Sunday, 28 November 2010

Winter Cruise - Day Nine

It was an exceptionally cold night.  The Met Office said it was -7 in these parts; I wouldn't be surprised if it was colder here on Tixall Wide.  By the morning, even though the fire stayed in (it's been alight constantly since we lit it on the first day), we had ice on the inside of the windows and the window frames.

We had a cooked breakfast, then at about 8.45am decided to see whether we could move.  It took about 20 minutes to move the boat at all.  We were frozen solid.  Once we were free, we tried to get back out to the channel cut by boats yesterday; even though it was frozen, the ice didn't look as thick.  However, getting there proved impossible, so after the best part of an hour we gave up and decided to walk to Great Haywood to get a paper.  The junction was frozen, but the moving water had kept the canal clear just below the lock.

Having been to the shop, we walked to the farm shop, but nothing caught our fancy (not at those prices, anyway).  We then carried on to the marina, where we knew Bruce and Sheila are moored on Sanity Again.  The office gave us directions to their pontoon, but they weren't at home.  We met them shortly afterwards, just outside the farm shop, and spent quite some time talking.  While we were there, a boat came down the Trent and Mersey from the north, but went straight past the junction.

This afternoon, we've made another couple of attempts to get away -- we'd like to be off the wide, as this seems to be where the ice is thickest and the weather the coldest.  But, although we got slightly further each time, the ice is just too think -- up to two inches in places.  So we've given up.  The sun appears to be having some effect on the ice, so we'll hope for a less cold night and a warmer day tomorrow.  We also live in hope that another boat will come by (Chertsey, are you stuck too?).  In the meantime, we have food, water, diesel, coal, internet, tv, and reading material.

0 miles, 0 locks.  (73 miles, 69 locks)


Anonymous said...

Tixall wide certainly looks scenic in the frost. Provded you've got all the essentials there is something magical about being iced in (for a short while, at least).

We have, in previous years, deployed our customised ice-breaking attachment - Richard standing at the bow smashing the ice with the boat's pole - it does help!

I'll leave it to you to decide which one of you should take on this role!

Sue, Indigo Dream

Adam said...

Sue, we have both taken turns deploying the boat's pole as an ice-breaking attachment. It did help a bit, but I was rather worried we'd end up snapping it in the process!


Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Adam
There are worse places to be stuck, at least you're in the sunshine!
We've got about an inch of ice here in Penkridge, a boat came up from Gailey yesterday and reported some clear bits, some very thick bits. He pulled over here though, too.
Will look out for you if you get going. We're opposite Tom's Moorings, above Penkridge Lock, and likely to be here a couple more days.

Sue said...

I gotta feeling that you might have to walk your bags to Gt Haywood.. catch a bus to Stafford, another Gnosall and ask Simon for a lift back!

Want the timetable!!

Nah seriously, hope you get going Adam, it is gonna be some tough cruising for sure..

Nb Caxton said...

Unfortunately I think Sue is right. We were iced in a Gt Hayward last winter and the Tixel ice was the thickest by far..

Captain Ahab said...

Sorry to see you stuck - an unexpected turn of events. Suddenly Penkridge and Coven seem a long way away.
I passed over the Coventry on the M6 this afternoon and the ice was unbroken.
Are you OK for stuff?