Browsed by
Category: Continuous Cruising

Living on a continuous cruiser on the UK canal system under CRT rules.

Things I’ve seen around Oxfordshire 🧐😲😍

Things I’ve seen around Oxfordshire 🧐😲😍

Yeah bouy.

There’s so much to live for around here, at least that’s what the animals believe, as there seems to be rather a lot of them. Flying insects and birds…… birds on the water, animals that crawl and creep, hop and swim. There are a great diversity of the critters here. There is no doubt….

What I’d put this down to I don’t know. I can only guess that the local wild spaces by way of the country park and the Cotswold AONB has let some of those that would otherwise have perished, survive.

Time spent – time wasted

Seeing as I have so much time on my hands at the moment, I’ve taken some and committed it to a little fishing.

I’ve been a few times, 4 to be exact, with varying results. 2 times I caught these.

Bream from Cropredy Marina
Bream from Cropredy Marina
A 2lb roach from Oxford Canal
A 2lb roach from Oxford Canal

They are biggies….. especially the second one.

The other 2 times I caught nothing, or very little, just sat in the sunshine drank and listened to Youtube music streaming on my bluetooth speaker until it got dark, or I got bored. Whichever came first.

These two grand specimens more than make up for it.

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In and around Cropredy

In and around Cropredy

It’s taken a while to get to this point….

Sailing from Napton to Claydon

After being stuck in Flecknoe for so long with the bad weather, things eventually improved and I managed to move the boat down from the Grand Union canal onto the Oxford canal via Napton Junction.

Once I’d issued my crew with badges, they set about their businesses…

Sailing took from 11am to 7pm, so about 8 hours in total including a little stop-off for lunch.

The weather was mostly fine. Some rain, some sun, sometimes both at the same time, which was better than the forecast, which had pictures of rain clouds?

Managed to take some pictures on the way down.

Here’s a picture of my crew…

From left to right: Kerri, Craig, Aurelia and Finn

For those who haven’t been introduced; Aurelia is Craig’s daughter and Finn is Kerri’s son. Kerri and Craig got married about 5 years ago, and fairly obviously, but in case you missed it, Kerri is my sister!

Lunch

We stopped for lunch in Fenny Compton and had a game of cards called Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza which basically involved everyone thumping each others hands on the table, or pretending to be gorilla, (thump chest), or narwhal’s, (make triangle above head), thumping the table or whatever, (groundhog)…. then thumping each others hands.

I wasn’t very good at pretending to be the animals, otherwise, I did pretty well considering it was the first time I had played! Kids loved it though, although Aurelia seemed to think she was a Narwhal whatever animal came up.

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Bye bye Bosworth

Bye bye Bosworth

Hello rainy Flecknoe.

Yes my time ran out in Leicestershire. I’ve decided to re-locate down here to Flecknoe. On balance of things, I think that’s the best thing to do.

As with the other jobs that have happened to me in the past, this one went pretty much the same way. Still, not to worry. We have to learn from the experience and move on.

I left Sodexo on good terms, (with most people).

Leicestershire

I did enjoy my time here, and I think in many ways the job working at the test center did me a lot of good.

Before that, I didn’t really realise how depressed and low I had become. My time there made me aware of this, and a couple of other things which it would’ve been impossible to see on my own.

Still, things started to go strange on a social level with certain people and the job itself changed and became a lot more boring.

Bosworth was perhaps my favorite place. The people there were the friendliest I’ve met anywhere on the canal network. Or even anywhere in the UK. Full stop.

All good things must come to an end.

Here’s some pictures from my final days up that way.

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Highs and lows of lockdown year 2020

Highs and lows of lockdown year 2020

To comemorate it’s passing, I’m mounting a late vigil here on the blog.

Many people say they won’t miss it.

It started with some large wildfires and bad environmental stuff and worked it’s way up to a global pandemic!

No need to be frustrated though… The solution is here!

Look at it from above….

3 months on and into 2021. I’ve had a look through and gathered what I thought might be some of the best (and worst) parts of my 2020.

The lows

The highs

Photo gallery

Take a brief look at my photo gallery for the year.

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Locked down in Shackerstone

Locked down in Shackerstone

Been here for going on a month now.

Movement is not encouraged on the canal networks at this moment.

Only ‘essential’ travel is permitted. This basically means when your toilet needs emptying, or your water-tank needs filling.

Traffic is down to 0.

Very few boats moving around. 0 this week so far.

Empty narrowboat water-tank
Empty water-tank

This is how my water-tank looked at the end of last week.

That’s about a day’s worth of water in the bottom.

I couldn’t really move because the canal was iced over.

Moving whilst there’s ice isn’t really advisable. Some ppl get shirty when you move past their boats when there’s thick ice. Some ppl get angry even when it’s thin ice. ‘It might damage my boat’.

It’s better to let it thaw out. Plus, thick ice makes it difficult to navigate.

Luckily, when I moved down to get water, a boat had gone on before me and it was just a case of following his trail of broken ice!

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Bosworth -> Shackerstone

Bosworth -> Shackerstone

Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last installment.

Since then I’ve moved the boat 3 times from it’s previous location near the village of Dadlington, where it was quite nice with good wifi and solar.

The three things you need really are 1) parking 2) good phone signal 3) solar to make a mooring semi-decent.

It’s taken a while to find out the next place to stop on the Ashby.

The place I’m stopped in now is in a designated area of special scientific interest. Which means you can only moor in ‘selected spaces’.

Shenton to Congerstone.

Are places I passed through and either the parking wasn’t there, or they had bad mobile or non-existent mobile signal.

The current location is maybe 8 miles or so from Dadlington, the location of my last blog.

Rather than make this journey all in one stretch, I decided that because the weather was bad, it would be better to split it in half.

Shallow canal

The Ashby is shallow compared to other canals I’ve been on. Even the Kennet and Avon is deeper from what I can make out.

I’d say the depth is about 4-6ft. Never any more than that.

Bosworth Field along the Ashby canal
Bosworth Field along the Ashby canal

Progress is restricted by the depth of the canal; the dynamics of the water meaning that progress above a certain speed isn’t physically possible.

Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be tootling along on this one….

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Dadlington Lockdown

Dadlington Lockdown

I’ve been here a while now. In Ashby terms, I’ve just got here.

Boaters don’t tend to move a whole lot on the Ashby.

Remember this picture I took on moving from my first stop.

Stoke Golding Oct

Not one boat has moved since I left one month ago. It looks exactly the same.

Since I got here in early October, 80% of the boats I come across haven’t moved at all. Been in the same place. Completely.

Feel a bit alienated by moving around. Everybody else just stays in one place.

Still there we are. They are probably good people and have special privileges.

Lockdown

We are, however, on lockdown still. Which means that I’ve stuck to my position here in the wilds with nothing but rolling fields, birds and cow noises to keep me company.

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