Twenty Years! 3rd December

Between Locks 5 and 6 to Alvecote Marina

A Saturday newspaper was picked up this morning along with some chesty cough mixture, Mick is having difficulty brushing off the cold I gave him.

Watching the lock empty

One boat came past before we pushed off, hopefully the first lock of the day would be in our favour. Mick walked on ahead after giving Oleanna’s bow a push out for me, I tootled on behind waiting for the top gate to open.

Nebo notes were easier to make on entering the locks today as we were without a volunteer, so there was more time to note our position before the lock started to empty. Have no idea why my Nebo recorded 1.5 miles further than Mick’s as our phones were sat next to each other for most of the trip!

One coming up!

We passed an up hill cruiser and then on a longer pound I could see someone setting the next lock, it had been half empty so the chap set it in their favour, we were a long way off.

Crossing the bottom gate

Mick worked the locks, at some he adopted my method of opening the bottom gates. Standing in the middle and pushing them apart, kicking one into it’s recess and then fully opening the other gate. Neither of us are willing to step over from one open gate to a closed gate as others do. Mick says he’s not sure if my method saves any time, he also isn’t too happy doing it. To which I say, if he’s not happy doing it then he shouldn’t. I know that new or metal gates are harder to move, but that comes with experience.

I had a go at closing the bottom gate using a boat hook. I’m not tall enough to do this, so gave up after the third attempt. I felt a touch of a fraud at one lock as I waited for Mick to return from setting the next lock to close the top gate.

Boat hook replacement

Moving gates is the reason I’ve been told not to work locks until my calf is better, but it really doesn’t feel right stood on the back of the boat alongside the beam and not closing it!

Sam and Mick chatting about trains

Second to last lock and the bottom gates were open, a boat just entering from below. We pulled in to wait our turn. Mick walked up to help with the bottom gates as I wondered if the chap climbing the ladder was Sam from NB Red Wharf. Our bows have crossed several times through the years normally just long enough for a quick chat. Today there was a touch longer as his boat rose in the slow filing lock. Sorry I didn’t walk down to chat too, I’d done too much walking yesterday. Tilly sadly didn’t sit in the window to say hello, well it was time for my mid morning snooze!

Bye Sam, see you again, somewhere, sometime

By now dark clouds were starting to take over from the blue sky we’d been treated to so far. The number of oak trees along this stretch gave us such wonderful views, if only the sun had been shining the orange trees would have glowed their glorious colours. They were still pretty good.

Orange oak leaves

The temperature was very chilly as we pootled our way along the five miles to todays destination, Alvecote Marina. We pulled in at the service point and Mick went to check in, whilst I did my best to rinse the bow rope that had landed in some dog shit residue! The chap came out to point us towards our mooring for the next few days. Some thought went into where to place us. In the end we were directed towards an old 70ft working boat Victoria. It turns out I’d taken a photo of the exact mooring as we’d come past.

Is that our spot?

We decided to go bow end in which made our mooring easy, this would make it easy to fill with water, hook up we can do from either end. The short thin green pontoons not ideal, but stepping off the bow will just require an amount of care. A nappy pin was needed to tie the bow, then we could head indoors to warm up.

Tilly was not pleased. No shore leave whilst we are here, she made her feelings known!

Some research over the last few days had been done on Chinese Takeaways in Tamworth with delivery. Once a year I risk Chinese food, avoiding battered dishes, but hoping not to regret pancakes and hoisin sauce with crispy aromatic duck or soy sauce hidden in most dishes (Joan’s Home Kitchen in Goole an exception as she’d cook especially without gluten). Eat Well was chosen, £3 delivery charge, ordered on line, cash required for payment. At first our delivery slot wasn’t possible, we’d have to wait 85 minutes, hopefully it would be worth it.

Here’s to us

Mick headed out to wait in the car park of the Samuel Barlow pub, not currently open. A phone call from the driver discovered that he was on the wrong side of the canal, torches were flashed and after a short walk the food was handed over.

The duck was good, followed by Crispy Beef and Kung Po Chicken. Very generous portions, I was quite surprised at the amount of meat we got in each dish and one large rice between us was just right. A very good takeaway. We even got two fortune cookies each, my fortunes more upbeat than Micks.

Don’t know what this means about the next twenty years!
What twenty years has done to us!

6 locks, WE 6.15 miles, Pip’s Nebo 6.3 miles, Mick’s Nebo 5 miles! 3 passed, 1 Sam, 2 chilly boaters, 1 dog doo rope, £10 not £18, 1 mardy cat, 1 Chinese, 20 years together, I’m not old enough to have been with him for 20 years, surely!

11 thoughts on “Twenty Years! 3rd December

  1. Brian Anthony Holt

    We normally have a Chinese if Fazeley, Peninsular Cantonese take away but we always collect.

  2. Brian Anthony Holt

    I get a big discrepancy between the Ipad and Phone, when you look at the tracks in detail the phone tracks the canal much better that the Ipad so the Ipad always showed a longer journey

    1. Pip Post author

      So far we’ve both been running the track on our phones. One fixed at the stern of the boat, the other in a pocket. Be interesting to see how the trip computer compares with a GPS in the window, but that will require a lot of setting up before we can try it.

  3. Anonymous

    Yes Happy, if somewhat belated, Anniversary. And apologies for the, very, late comment.
    I’ve been busy moving ‘RW’ back to Lapworth. Trying, and failing, to avoid the weather. I’m currently iced in at Lem Spa. Having just had the blacking done I’m not keen to go ice breaking!
    And we weren’t talking just about trains. We spoke of York, cats and how good Pip’s artwork is too.
    NB ‘Red Wharf’

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