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Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Not blogging on a regular basis at the moment having spent a lot of time moored up with frozen canal and dental problems. The last visit to the dentist entailed the removal of 2 back teeth a choice i made when told they possibly could be saved at a cost of up to £1000, yes 3 noughts not a typo error. Well it was a no brainer with so few of my own nashers in place the thought of spending that kind of money on a possibility was out of the question.
So out came the 2 teeth on a Wednesday and by Friday i was to say the least in a bit of pain and discomfort and by Saturday afternoon my face had swollen as if i had a ball inside my cheek, so after a weekend of soup back to the dentist for a clean up of 1 very infected socket and a course of anti biotics. All is well now.
It`s nice to be able to move as and when i feel the need and as cold as it has been lately i`ve had some lovely days cruising in sunshine sometimes just 3/4 hours late morning to mid afternoon.
The picture below was taken last October it`s the hire base of Wyvern Shipping at Leighton
Buzzard and as you can see just one single boat is moored which as it was half term was not surprising, now look at the same view below as i came through recently and counted 33 boats some of which are out of sight around the bend. Just before i took the pic a wide beam boat had just passed me and 5 mins earlier we both would have met on that bend.

Boys and their toys? Well i received a new camera at christmas with extra zoom function and below are 2 pics out of dozens i have taken testing so called zoom. So much better than my previous camera but then technology moves fast nowadays.

Well that`s all for now but keep an eye on young Mike`s round the world trip by clicking below.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Well firstly I would like to wish you all a happy new year and also to thank everyone for the E mails, E cards and Texts received over the Christmas & New year period.
So back on the boat after a nice stay with some of the family and 2 grandchildren who have yet to discover .........well you know what i mean.......young eyes and all that. Although I was asleep when Father Christmas came, when we all woke up it was nice to see that Rudolph had eaten his carrot and Father Christmas had drunk his milk. What a wonderful innocent world the young start life in.
Having been moored up for a while it was during a walk that i discovered a freebie in the shape
of this fallen tree so the first stop would be to moor very nearby, the boat is just out of picture to the right, and get the chainsaw to work for some free heat. This was quite a tall tree so it was lucky it chose to fall away from the canal that can be seen in the background.
Moving on the days were cold but wrapped up and doing the locks on my own keeps the cold out
and as i had the canal virtually to myself i sat in the locks while i went to make a hot drink a lot easier than mooring up along the towpath.
Everything was going well until getting up one morning and discovering that Mr winter and his friend cold snap had decided to ice up the canal, now i don`t mind a bit of thin ice that the boat
will push through easily but as you can see below this is thick and to try and push through this will just end up scrapping the black bitumen coating along the waterline allowing rust to take a hold. So i shall remain where i am for now and use the bus to attend my next dental appointment.
The section of canal i am moored on at the moment is ice free because of the River Gade flowing gently into the canal and keeping the ice at bay but I have noticed ice is now forming behind me from a lock so perhaps if the temperature drops any more i might be iced in like the boats in the picture above. Still with a supermarket nearby and Hemel town centre 15 mins walk I can sit it out.
With time to spare I decided to have a go at bread making and as i haven`t a bread maker as you
can see in the picture i purchased a just add water and fat mixture. The result below was in my humble opinion not to bad but the proof will be in the tasting when i have finished this blog.
Below is a link to a site tracking the progress of 16yrs old Mike Perham who is attempting to sail around the world single handed. Makes my single handed navigation of the canal system look a bit tame. The record is currently held by an 18yr old Australian.
My attention to Mike`s attempt was from `Handyspanner` a reader of my blog and i have been keeping a check on Mikes progress ever since.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs