Friday, 19 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 1

It's Adrian here. My first posting to the Narrowboat Debdate blog. Not sure what is more daunting - tackling the Calcutt locks single handed, or posting my first entry!

The journey to Stockton Top Marina was very easy. I'd expected the roads to be busy, but ended up having one of the easiest journeys to the marina ever. I've never seen so many boats in the marina. Debdale was moored 5 deep from the side with another boat moored along side. This presented my first challenge of the day. Thankfully there was a willing helper at the marina who took control of the boat moored along side, allowing me to slip Debdale out of the marina.

I was welcomed on board by a Christmas candle decoration and card from co-owners Alison and Nigel. Very thoughtful, thank you.

Once loaded up I headed along to Calcutt locks. My first 25 minutes were spent on tick-over as a passed a flotilla of moored boats. Three boats had left the marina before me, bringing hope that I'd be able to share the locks with another boat. Turned out one of the boats was stopping at Calcutt Marina, leaving me the three locks to handle on my own.

I worked through the first lock without too many issues. While in the second lock waiting for the level to rise I went ahead to the next lock to set the paddles. As I was leaving the second lock I was thrilled to see a boat approach from the other direction to start their way down. The crew from the boat, Coldwater Morning, were really helpful... working the lock for me. Thanks guys!

Turned left onto the Oxford, and am moored before bridge 108. I'd hoped to get past bridge 104, but I was starting to get cold, so decided to call it a day.

I've had the Webasto on for a while to take the chill out the air, and am struggling to get the stove going. I've tried a few different approaches but am not having much luck. Our stove is a Puffin - does anyone have any helpful hints?

The connection here is not so good... so no pictures today.

4 miles, 3 locks.


Lesley K Nb Caxton said...

Adrian you are going to get caught sneaking entries on to the blog you know!
Very best wishes for your Christmas cruise though, enjoy...

Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

Well done Adrian. All that work and still having time to make your first blog entry.

Happy Christmas to both of you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Adrian
We are looking forward to taking Silkwood out early next Saturday 27th for a 10 day cruise. Couldnt get the leave till after Christmas so will be busy getting ready for our cruise this weekend, working out what to pack!!
Probably see you back at Stockton on the 27th.
Enjoy the trip.

Dave & Chris (NB Silkwood)