I’ve been in the same vicinity for a while now. After fixing the shower and some other little things, I spent a few days just rambling up and down some of the local canals. I had some company aboard, people I had met on the K&A near Bath. We went north to a pub for lunch, then just wandered back. That’s one of the great things about this life, there’s almost no schedule. Just do what comes along…

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Then it was the other direction, toward the nearest grocery since I needed to stock up on some essentials. Mostly cider and Pimm’s. Further on was a short flight of locks, and a very long tunnel. It’s almost 2km long and although it’s wide enough for two narrowboats to pass, it’s got some small bends in it which make it interesting. My new tunnel light was great though, so only one small glitch (bits of brick from the tunnel lining)…

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Back on the main Grand Union Canal I’m now heading up toward Royal Leamington Spa where I will be meeting Peter and Jill (from Canada) for a visit. We’re planning on cruising down to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Romeo and Juliet.  Kind of an iconic thing to do. I just hope we can find mooring in the basin, that would be so cool.

Okay, adding more to this blog, it’s later now. I’ve had the worst internet of the trip on this section, often nothing at all (not even phone service). But now I’m at Warwick, in a nice little mooring built on a side-canal that was reconditioned into this sort of ‘canal club’. Anyway, I’m here because I’ve had another issue with the boat. This one wasn’t entirely unexpected. I have never had much faith in the batteries on board, I had no history and they seemed a bit sketchy. Well, one of them decided to die, in a rather annoying way. I woke up one morning with no power (10.8 v). They charged during the day but I knew something was wrong. I made arrangements to get new ones but that night while charging things got worse. A strong sulphur smell was wafting though the boat, so I knew it was gone. The bad battery was very hot so I had to shut everything down. The next morning my freezer was mostly defrosted (I’ll be eating a lot of meat for the next couple of days) but I’ve disconnected the bad one and I’m back in power. The new batteries arrive Thursday so I’ll just hang out and let it rain! I love boats…

This section of the Grand Union Canal was originally built as a narrow canal (7′ wide) but was widened to accommodate wide-beams and two boats in a lock. The old narrow sections of the locks are still visible on the left.

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I’ve teamed up with Steve for many of the locks (and the Stockton Flight), he’s been a huge help. He’s a Ward Beadle for the Lord Mayor of London (that’s the City of London, not London). Sort of a ceremonial guard kind of thing. Great guy, we’ve had a blast. Here’s part of the flight. The locks on this section are great, with the huge paddles they drain and fill very fast. Did 10 locks in about 1.5 hours.

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Here’s a guy that will still be able to run his washing machine after the apocalypse:

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New friends I’ve made recently (that’s Ben on the left, the other two are married):

 

 

2 Replies to “Poking around”

  1. Hi Doug ! Lovely to read your blog and catch up on your doings ! We just hd a celebration of life for Dana s parents at Devonian park in Metchosin! It was lovely! Just missed a shower of rain ! We had 10 people staying at our house Friday and the next day 25 of us completed the celebration with dinner at milestones! It’s been busy but good!
    We are still waiting for the arrival of the new baby but Sarah is doing well at 40 weeks gestation!
    No signs of labour yet!
    Miss you lots
    Love
    Jane

  2. Hey Doug….living the dream, man, looks super fun and I’m envious and digging your posts…the history, scenery, and the exploits of Mr. Fix-It with the boat. Be glad you are missing the hazy weather here with the big time smoke from massive forest fires in the interior and on the island. In some places day is almost like night. No rain in forecast. Safe floating! Terry Sowden

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