Friday, February 19, 2016

And we're back!

Tuesday came. I'd completed all of my tasks. The new tumble drier had been delivered, installed and tested. (The old one had developed a dreadful squeal, which it made every time it was used. It was 19 years old, in which time it had been used for up to eight people's wet washing. Being that old, it wasn't worth repairing it - if it could be repaired! - and current models are far more efficient than that one. Strangely, it stopped squealing, totally, as soon as the new one was delivered!) Steve was back safely from his week of snowboarding in the French Alps, and Jess was happily exploring Iceland. We'd packed everything else we needed for life aboard Kantara. There was nothing to stop us. Off we went. The M1 did its best to delay us, but we cheated it, and came off just as the holdup had really kicked in, taking a quicker and more pleasant route to the marina.
We were welcomed by fine weather. Cold, yes; windy, of course. But the sky was blue and the sun shone brightly, encouraging NBs Adagio and Wreyland to compare solar panel output again on Twitter. Decent panels generate a fair amount of electricity on days like this. I was so glad it wasn't raining. There was a lot to carry from the car to the boat, and we set to work returning everything to its rightful place.
We promised ourselves that we'd not do this again. In future, we'll stay here through the winter, returning to the house just for a couple of weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. It's just too much hassle, the winterizing and de-winterizing (we had soaking wet problems again this year, replacing the water filter) and the ferrying of clothes, pots and pans and all of the other things of everyday life. We leave as much as we can on Kantara, of course, but we don't want to have two sets of clothes, two sets of kitchen utensils (Grace likes stuff which is really quite expensive, and we don't want to buy a second lot), two CD and DVD collections, two guitars, four sewing machines (we have two types) and so on. And anyway, we warm to the idea of being on the boat during the kind of winters we've had over the past five years. We're hardier now!
February 2012

I've been really glad of Twitter while we've been away. It's an excellent way to keep up with what's going on across the waterways, and what numerous friends and acquaintances are doing. The weather had been a major theme for all of the time we were away. The winds and the floods hit rivers and canals very badly. I'm still not really into Facebook. I have my Tweets copied automatically to it, which my FB friends seem to enjoy, and there's a lot of interest in our canal life amongst my ex-students and colleagues.

Some poor boater, I haven't discovered which boat it is yet, has suffered a burst holding tank, an incident which has made us glad that out only internal flooding problems have been watery ones!

Though nothing to do with our marina, I was saddened to read of the death of Pete, the skipper of NB Futurest, whose blog I've followed for years. He'd been cruising solo for 82 months. A memorial service was held at Tooley's Boat Yard in Banbury. Very fitting.

A friend of ours here had to be rushed to hospital for surgery to remove a stomach cancer just a few weeks ago. I'm glad to say he's up and about now, looking well after a successful operation, and itching to do some cruising. As we all are!

How good it is to be back. People here are so friendly; there's a real community feeling amongst us. A two-minute stroll out to the car to get something from the boot that is our shed, turns into a 20-minute chat with a moorer or three. Time is rarely an issue. It's brilliant.

2016, we're back!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for commenting on my blog, Roger! I'll add you to my list as I love boating blogs. I've been a long term follower of Herbie Neil and Halfie and I also follow Wide Beam Still Rockin'. It's my dream to do the English canals one of these days. I'll bet you're glad to be back on board again now and I'm more than a bit envious of those boaters who can keep cruising. Sadly, work keeps me tied to the harbour most of the year! Anyhow, I shall have to investigate your book too and no, I don't see myself as Watersport, but what can we do! Great to make contact with you!
    PS I was also sad about Pete. I used to follow his blog and he seemed like a great guy. What a shock to find him gone so suddenly.