Friday 28 October 2016

The Last Gasp of boating for 2016

So after an earlier than planned end of play last evening, this morning was a damp start as you'd expect in October but the sun came out and we finished off the jobs.

In previous years we had washed the roof off and then gone through the very leaky drippy Crick Tunnel with its white deposits that spoil the paintwork, only to have to wash it again and re-polish, the next year we forgot and did it all again.  Now we are older and not quite so stupid so we leave the roof till we are through one direction or another.

After completing tasks, we sat back and prepared supper for the lovely Pauline and Neil from NB Waterlily.

We first met them on the Thames at Teddington Lock waiting to go down the tidal Thames and in to Brentford.  Like I have said before, poor Pauline was as nervous as a kitten, then later in the week I saw on another blog that she had gone out onto the High Seas at the Thames Barrier!

We had sea bass for supper and early the next morning we departed quietly.  They to go through Braunston to their winter mooring at Barby and us heading home.

I do really love the Leicester Arm, I look upon it as mine.  But making this last leg up in the autumn is always so sad as its the very last gasp of boating for the year, its been another lovely lovely summer.

The lovely company Neil and Pauline.

What you can't see so well is that Neil and Pauline borrowed my guest slippers, Pauline borrowed my thermal heated fleece ones and Neil got the pink sparkly ones....

I am in purple (of course) with a bow and David's match the floor mats!

From the overnight mooring we had it was a relatively short hop up to Watford Locks, we were there early, as Pauline and Neil asked the previous afternoon what time they opened in the off season, the answer was that the locks are no longer locked overnight and you can DIY through.  But on arrival the bottom lock was empty so I walked around the corner to see if anyone coming down, no, so we went in to be greeted by the sight of very low pounds

Look at that polished back end....!  Fabulous eh?

There was nothing else to do but play around with the water levels and let some more down, but frankly its not something I would do lightly.  We consulted each other and agreed with ourselves before proceeding.
We got through the first two locks and then I was delighted to see the early arrival of the two volunteers.  They said it was ok for us to proceed and he played water behind us.

It seems that the levels are alway low overnight but this was a bit extra low.

Second lock in from the bottom

WaL creeping round the bend

I had the camera ready to record the scrape....

But there wasn't one at all.

Very low side pound

Working our way up the flight.

Soon through and on our way to Crick.  Less drippy than on previous trips even if it had poured with rain that night in Braunston.  We stopped at the water point in Crick and David scrubbed whilst I directed the hose, tricky job really, he likes the water just behind his scrubbing, occasionally in front and all the leaves washed off.  He really doesn't see the funny side of the water going all up his leg......

This shell has been there since 2012 when we started but now its on its side, oh and theres another, maybe they are collecting them.

Don't you just love breasting up, on a bridge hole, on a bend....?  What is the mindset?

A sudden heavy shower, I suddenly had a phone call to make....

Fabulous colours and apologies for the lack of clarity.

The Welford Arm empty for once.

The run up to Husbands Bosworth Tunnel

Cold but look how lovely the sun was again.

The Laughton Hills mooring.  I have to stop here each and every trip.

Yellow hearts in the hedge

The roof was polished you will be pleased to hear.  I was very pleased to complete all the wee jobs and my bit of varnishing too.

All that remains is a run down to Foxton in the morning and then glorious packing.... 

The next morning off we went after ten am due to rain.  It was cold grey and sad.
When we got to Foxton we soon realised that all the other boaters around had done the same thing.  We were the fifth boat in a line of about eight to go down.  
The lockkie asked me to wait until there was one clear lock between us and the boat in front as they didn't really want the extra water to flood the pub!!  Well thats what he said and who am I to quibble?

Three in front that we can see from here.

Last night aboard WaL this year... sob sob

In to Debdale Marina the next day, load the car and away, that sounds quick doesn't it?  Well it wasn't quick but all completed finally.  We are at home now and sad about it too.  Our trip to Lincoln had to be postponed for family reasons,  hence the non lingering on the Leicester Arm, but if we get a run of good weather in the winter who knows, we may do as we have promised ourselves a few times and go winter cruising.  Are you up for it Amanda?

Until next time.....


  1. Lisa, I know you are sad to finish boating for the season, but I am so envious of your last section - it is so lovely, and the autumn colours are just beautiful over here in the UK. We have some autumn colour in NZ but nothing like here as all of our native trees are evergreen, and it's only the imports that colour up.
    I too am married to a Dave who has no sense of humour about cold water - what is it with them?
    When you get back to Debdale during the winter, please go and give Waka Huia a pat where she is sitting up on the hard!
    Cheers, M

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      Yes we are sorry to have missed you but we can see that you have hardly had a minute free.
      We will go seek out WH when we call by and send her your love.
      Until next season,
      Lisa x

  2. Enjoyed following your travels this year Lisa, looking forward to reading of your winter cruising!

    1. Dear Ade,
      Thank you for your kind comments throughout the year, its nice to get feedback!
      If the winter weather stays as nice as it has been in October we'll be there, if it's wet then I definitely won't!!!

  3. Always up for boating. So yes please.

  4. I'm a bit behind in my blog reading but if you might pass on my apologies to Pauline and Neil next time you see them for when I climbed through their side hatch and had a nosey through her cupboards at their piping... in my defence, I'd been drinking on an empty head!