Sunday, 20 March 2011


Those of you who know me well will be astounded.
But today, with beautiful and adequate towpath moorings prepared at enormous expense in the canal opposite by British Waterways, at my complete disposal and entirely free of charge for fourteen days, I am tied up snugly in a spanking new marina, for which I am paying!
Me, the old sea dog, with years of crusted salt and endurance behind the ears (yuk! It doesn’t bear thinking about does it?) the continuous cruiser with as much sanguine experience as the Ancient Mariner himself and who could never understand why people wanted to moor in the close knit situation of a marina, like mamby pamby sardines in a tin, when the whole of the World was there to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck, is this afternoon tied up quietly and neatly stern to the quay, next to a beautiful green boat, complete with electrical umbilical cord to a blue post, which has electric meters and a fresh water tap attached. Ashore in the office block are ladies’ and gents’ toilets and showering facilities, washing machines and dryers and a tidy and comfortable club room where various social activities take place. The occupants of this little marina need never get bored or run short. But none of this is really what I am here for. 
I have come to the small Northamptonshire village of Yelvertoft, which I have difficulty in pronouncing as well as spelling correctly, specifically to meet my  good friends David and Heather who have spent the winter here on their 60 foot narrowboat called ‘It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere’. We did meet up last year at Weedon on the Grand Union Canal briefly and had such a great time that when I learned that they were remaining here for another week before their summer cruising season began, thought it would be lovely to meet up with them again.
‘Futurest’ and I arrived on Thursday afternoon, mooring opposite the marina, against the towpath. The Watford Staircase lock was closing this weekend for refurbishment and I wanted to be on this side of them before they did shut down as one never knows, in spite of optimistic pronouncements, how long the job is likely to take once started. So ‘Futurest’ and I  wasted no time getting here from Warwick.
David and Heather came aboard in the evening for a drink and extolled the virtues of their berth so much that I decided to move in too for a week, until they move out. They will then go south while I shall travel in the opposite direction, but in the meantime I am hoping we can do a lot of yarning and catching up. Having the convenience of the ‘umbilical cord’ gives me the advantage of not having to run ‘JP2’ every day to keep the health of the batteries sound. The move across is entirely convenient for me and I look forward to my friends’ delightful company in the meantime.
I wanted to post here photos of the Watford Locks and a few others of the area as well, but the internet signal is so weak at the moment that I shall be lucky if I am even able to publish this text. I shall have to add the pictures at a later date.


TESTBED said...

It was good to meet you over the weekend at Yelvertoft, and we particularly enjoyed meeting Futurest and JP2 as well. You really do have a boat full of characters! Hopefully our paths will cross again out on the cut in the not too distant future.

Best wishes

Mike and Marian
Nb Duxllandyn

shawnee2909 said...

Hi Pete you old salt :o) Finally managed to have a look on here and am reading it through from the beginning , hoping to catch up to the present entries soon! take care shipmate and hope to see you soon.


PS am using shawnee's account name as have no idea how to join, i will have to ask the girls !!