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Saturday, September 24, 2011

On the Ashby

Away from Hawkesbury Jct. and as we cruise along the Coventry the same old sights are to be seen at
 Charity Dock. I counted at least 15 of the shop window manikins spread along the moorings and around the yard also the sunken boats one showing in the picture.

We spent a couple of days here and there just relaxing and enjoying walks. Some good Blackberry`s to be picked along the Ashby canal. Other time has been spent moving some shelving from one side of
the boat to the other in order to accommodate our new chairs. Jaq is now seeing what true live aboard boating is all about. The 3 weeks of her visit back in June was just like a holiday as we travelled from Cassio upto Napton with not much time to relax and visit places near to the canal. Now with time on our hands we are choosing how long we moor and where we cruise.
Our friends Tina & Andy out on holiday spent a couple of nights with us one on board to sample dinner ala Jaqueline. The second night was spent in the pub with a nice meal, drinks and good conversation,thanks both of you. 
The Marina Pub/Restaurant

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Spending a couple of days at Hawkesbury Jct. so I could take Jaq into Coventry on the bus. In the past I have gone into Coventry by boat but to be quite honest the trip was not very pleasant with rubbish in the canal and mostly run down buildings to view on the way in and on the return trip.

Jaq enjoyed the City as she likes history so the bombed Cathedral and the Medieval timber-framed
buildings some moved from across the city to be preserved in one area.

Also a visit to Ikea was on Jaq`s wish list and as it happened we hit the store just on lunchtime and I must say the food was good and very reasonably priced.  The shopping bag when we left was very light as Jaq has quickly become aware of space constraints on board and limited her purchases to things that Bachelors seem to do without. Well what is wrong with using a wine bottle as a rolling pin!!

Not too long after our return, and while Jaq was in the shower, Paul & Lynne on Piston Broke cruised
by heading for a quiet spot to moor for the w`end. The first fellow bloggers to pass by since our return from USA.

Just adding a photo here and there that bring back memories of my 3 months in exile.

 This is Mt. Ranier and at 14,485` is the highest mountain in Washington State. It is a dormant Volcano. Covered in snow and we were sweltering in 85F.  This is one of the many pics i took as we drove into Seattle.
Snoqualmie Falls has a drop of 280` and the memory this brings is it was the first waterfall of this size I had seen. I am not counting Niagara Falls I visited in 1980 as the width doesn`t produce a compact whole falls close up picture like this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blackberry cruise

The Jet lag is now a thing of the past and after a few days chilling out we have been on the move heading towards the Ashby. Mrs. Biggs, still can`t believe my luck, has wasted no time in dragging me albeit willingly along the towpath on a foraging expedition. Jaq now wants to identify the other types of berry and obtain recipes for them, suggestions gratefully received.
As i sit here typing a Blackberry & Apple pie is in the making in what was my Bachelor galley that has undergone serious reorganisation.
It has been nice back on the boat not waking up to the daily exhausting heat of the past 3 months in the States but actually seeing it rain. The winds over the weekend especially Monday had the wind genny going at crazy speeds and i saw 10amps going into the battery bank.

Ok so can anyone explain why the locks at Hillmorton have been halved ie all the offside locks are padlocked. Water saving is the reason given but we joined a 12 boat queue to go down and in doing so took 12 lock fulls of water with us just as we would if both locks had been in use. 6x2/12x1. Plus one lock in use leaked real bad with it`s adjacent padlocked twin not leaking a drip.
 The Waterscape notice reproduced below says gates locked overnight- they are locked all day.
BW  will man the double locks during BW man and these are single locks! Anyone sighted a lost looking BW man hanging around a double lock somewhere?, direct him to Hillmorton please.
Best part of the notice is the request to "double up where possible when using the locks"! (single locks)


Restriction: North Oxford Canal Hillmorton Locks 2-7

02 Aug 2011 until further notice

Associated Regional Office: South East Waterways

In order to conserve reservoir stocks along the Oxford Canal the offside tandem locks 3, 5 and 7 will be locked during the hours of 4pm - 9am overnight.

During the day BW will continue to man the double locks.

Boaters are asked to double up where possible when using the locks.

BW apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.

(Enquiries: Steve Morgan 01908 302500)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So glad to be back.

We landed back at Heathrow on Thursday lunchtime and made our way back to the boat. After the overnght flight the lack of sleep found us crawling into bed at 6.30pm and waking at 4am. After a cup of tea and toast we were back in bed until 8.30am.

Friday saw us up at the pub with friends Tina and Andy who kept an eye on the boat whilst we were away......thanks again you lovely pepes.

Saturday lunchtime and we set off and moored on route to Braunston and following a fantastic walk in windy cool conditions along the towpath we promptly fell asleep again for an afternoon nap.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Found a Lock

We are in Seattle for a few days before flying home aboard the boat. The drive over from Pullman took about 6hours with stops on the way at the Ginko Petrified forest in Vantage, lunch at a 1950`s diner based in an old filling station plus a stop at the Snoqualmie waterfall.

We have been out and about here in Seattle and one place we naturally wanted to visit was a LOCK. The 2 locks are Chittenden locks also called Ballard locks. They lock boats up from Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean into the ship canal and onto Lake Union and Lake Washington.
There are 2 locks, one is 30`x150` and the second is 80`x825`.

Seattle skyline as we drive in

Chittenden Locks
The rail bridge lifted as we arrived for boats to access the lock
Filling fast as i stand on the top gate
Full lock, the other boats queueing were to large for the left side spaces
One of 5 lockies on duty around the lock, all with safety harness`s

This boat even has a hot tub on the roof

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Almost time to leave Pullman

At the moment we are spending a few days with a close friend of Jaq`s after emptying  and closing up the house. On Sunday we will drive the 300 miles to Seattle and spend 3 days doing the tourist bit before flying back to the UK on an overnight flight arriving Thursday.
Within a week Jaq and I will be back on the boat and i for one can`t wait. The heat is getting to me with temperatures of 69F at 7.30am and 83F at 6pm. As for during the day just cast your eyes on the
display in the picture above taken just after 4pm. a few days ago. I imagine it will take a while to get acclimatised to the English weather and i will probably shiver for a while.

The Segway personal transporter has just recently arrived in Pullman and i pictured one in use by the
 Washington State University campus police. It just happened that a friend of Jaq`s owned a Segway

and I just had to have a go. Ok you all had a good laugh, finished? The crash hat with flowers belongs to Karen and she insisted on the helmet in case i crashed. I tried to take the flowers off but only managed to remove the straw hat.  They seem a bit expensive at around £5000.
This Segway must not be confused with the cheaper scooter version.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs