Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Blogger's Boat

I loaded most of the luggage and groceries on board from the very handy car park at Pigeon Bridge before setting off again. I decided to push on to get within walking distance of Kidlington to make it feasible to join the boat by bus at the start of our holiday tomorrow. There are a remarkable number of long term moorings around Shipton on Cherwell and Thrupp and I was unable to find a mooring until it was nearly fully dark. It was too dark to take a picture of Maffi's boat, the Milly M, at Thrupp. I moored outside the surprisingly quiet Jolly Boatman restaurant.

Moored at the Jolly Boatman, Thrupp.

Total distance is 4 miles, 0 flg and 2 locks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Evening Run

I moved the boat from The Cleeves winding hole down through two more locks to a position just above Pigeon lock. It was beginning to get dark when I moored up so the location was not ideal with soft bank and a narrow towpath. I had my doubts about the security of the position the mooring pins were in but couldn't really move to find anything better.

Moored at Pigeon Bridge.

Total distance is 3 miles, 4¼ flg and 3 locks

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Onward! In Little Steps

A short hop tonight after work, from Somerton Mill bridge to Just past The Cleeves Winding Hole. A very pleasant evening's cruise. Nether Heyford is a very pretty village with a railway station and is a popular mooring place. A very helpful chap opened the lift bridge 205, solving my dilemma about how to tackle it single-handed. I was very careful to slow to tickover past every boat and still had a head poke out to say the speed limit is 2mph! No it's not. The limit is 4 mph. We are asked to slow to tickover past moored boats and to make sure that we don't travel fast enough for our wash to break when this happens below 4 mph. I'm always careful to abide by these rules and I resent it when folk tell me I'm speeding when I'm not. One thing that was obvious was that boats with slack mooring ropes move far more when boats pass, so try tightening your ropes Mr. 2mph!

2 miles, 5¼ flg and 2 locks.
Moored near The Cleeves Winding Hole.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I read about narrowboat Gazelle, on sale some weeks ago. I passed her today at Aynho. For the price being asked £118,000 she was in a state, externally at least.

Solo Again

I started late from Aynho Wharf and then had to queue for 1 1/2 hours at Somerton lock. I put Arrow's life jacket on him because he has a knack for falling in the canal, sometimes the locks. As Somerton is one of the deepest narrow locks on the system I felt it would be prudent. Even though I had to wait for so long to get into the lock there was plenty of help once there as there were at least four boat crews waiting their turn.

Somerton Deep Lock

3 miles, 5½ flg and 1 lock.

Moored at Somerton.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Solo to Aynho

Day 5 of the delivery cruise. I was by myself for this part of the cruise. Siobhan stayed at home to play a new game on the Wii. A three foot long area of paint below the gunwhales has been scraped down to the metal by the metal piling at the canal side where Syncopation was moored against the inside edge of a curve at Cropredy. More maintenance next week.
The weather was warm and sunny. Moored at Aymho Marina.

Total distance is 11 miles, 2½ flg and 8 locks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blogger's Boat Spotted

Here is Alnwick at Cropredy
Owned by Graham and Jane Oliver.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Delivery Cruise Day 4

We were rudely awakened by boats trying to pass us. During the early morning the first two boats to pass dislodged the pin from the front mooring. Luckily our mooring pins have a loop at the top and I'd passed the mooring rope through these and the pin was easy to retrieve from the water. After a prompt start at 08:00 we continued southwards. There is a long lock-free stretch from Napton top lock for the next 11 miles to Claydon locks and this took most of the morning to cover.

Dominic and Cathy jumped ship at the first lock, Varney's to go home and fetch Ewan's car seat. I carried on single handed to bridge 153 in Cropredy, site of the famous Bridge stores, spotting the narrowboat Alnwick just before mooring on the 14 day moorings at the south of Cropredy.

Moored at Cropredy.

Total distance is 13 miles, 6½ flg and 9 locks.

Delivery Cruise, Day 3

We got off to a late start after shuffling cars, passing through Braunston, taking on fuel at Braunston Boat Services (next to the Bottom Lock Chandlery). We made good time however, arriving next to the Engine Arm at Napton before the farmhouse cream teas closed. Ewan opted for a strawberry ice cream and was served with Napton Waterbuffalo ice cream. I would have liked to try some but he ate it all.

Thanks are also due to our friend Andy Ogden who accompanied us from Daventry to Napton, crewing ably.

Moored at Napton top lock.

Total distance is 9 miles, 3½ flg and 8 locks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Up Whilton locks

The delivery cruise continues. Today we spent a leisurely afternoon going up the Whilton locks in the company of nb Selena Rose. Arrow was dressed in his new lifejacket. He has fallen in the canal at least daily whenever we are on the boat and occasionally ends up in locks so we bought him a lifejacket for when we cruise the Thames.

Total distance is 1 mile, 2½ flg and 5 locks.

Moored just below Buckby top lock.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Delivery Cruise

I started the delivery cruise in preparationfor this year's holiday (the journey to put the boat in the starting position for the start of the holiday) today. Syncopation is looking a little disreputable as the trees hanging over the mooring were cut down a couple of days ago leaving all the boats covered in chainsaw dust. This is a very coarse sawdust, made of flakes up to ten millimetres square. Some of it started to blow away in the light breezes we encountered but the majority of it has been glued to the roof by recent rains.

Total distance is 12 miles, ½ flg and 0 locks.

Moored at Whilton locks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

When 3/4 inch is not 3/4 inch

When I ordered the replacement hose fitting for the calorifier I measured the thread on the fitting to be replaced. I naively assumed that 3/4 inch measured across the thread meant it was 3/4 BSP thread. When the part arrived I found the existing fitting will nearly fit inside the new one which has an outside diameter of nearly an inch. Turns out 3/4 inch BSP thread refers to the internal diameter of the steel tube it was designed to be on the outside of. My fitting is actually a 1/2 inch BSP thread. I'll have to visit the chandlery in person tomorow to try to find a matching part.
If they don't have one in stock I'll have to decide whether to start the delivery cruise tomorrow with the calorifier disconnected or leave it another week and risk not making it to Oxford in time for the start of August.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Waiting for Bits

I'm waiting for parts for Syncopation. Two Sundays ago I started tackling a small leak on the Calorifier feed pipe (not the one that went last time) and found the same problem with the connector as I had on the other side. After nearly a week of faffing about I ordered the part from and am still waiting for it to be delivered. It should arrive today. If all goes well I'll be able to fit it before Saturday in time for the start of the pre-holiday delivery cruise o Oxford.
I also decided to fix a very minor leak under the bathroom basin. Copper pipes and push fit plumbing don't go together well when the copper pipe has been cut square with something like a hacksaw in the factory. The bathroom tap hot pipe had damaged the pushfit pipe fitting o-ring and this developed a slow drip last Easter. I had to dismantle the cold feed as well to get to the hot feed and when I reassembled it after fixing the leak on the hot feed I found I have a leak on the cold feed. Now I have the parts to fix the cold feed (compression elbow fitting) and I'll fit that when I go to the boat to fit the calorifier feed pipe.