Thursday, 25 April 2013

Out and about in the sunshine

Today was beautifully warm, fairly sunny but so very windy. I'm sure I have commented before about how a flat sided narrowboat presents a large, in our case about 30ft x 5ft, 'sail' to catch the wind. For most of our journey today we had the wind blowing across the canal, it's not too bad when you are in 'open water' but is problematical when passing moored boats, especially if you encounter a boat coming in the opposite direction at the same time. I'm told that our problems are made worse becasue we are shallow-draughted and tend to bob across the surface of the water. Slowing down while passing moored boats wasn't much of an option today,it was either go past faster than normal or risk being blown into them, I know which I would prefer, a little bit of extra rocking on a windy day is preferable to being bumped.

We have noticed a marked increase in the number of hire boats since Easter so I guess the cruising season is underway. There are pros and cons during the 'season' , on the plus side you are more likely to meet other boats at locks to either share the lock or at least do part of the work, the flights of locks are more likely to be manned and the waterside businesses tend to operate longer hours. On the downside when you do want to moor in towns and villages the moorings are more congested, you are more likely to be delayed at locks and going through tunnels can get really interesting.

We gave up after a couple of hours travelling today as the wind was making it hard work, we reached Thurp Wharf and decided to call it a day. The cats were happy because they had loads of time to go mousing, although Treat keeps bringing shrews back, which none of them eat. At least I don't think we have any live ones running around at the moment.

Tomorrow we intend to get as far as Stoke Bruerne and moor in the long pound, giving us two locks and Blisworth Tunnel to look forward to on Saturday.

Today's journey 5.4 miles and 1 lock

This year we have travelled 111 miles, 132 locks and 5 swing bridges

In 2012 we travelled 876.9 miles, 675 locks,  55 swing bridges, 23 lift bridges and 31 tunnels

In 2011 we travelled 461.4 miles, 444 locks, 3 swing bridges, 34 lift bridges and 15 tunnels

During 2010 we travelled 740.3 miles, 642 locks, 53 swing bridges, 4 lift bridges and 25 tunnels

Since Ray retired we have travelled 2189.6 miles, 1892 locks, 116 swing bridges, 61 lift bridges and 71 tunnels

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