Browsed by
Category: Continuous Cruising

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

Back at the Pig Place

Back at the Pig Place

‘Where the dear and the antelope play’…

Or just pigs.

We have some buffalo in the field opposite.

So it could be, ‘where the pigs and the buffalo play’.

Aynho Wharf

Had to go to Aynho Wharf. For water.

Turned around.

Came back up again. Took about 2.5 hours from where I was before.

The water takes forever to fill up at Aynho because of the low pressure.

Solar and the cost of living

Able to do all my cooking on solar now the sun’s out.

That means I only use the gas now for:

  • Washing
  • Showers
  • Washing up

Made a 13kg calor last for 4 months last time.

Gas. A gas bottle is £40 now for 13kg. When I started boating in 2016, it was £28.

Equates to around £10 per month for gas.

Electric is free.

Diesel. I bought £75 in January. Might have to get some more in July to get me up to Calcutt boats, in Napton. That’s £12.50 per month.

So.

All in all, £22.50 currently in monthly overheads on the boat.

Narrowboat Ropes

Had a slight bit of wear and tear on my front and rear ropes.

As you can see, the rear rope is frayed and the braiding is coming undone.

I’ve tried to strap it up with some handlebar tape.

It’s really starting to become a hazard, especially in locks, where it can become entangled in things such as the rail bar, or not fly through the air properly because part of the rope become entangled on your hand as you try to throw it.

A danger.

Frayed mooring rope
Frayed mooring rope

For this reason, I had to take a trip up to the Chandlers.

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Kings Sutton in the Fields

Kings Sutton in the Fields

The next stop down is ‘Pig Place’. At least it has been in the past….

I don’t really want to move down to Pig Place right away, for one reason or another.

Instead, I’ve stopped here in between Kings Sutton and Twyford Wharf, effectively in the middle of no-where.

The way I like it.

It’s about a 10 minute walk to the car, but it’s outside of the parish of Twyford Wharf which is apparently what the CRT uses to measure whether you’re moving your boat or not.

Moving out of a parish and/or into a new one counts as a move apparently.

It’s probably 10/15 mins on the boat.

Not far.

I don’t think anyone’s counting.

Sutton in the Fields

Living off-grid narrowboat

Living off-grid narrowboat

Here’s a cost breakdown of living as a single person on a narrowboat from what I gathered over the last 12 months.

Derv: £324.69 (included a trip down to London and back 300m)

Coal/Wood: £348/£72

Gas: £127

Electric: Free

Boat licence: £960

Maintenance and fees: 2 pumps – £247

Insurance: £150

Total cost for one year All in – (Fuel/Heating/Light/Gas and Electricity/Licence/Insurance) £1,982.19

Cost of living Crisis

I’m hearing this increasingly when I turn the radio. Stories of people heating cans of beans on their gas room heaters, food banks not being able to cope and people having to choose between electricity and food.

Can’t be sure whether it’s truly indicative of the state of play out there because this is the BBC (radio 4) we’re talking about, and they like to lay it on thick with the old bullsh1t.

What I do know, fact-wise, is that the cost of fuels have gone up by roughly 50% in the last 12 months.

This is not an insignificant amount. It’s affected all fuels across the sector and electricity prices have gone up also.

My battery overfloweth

Since fitting the solar panels last winter, I’ve had basically too much electricity.

This has meant as summer approaches the level at which I use the electricity is FAR less than the amount the panels pump out.

In contrast, when I go to get gas from my local supplier in Banbury, they tell me the Calor wholesaller hasn’t been returning their calls for 9 weeks.

No-one on the industrial side of things has ANY Calor in Bunbury (13kg).

This does not bode well, and I fully expect in the full-ness of time, the supply shortage could leave me unable to do my cooking, currently on Gas, which would be a bit of a problem…..

Simple math

If you’re given lemons. Make lemonade.

Fitting an 2000w inverter to my narrowboat

I’ve had the inverter for years….. Bought it before I left the marina. In the first 6 months in fact. It looks a bit like this –

Bestek 2000w Inverter
Bestek 2000W inverter

I’ve used it to: Power the TV. Power the circular saw. Charge up computers and devices.

Basically, the heavier duty stuff that you can’t do on 12v.

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Spiceball Park – In the winter

Spiceball Park – In the winter

Winter moorer’s paradise… Spiceball park.

That’s right, it’s got pretty much everything. Parking, broadband, shops, good solar, working TV and radio. The whole shebang…

In comparison to Spiceball summer mooring, when it does indeed have all these things plus; banging and whistling all hours day and night from the factory opposite. Fine Lady bakery.

During the winter, moorers are allowed to remain on the 2 day mooring for 2 weeks!

This is away from the factory and actually bumps Spiceball Park up quite considerably in terms of livability. It’s even got a metalled pathway! You don’t need to get everything covered in mud when you get off the boat!

Here’s a picture of Spiceball Park.

2 Day moorings in Spiceball Park
2 Day moorings in Spiceball Park

The leaves, or lack of them means that solar energy is free. To a point.

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Cropredy -> Amazon Flex

Cropredy -> Amazon Flex

Had enough of Cropredy.

Benefits include: Being close to the pub. Only walking distance away.

Cropredy circular footpath
Cropredy circular footpath

Made up towpaths. Gravelled and civilised…..

Downsides: Crap signal. Doesn’t matter where you go, your signal is patchy to non-existant.

Car vandals. Went out in car, came back, parked it up. Came out again and found a scratch horizontally across the front bumper.

It was parked in a slight lay-by area, away from any traffic moving in that direction. It looks more like a screwdriver.

Sad.

There we go.

car vandals cropredy
Scratch

I can touch it up and make it go away before I sell it.

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Amazon Flex -> Cropredy

Amazon Flex -> Cropredy

So. A little move up.

Takes about an hour on the boat. Maybe a bit longer. 3 Locks to get through.

Cropredy

Is about the only stop on this circuit where the sounds of the motorway don’t provide the main audio backdrop to your canal mooring.

Cropredy is kind of a posh village, which hosts a blues festival in the summer called the ‘Fairport Convention‘.

It’s got 2 pubs and 2 churches.

The canal has a waterpoint, bins, sanitation and a turning point here.

There’s one shop that sells overpriced goods to unsuspecting boaters.

All things being said, it seems like a great place to moor, the only possible downside being the lack of mobile signal at many locations in the village.

In most of the locations in the village.

In fact, you have to go out of the village to get any coverage on Three, the network I’m on.

I did a post previously on Cropredy.

You can find it here.

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Twyford Wharf -> Amazon Flex

Twyford Wharf -> Amazon Flex

Or just outside.

My winter workplace, Amazon is about 300m from where I am moored now…

It’s very muddy here, which is why I didn’t come down here when I was starting at Amazon just over the road.

Glad I didn’t. Negotiating the mud takes in cold wet etc. is difficult. 15 minutes in the car is easy.

Pig Place

Didn’t stay at Pig Place. I was in two minds when I arrived.

Walking at 4am in the morning. 5-7 minutes to the car. And back, just to stay outside the pig place.

Not really worth it….

After having my pins pulled out and my neighbour describing my boat passing his floating backwards down the canal made me think there may be better places to be.

DOX2

So. Moved on down to Twyford Wharf, where I completed my (short) term of employment at Amazon.

Looks very much like any other factory without all the seasonal workers which were there for the Christmas period.

I appreciated my time there.

They sorted us out with free stuff. Pay was always on time. They even got a DJ in on Christmas Eve. Here’s a picture of him.

Empty warehouse? – Amazon DOX2 DJ – Christmas Party

I was told it was a lot busier last year at around the Christmas period, but since then they’ve opened 2 new sorting centres to distribute their parcels. One is at Lutterworth (DBI7 Amazon), the other is Birmingham (Amazon DBI3).

These have taken away a lot of the capacity from DOX2 sortation operation.

Last year a couple of the co-workers described scenes of operatives confronting WALLS of parcels and having to adhere to 2m DISTANCING RULES.

Very different kettle of fish to this year.

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