Not so much of a cruise, really; just winter. Last night was no less cold than the previous one, so all the water we'd cleared had frozen over again. Also, the forecast for the rest of the week was getting worse rather than better, so we came to the conclusion that we probably wouldn't be able to move at all, let along get back to Norbury Junction by Thursday evening.
So we started preparations to return home. Adrian rang Norbury Wharf to find out what we'd have to do to winterise the boat, and then rang the next owners, due on board next weekend. Then he phoned Great Haywood Marina to get the name of a local taxi firm, to take him to Norbury to pick up the car.
We both walked along to Haywood Junction to dump rubbish, and to meet the taxi. We happened to bump into Sarah from Chertsey there, so while Adrian set off, I was able to go and have a look at Chertsey.
Then it was back to Debdale to pack, and drain down the water tank. It took the best part of an hour and a half!
Tixall Wide isn't the easiest of places to get to, but once Adrian had returned, he found the way to Swivel Bridge, so at least we didn't have to carry all our stuff right the way back to the junction. He'd also borrowed a hydrometer from Anglo-Welsh, and bought some anti-freeze. Norbury had said they protect the boats up to -15 Celsius, but it would be a good idea to up the protection to -20C. We checked the central heating system and the engine, and topped up the anti-freeze as necessary. Once the water system was drained, we also disconnected the water pump, and tried to make sure there was no water left inside.
Then we took all our stuff to the car. It took three trips along the snowy tow path. When we were loaded up, we headed back to Great Haywood, went for lunch in a pub in the village, and headed for home. Adrian said the Shroppie at Norbury Junction is frozen solid, and every canal we passed or crossed on the way home was frozen, even the K&A as it goes under the A34 near Newbury. The temperature on the way home never got higher than 1.5C
It's not the way we envisioned the trip ending -- and it had been very enjoyable up until the weather intervened -- and we'll also have to sort out getting Debdale back to Norbury Wharf, once the ice has gone.
14 hours ago