Last time I left you we were moored up just outside of Norton Junction and our lights had gone out mysteriously. We turned off the fuses and turned them back on and still no dice. Just pitch blackness in the middle of nowhere. I joined Alan in the engine “room” and also had no idea. We finally decided to try starting the engine as all the battery stuff looks happy but no light. Alan reaches up to open the hatch and the lights just magically come back on all by themselves. Not a clue what happened but we have light so thanking our lucky stars and moving on.
Our first night was challenging and nasty. We had some trouble getting to sleep which isn’t too shocking being in a new place. The curtains drawn and the lights out was a level of darkness I have not known before and I loved it….however my cat did not! He had been fine in his little hidey hole all day without a single meow but once the lights went out he was NOT happy! He meowed at us regularly during the night and at some point while we slept he lost patience with us not paying him enough attention. The angry pissed in our bed at my feet. I woke up with all our blankets wet with cat pee. So we have learned that he needs a bit of light up in the living end of the boat to keep him happy and us still enough in the dark.
So, all of that happened the night before our second day. You can imagine we are not feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed today and our day starts straight off with 6 locks. The first couple were fine but then we came to one that kept refilling as we were trying to empty.
Just as we would get to a point when it looked like the water levels were equal so we could open the paddles a rush of water would come from above the upper gate and float me back up a bit. Then it would calm down and start going down before again a rush of water from above floated me again. This happened two or three times before another boat turned up at the lock also wanting to come down.
Now this is the great thing about boaters, they weren’t annoyed that we were in their way or anything. They just mucked in and helped find a solution. They checked all the top paddles with Alan and then shock about the gates a bit (they don’t really move when under pressure except to seal harder) and the water coming in slowed down enough that the bottom paddles could release more than was coming in. It is normal for there to be some leakage but not so much as to reflate a boat. After that we came down the last few locks together which makes the locks so much quicker and easier to do. We parted ways at Wilton but Narrowboat Glevum you have my thanks.
After the flight of locks we were done with locks for the rest of the day. Around lunchtime I told Alan to find a mooring so he could eat and as we happened to moor at Weedon which has a shop we did a little walk to Tesco. Picked up all the necessities like chocolate, whisky, and salsa but forgot the Fabreeze for the bedding as washing it isn’t yet an option. Oh well, task for another day.
Just after Weedon was a water point. Thank God!! The marina told us they had filled the water tank after refurbishment but apparently they did not. We got a ways from the marina before we realised we were completely empty. Sadly the next point was a challenging position so we didn’t have water until tonight. Found the water point and checked with those using it and it would be about 40 minutes. Ok…no problem.
Problem! Turns out that the former owner had not left a connector with the hose for filling our tank. The people ahead were leaving immediately but the people that moored up behind us said they were mooring for the night so we asked if they had a connector we could borrow. Thank you so much Narrowboat Dacre for not loaning but gifting us a connector so we could finally have water. This couple were heaven sent!
Now I have to move us to the water point ready to fill as I am apparently the better helmsmen. Alan made me parallel park a 65 ft Narrowboat in a space that was about 65 feet at best. I did it! I hated every moment of it and needed him to be pulling me in on the centre role as I backed into the space but I did it. It took about 1.5 hours to fill completely and we are heading off again. The light is getting low and we will need to find a mooring place soon.
we haven’t managed to get as far as we had hoped today. We will not make it to our marina by tomorrow night as we had hoped. As Alan has to be at work on Monday and there is no light after before or after his working hours we will be a bit stuck. I can’t manage locks by myself and between where we will likely get tomorrow and our marina is another flight of locks and one single. With no one to help we will likely have to be on the cut for the week and cruise again for our marina next weekend.
Must be off now to help moor up for the night. Check back again soon to see what happens next!