Saturday, 16 April 2011

Abreast 'Barn Owl'

The solar panel arrived here yesterday morning but we are still awaiting the delivery of the control box. I’ve asked Frank one of the two the proprietors here if he can put it all together for me when that time comes and he’s said he will gladly oblige. I would be able probably to do this myself, especially if I care to read the instructions but with my glasses tending to slip off my nose all the time it will be much easier and just as satisfying if I get the professionals to do it for me.
So ‘Futurest’ and I will be spending the weekend here at least; the panel company promised delivery by Monday or Tuesday of next week.
And it is very pleasant here.
Apart from the distant drone of the A6 away over the fence, it is also a quiet and most peaceful spot. ... What more can a man and his boat ask for?

The Weir at Sileby Lock

The owner of the jetty where we were moored returned yesterday from his cruise so ‘Futurest’ and I were obliged to move alongside ‘Barn Owl’ as soon as possible. It meant going ahead out into the river and then going astern for about thirty yards, hoping to steer a straight course. Very luckily there was no wind so the whole movement was accomplished with great ease and precision.
In fact we have been so lucky with the weather altogether this month and though it has been overcast for the last few days the Sun has returned today with great vigour and it remains forecast for next week as well.
I received some marvellous news last night. My friend Ann who owns a narrowboat called ‘Miss B Having’, texted me greetings from Hampton Court Moorings on the River Thames. This is unusual, as she has never ventured further than the River Wey before, which is where she moors. For a long time she has been building up her courage to brave the Thames and I was so pleased when I heard her news last evening.
Now to a lot of folk this feat is nothing and I am sure Ann will heartily agree with this, having now accomplished it herself. But I do know what she was going through as she was building up her confidence. It always needs a lot of pluck to stretch one’s ‘zone of comfort’, when it would be much easier not to bother. Well done Ann!
At the moment I am having similar feelings as Ann must have had, prior to her going out from the reassurance of the River Wey. However my challenge is the forthcoming passage down the River Trent.
From different stories I’ve heard, the Trent experience is like nothing else on the British waterway system. The river is very wide and very large, has lots of massive commercial traffic making huge wash and it has swift tides for about three quarters of its length, making it difficult to get into locks.
However I boost my confidence in the fact that every teller of these horror stories is here to tell the tale of what might have happened rather than what actually did happen and though there have obviously been sad true tales, I get the feeling that, with my seagoing (tidal) knowledge and also my ongoing experience with ‘Futurest’, so long as I take care I should be alright.
I know ‘Futurest’ can do it as Ian and Linda the previous owners did the passage through Keadby Lock every year to winter in Doncaster, so I am confident we can do it together.

The River Soar from the stern

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