apple is the lengths they go to protect their devices and operating system from ”non approved” applications and peripheral devices.  The more recent iPads and iPhones don’t have a micro SD Card slot (I love my Android tablet and phone, both of which have an SD card slot) It is possible to ”Jailbreak” the iPad (or iPhone) but that voids the warranty. 

I did some research and discovered it was possible to purchase storage dongles that plug into the iPad (or iPhone) lightning port (power cable port).  In the end we bought a 32GB dongle from eBay for £18.99.  We don’t have an address so I chose this particular supplier because you can collect it from Argos.

If you look at the photos of the dongle in the above link you may have noticed there is NO NAME.  You need to be careful when buying these Chinese copy devices because some of them won’t work with an Apple device.  This is because the Chinese manufacturer has designed the dongle firmware to work with the official manufacturers software thus avoiding all the costs associated with developing software to work with an Apple device.  The original manufacturer has now altered their software in the Apple Store thus ensuring some of these cheap copies don’t work.  The dongle we bought will work, but you need to download the “right” application from the Apple Store and that information was supplied with the dongle.

The dongle comes formatted with FAT32 which is recognized by Windows and Apple.  However using FAT32 means the maximum individual file size is 4GB.  That’s not a problem for Jan as none of her audio or video files are that large.

The dongle has an Apple Lightning male plug at one end and a standard male USB plug at the other.  When you receive the dongle it is important that you first plug it into the Apple device using the Apple Lightning plug.  Don’t use the standard USB plug! (I didn’t do this and subsequently had problems)  Once the dongle is plugged into the iPad/iPhone a pop-up window appears asking you if you want to go to the Apple Store and download the App for the dongle.  Make sure you do this!  Once the App has been installed run it and you should have access to the 32GB of storage.  You can transfer data from the iPad/iPhone to the dongle or from the dongle in the reverse direction using the App.

If you didn’t get the pop-up window asking whether you wanted to install the software then you can go to the Apple Store and download the App named iUSBKEY. There are many iDevice Apps in the store so make sure you download and install the right one.

The dongle is a cheap Chinese copy of the “real thing” but it works.

If like me; you managed to get that wrong, it is possible to re-flash the dongle firmware and download a different App.  I won’t explain how to do that because it’s slightly more complex and if you follow the above instructions it shouldn’t be necessary.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Giant pencil sharpener

Following suggestions from readers Towpath Bill and Diane & Ray I walked up to Wharf House Chandlers and asked if they had a giant pencil sharpener we could use to put a pointy end back on the boat hook pole.  They managed to sell me a new longer and thicker pole before taking It out the back and using a belt sander to make one end pointy!  The pole has already received a coat of primer and undercoat.  Second undercoat tomorrow followed by the top coats.

Afterwards I wandered up into Braunston Village to visit the butcher (sausages) and the superette (bread and fruit).  Jan has been busy doing more cleaning of the interior.

We’ve also had a number of emails about the iPad storage dongle.  If I get any further queries I might include the information in a blog post rather than reply to individual emails.   Jan’s dongle appears to be working well.

In the afternoon we had the pleasure of the company of fellow boaters and bloggers Geoff & Mags.  You will be pleased to know that between the four of us we managed to solve the majority of the world’s woes in one afternoon!  

Note: This was a boat toilet free conversation.

We even managed to remember to take the commemorative photo!

IMG_0285As is frequently the situation with boaters, tomorrow Geoff & Mags will go in one direction whilst we will be heading in another.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Sunday in Braunston

This morning several boats passed us going north which suggested there might be at least one vacant mooring in Braunston so we slipped our mooring and slowly cruised towards Braunston Turn.


It was quite a surprise to see so many vacant moorings.  We’d anticipated Braunston would be full.  The water point before the junction was vacant so we stopped to top up the tank and dispose of our rubbish before continuing towards Braunston Marina where we found a good mooring immediately before the last water point.

The first maintenance task for the day was to remove all the timber from the chrome head of the broken boat hook.  I had earlier noticed the timber shaft had failed at the point where the timber enters the head. 


Cleaning the timber from inside the hook wasn’t too difficult and we now face a choice.

  • Buy a new boat pole
  • Buy a new timber shaft
  • Repair the existing boat hook.

A new boat hook is going to cost approximately £40-50.  I don’t have the tools to reshape the end of the existing pole to make it fit inside the hook.  The preferred solution would be to purchase a new timber shaft pre-shaped to fit into the hook.  Midland Chandlers and Wharf House Chandlers don’t sell them pre-shaped.  It looks like we will be buying a wood rasp and I’ll then spend some time reshaping the end of the old pole.

On a more positive note Midland Chandlers had a 9” chrome trumpet horn in stock.


It was very reasonably priced (less than £20) and with a small modification I replaced the temporary car horn we bought in Huddersfield after the first boat horn failed.  This one is certainly loud.

The Boathouse now has a Sunday Carvery which we both selected (buy one get one free).

After lunch had settled Jan got down on her hands and knees to worship me clean the bathroom, whilst I washed and polished Waiouru’s starboard side.  I was halfway through removing the polish when a well known boater passed us on his way back to Braunston Marina. 

Yes, it was Timothy West…… and he didn’t hit us! Smile

I shouldn’t be unkind to Timothy as both he and Prunella have done a lot for the canals. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

More blog readers

Oops… I’d forgotten the photo Jan took of nb Derwent 6 going past at Brownsover.  But doesn’t she look great for a boat that has never been washed.


This morning we left our mooring beside Rugby Golf Course but not before a blog reader passing by on nb Lunas called out to Jan mentioning she was from Adelaide, South Australia.

P1030075The water pressure at Hillmorton isn’t getting any better.  It Is like waiting for an old man to vacant the cubicle. Smile

The tank was ¾ full but it still took almost an hour before we could head up the set of three locks.  There was a volunteer lock keeper on at the bottom lock and he had his work cut out explaining to the the first day hirers how to ascend.  He’d also been to NZ and was asking us about air force base closures.

IMG_0280This is all very familiar territory and we quickly went up the three locks heading south towards Braunston.  A very slow Black Prince hire boat crew kindly moved over and allowed us to pass them on Barby Straight.  

Barby Marina is starting to look fuller these days and we both noticed there were now more finger moorings.


The plan was to moor at Onley but these quiet rural moorings are currently very busy with the sound of heavy earth moving equipment on the other side of the hedge.  Prison expansion?

We continued on eventually mooring at the beginning of the last long straight before Braunston.  We could have continued into Braunston but that meant arriving around 2pm and being a Saturday it was probably going to be full of hire boats.  We’ll go in tomorrow morning around 10am and hopefully find a mooring.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Narrowboat Millennium Falcon

Yesterday nb Derwent 6 with Del and Al went past us at Brownsover.  I didn’t grab a photo and only managed a few words with Del who told me they were heading down the Oxford Canal.  This morning we left Brownsover squeezing past the breasted up boats at Clifton Wharf and arriving beside the Rugby Golf Course where we moored behind Derwent 6.  A slightly longer conversation this time where Al told me (to my amazement) that Derwent 6 had never been washed in eight years.  For an eight year old boat it’s spotless.  Al then informed me Del just chamois it dry after every time It rains.  The paintwork looks marvellous.  They were the sensible boaters who moved off before all the Rugby based hire boats past.

On one occasion nb Millennium Falcon came around the bend towards us halfway through activating their hyper-drive to make the jump to light speed.  I guess their destination was Tantooine!  Shortly afterwards a “Yellow Peril” went past with the steerer on his mobile phone.  He managed to grind his boat all down the side of our port gunwale.  No apology; too busy talking on the phone (which I’d like to have stuffed sideways up somewhere painful).

It became obvious additional mooring lines were required and I reset the ropes to include a spring.

However it wasn’t all bad.  The pirates were amusing and unusually dressed.  Jan has seen plenty of “man boobs” during the recent hot weather but this is the first time she has seen them in a bra.


One boater was so quiet we didn’t hear him arrive and he even hoovered alongside calling out to let us know he was there.


Well known boater Maffi and ‘Molly’ who always looks happy.  Maffi wasn’t on the “Milly M”.  He was moving another boat.

The maintenance task for the day was to empty and clean the starboard cratch locker before giving it a new coat of paint.


That’s the last of the painting in the cratch.  Now I need to start on the cockpit area.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Old and New

The boat has moved off the new water point at Brownsover and one thing became very apparent.


This ‘new’ waterpoint is the old cast iron upstand model which I thought had been made obsolescent on H&S grounds.  They are being replaced with a new stainless steel model.  Change of heart; old stock; local policy; or has the ‘new’ model proved to be less than a success?

Jan and I wandered back along the towpath and under the A426 bridge before turning left on the new footpath down into the ‘new’ Elliot’s Field’ Retail Park.  It was still under construction last time we passed this way.  Jan had a good look around M&S before we crossed back over the busy A426 to the adjacent Junction One Retail Park where she headed for The Range.


Homebase and Wickes used to be located at the old Elliot’s Field Retail Park but now have new premises in Junction One on Technology Drive road. This next map extract shows the location.

elliot's field

Top arrow – Elliot’s Field.  Bottom arrow – Wickes and Homebase.  Interestingly there is no direct link between the new Wickes and Homebase and the other Junction One outlets.  Different developers?

The reason for visiting Homebase was to collect an item from the Argos collection centre inside the store.  Homebase and Argos are owned by the same parent company.  We had ordered a USB storage dongle from ebay for Jan’s iPad as it only has 16GB total storage which is nearly all used.  The iPad doesn’t have an external slot for a memory card but we have a solution.  We’ve purchased a dongle that plugs into the power cable port.  These dongles can be bought with various storage capacities and we selected 32GB.  The dongle has the Apple plug at one end and a standard USB plug at the other.


This means the dongle can be connected to either the appropriate Apple socket or a standard USB port.  Here is is plugged into Jan’s iPad.


I’ve already plugged it into our Windows laptop and transferred some files.  The cost of the dongle was approximately £20 and has trebled the iPad storage capacity.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Another early start

We were both awake before 6am, actually Jan was up at 5.30.  It was a hot night, especially after realizing sleeping upright in the fridge wasn’t an option.  We weren’t the first boat on the move with one passing us at 5.35.  It was a quiet move to the nearby water point (poor pressure) where we topped up the tank.  I seized the moment and took a photo of the recently polished side.


It was while we were on the water point that our second boat of the morning went past (nb Tardebigge).


I didn’t hear it (deaf old coot)but apparently the steerer mentioned out names (another blog reader?).  After several months of cruising on northern canals we’ve noticed how busy it is down in the Midlands.

I managed to turn at Hawkesbury Junction without having to use the “girlie button” so I either fluked it or am getting better.  By now there was a boat following us.  Time for a quick photo waiting in the stop lock.

IMG_0269The scene would be even better if it wasn’t for the overhead electrical transmission lines.

This is now very familiar water we were enjoying the scenery and the cool breeze off the canal until 10am when the mercury started to rise.  nb Zulu and butty passed us on the straight near the M6 motorway bridge.  We’d just gone around a bend so that was good luck.

P1030068The countryside to the west was a yellow sea of rape (canola) near Les Wilson Narrowboats.  I guess they will be harvesting it shortly.

IMG_0270Well it was yellow, obviously the colour has been washed out in the processing.  One of the staff at Rose Narrowboats kindly opened the pedestrian swing bridge.  By then I’d already slowed to let Jan off and a couple of urban jellyfish seized the moment and grabbed the prop.  We limped on to Armada Boats where we stopped to take advantage of their cheap diesel (54ppl).  The steam powered narrow dutch barge we last saw in Rugby hasn’t moved that far as we noticed it moored on the Coventry side of Newbold Tunnel.


The last coloured light in the tunnel has died so the passage is not as attractive.


We eventually moored at Brownsover opposite the park around 1pm.  Actually we are directly opposite the new water point.  Interestingly there is no signage stating the mooring is for water only and when we arrived there was a boat on the mooring not using the tap.  I guess there will be people like us who will just breast up against him and climb all over his boat to reach the tap.

Later in the afternoon I walked to the nearby Halfords and bought 10 litres of engine oil for the next service.  Jan is doing the first shopping trip to Tesco.  We’ll do the second trip tomorrow morning.  We know the area so well neither of us has a particular desire to linger here any longer than necessary.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Early start…. Early finish

With temperatures around 30C forecast at midday we decided on an early start leaving the mooring at 7.45 with no fixed destination, just planning to stop at noon.  Before we left a lady going past on nb Anna Claire called out to Jan that they were blog readers and something was mentioned about the shine on the boat. Bless you….. it’s the other side that has been cleaned and polished.  You were looking at the dirty side!SmileHartshill was/is a CRT facility and from the signage it’s obviously been here some time.



Just after passing Springwood Haven Marina we came upon a moored hire boat.  The crew saw us and frantically attempted to get underway to be in front.  Their efforts came to a sudden halt when the steerer realized he’d left the tiller arm in the front cabin.  LOL

We had no desire to stop at Nuneaton having not forgotten all the dog faeces from our previous two visits.  This time the steerer on nb Waka Nui 2 informed us he though there was a shopping trolley under the next bridge as he passed us. We glided slowly under the bridge and missed it.  This time we didn’t miss the Police Phone Box.


Or perhaps it’s the Tardis!

Always looking for something interesting at Charity Dock.  This time it was Batman and Robin.


Meanwhile Jan has seen Nessie on the roof of a boat moored opposite.


By now it was 11am and starting to get hot.  Jan noticed a couple of topless boaters going in the opposite direction and wanted to know why she couldn’t do the same.  Do we want frost!  Meanwhile some of her relatives kept quiet as we motored past.


Apparently this is one of my relatives


We arrived at the Hawkesbury Junction 7 Day moorings around noon to fine two vacant spots.  We immediately grabbed one and the other was taken shortly thereafter. 

The afternoon has been spent watching sweaty boaters pass by from the luxury of our air conditioned boat.  Yes, Jan is sitting in the fridge and I have my head in the freezer box.  The fridge and freezer have certainly worked hard this afternoon.  The battery went from 100% at noon to 90% at 6pm.  That’s when I went out and finished the wash, T-Cut and polish to the port side.  It’s looking good whilst I look very hot and sweaty.  You might notice some of the ink in the lettering has run.  It Is my sweat dripping onto the keyboard.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Late post

I has been a long day and not just because of the cruising.  We left Polesworth at 8.30 passing nb Achernar after a mile of cruising.  They had left us a comment on yesterday’s post mentioning there hadn’t been a nibble on the end of his line all day.  I guess that meant dinner last night was crackers rather than fish!


We stopping at the CRT services beside Bradley Green Bridge to dispose of the rubbish and top up the water tank.  Good water pressure from the tap meant this was only a brief stop before we reached the bottom of the Atherstone Flight.  There was a colourful field of bright red poppies along the way.


On approaching the bottom lock we noticed a boat already waiting to go up.  It was nb Otter Magic owned by Lynne & John.  We last saw them on the Kennet & Avon back in 2012.


There was no one behind us and all but two of the 11 locks were against us.  However John was kindly raising one lower paddle as Otter Magic left each lock.  We had to wait at Lock 9 for nb Gerald.  The volunteer lock keeper assisting them down told us the boat was 107 years old.


I hope I look that good at107. Smile

There are good moorings between locks 5 and 6. We stopped here two years ago when I took the defective 175A alternator to the nearby Cox’s Automotive for a rebuild.  Today I noticed there was an electric powered boat on the moorings.


Twin drives with an interesting dual steering arrangement.  Must be a slow trip around the network!

The top three locks each had a volunteer lock keeper in attendance which sped up our progress.  By now it was starting to get decidedly hot.


Top lock



The moorings at Polesworth were 90% vacant and yet the moorings above the lock at Atherstone were 100% full?????  We found a temporary mooring and I then walked back down the flight to Aldi for some essential supplies.  Actually I had a good walk around the centre of the village because I’d geographically embarrassed myself.  The Aldi is opposite the large Cooperative and I’d missed it.

Once back at Waiouru a decision was made to continue on and find a quiet rural mooring for the night.  Around Stoneleigh Quarry Farm we noticed an interesting moored boat. 


We didn’t see any Alpaca’s on the towpath but there were a few in the adjacent field.

Eventually we moored just before Hartshill and had a very late lunch.  By now it was very hot and we were quite dehydrated.  Two cleansing cold lagers were not enough!  By 6pm the exterior of the boat was no longer too hot to touch so I went out and washed, T-Cut and polished half the port side.  That might have been a mistake as the sweat was popping out of me faster than I could replace it.  The problem is sometime in the last few days we must have moored under the wrong tree.  As a consequence the entire exterior of Waiouru is covered in a thin film of sticky resin.