|This Month's Totals and Average|
|9.31 miles||16 locks||7.59 hrs||3.34 lmph|
At the house, under lockdown due Covid-19 outbreak.
Asked the office for a top-up on fuel - they refused, saying the marina was closed to all leisure boaters including their own leisure moorers. We were told we had 6 hours to be off site (despite the Government directive not to travel), or they would cancel our contract. Thought about moving the boat to the towpath where we could stay indefinitely, but not without fuel. Very hurried packing and drive north to the house for the duration
Obviously, this will be the last entry until we can get on the move again.
If it weren't for the chill in the breeze, one would think spring was getting well towards summer - sun lovely and warm when out of the breeze.
Received word from the marina office on Monday afternoon that they wish all boaters who have a primary residence elsewhere to go there. This was followed by the Government directive in the evening that no-one should move unless essential.
Lovely sunny day for Pat's drive south - she got away just after 07:30 and arrived mid-afternoon. Remainder of the day spent "getting unpacked". The sunny day continued all the way through giving a beautiful evening. Unfortunately, a cold night forecast.
More variable days of sun and rain. Supermarkets have empty shelves for tinned veg and toilet rolls due to the Covid-19 virus problem. The marina has asked us to pay bills etc online or by phone rather than going into the office. Churches have now closed their doors for services (so not out on Sunday). The Crick Boat Show and other festivals have cancelled their events, BCNS have postponed both their Explorer Cruises - we are waiting to hear if the BCF Mission in June will be affected (we are expecting it to be called off). Whether the problem will last as long as July will remain to be seen.
Pat's reading specs and the frames for main specs arrived on Monday, and the lenses were fitted by Friday. She confirmed that she would be travelling south on Sunday. I started a full spring-clean inside on Thursday; all done by Sunday morning (just the outside to do now, when the weather allows me).
After a very soggy day on Tuesday, Wednesday was bright and sunny. Completed the BCF Church Directory and passed it to our webmaster. Have booked "Paws" in for pressure-wash and blacking this coming winter. The only available slot was 28th Sept to 2nd Oct. I'm going back to Burton Boat Co as I've had excellent service from them in the past. Variable weather between Thursday and Monday, with long sunny spells and heavy rain showers. Another sign of spring (hopefully) - during the last few days, I've had a song thrush singing during the morning chorus.
Beautiful morning when I got up so decided to get on the move again (not sure to where). Away by 09:00 headed back through Alrewas village. Ascended Bagnall Lock and continued on. The weather didn't last! It quickly clouded over and felt quite chilly again. Common Lock was "windy ridge" as usual, then on to Hunt's and Keeper's Locks. All were against, so slow climb up to Fradley. Still wasn't sure of my destination when I made a brief stop at the services berth (loo and recyclables). Checked the forecast again, and decided that I would just run for home. There was a delay at Junction Lock as two swans decided to try and hitch a lift. Unfortunately they got in front of the boat, so I had to reverse the boat out again to let them get free. Straight ahead to Middle, Shadehouse and Wood End Locks (actually with me), arriving back at the marina for a late lunch. Noticed that Spring must be somewhere on the horizon as there are small buds on the tree branches.
By the time I had finished lunch, the rain was back, quite heavy. Stayed tucked up for the rest of the afternoon - correct call for destination!
Have been advised by Pat that her new specs are going to take longer than usual to be ready - could be another two weeks before she gets south. (May have to rethink the Lee and Stort as we may not have time before the Mission.)
|4.66 miles||8 locks||3.86 hrs||3.28 lmph|
Torrential rain and high wind overnight but, by breakfast, the sun was out again and only a light breeze. Woke to hear the sound of a woodpecker knocking for its breakfast. Very low turn-out at Alrewas church this morning, but good service. After a bite of lunch, went along to the river lock on the offchance of boats coming through. Weather turned for the worse again mid-afternoon so headed back to "Paws" for some shelter. Heavy squally showers for the remainder of the afternoon - not a boat on the move all day.
With the beautiful day yesterday, and looking like another today, decided I was getting 'cabin fever' being in the marina. Went to the Alrewas Legion in the morning and had late breakfast - large plateful (allegedly 'small', with everything on it!) and excellent quality.
Got back to "Paws" late morning and decided I would go out for a couple of days. Quickly got ready and let go, leaving the marina and turning right. A lot of walkers out today. Arrived at Wood End Lock and noted it was full, a walker kindly opened the gate and I went straight in. They also kindly closed up after me. From there, most of the locks for the day were empty so had to moor up and fill each. I was helped through Shadehouse, Middle and Keepers by a very nice young lady called Lana with her parents and Granny. I stopped at Middle for a short while to let her have a look round the boat. They had to leave me after Keepers Lock, but the teddies hope she will follow them all the way to London, then to Gloucester (using the card she got). We continued down Hunt's, Common and Bagnall Locks into Alrewas. As I didn't intend to go on the river section, but prefer the east end mooring, I winded after Bagnall Lock and reversed through the town, getting moored late afternoon.
By the time we were finished, the wind was rising again (albeit warmer than in recent weeks, and cloud had built. At least I'm out for a few days.
|4.65 miles||8 locks||3.73 hrs||3.39 lmph|
The mixed bag of weather continues into the new month - heavy showers of rain interspersed with moderate sunny periods, fairly windy, and cold. Now looking forward to Pat returning south, but that will be dependent on medical needs. Also looking at the logistics of Fhi joining us mid-April - where we will be, and where there are stations for her to arrive/depart by rail (possibly somewhere around the Rugby area). Generally time taken up with routine duties, and working on the BCF directory.