Friday, 22 November 2013

Slow days at Warwick

‘Futurest’ and I are now well settled here at Warwick. She is safely tied alongside her usual mooring and with her pile of coal stacked alongside, she is well set up for the coming winter months, no matter what is flung at her. She is well content.



‘Futurest’ ready for the winter



We have both enjoyed a wonderful Summer and tackled it very positively and adventurously. Being in the company of two ladies, both similarly natured to ourselves, it has been a very busy season as well, full of excitement and with its fair share of surprises.

Often by the end of October the country is experiencing its first freeze-up so I have long since decided it is wise to be tied up safely near a fresh water supply and all the other services by that time.

Even without the icy conditions cruising in the winter can be difficult since the on-going canal refurbishment programme starts at the beginning of each November and runs through till the end of February. So winter travel on the water needs a great deal of extra careful planning to make certain that you don’t finish up being stranded between two sets of locks that are out of commission for the winter. Here life could be difficult with no water point or a shop for miles, especially if it is snowing hard for most of the time.

So as always, I was happy when the yellow Kate Boats sign hove into view, swinging squeakily in the fresh but mild breeze, on the side of that tall very distinctive building in Warwick, next to Bridge 49. We are safe now with our pile of coal for whatever the freezing Winter has in store for us.

Except that it seems to be ‘out of stock’ at the moment, as each day passes very much as an extension of the Autumn, which itself at the time appeared as a continuation of the Summer. Today the Sun is shining in an almost clear blue sky and though I felt as warm as toast in bed during the night with the ‘Squirrel’ made up, like many similar days, I now feel like letting it burn out as the Saloon is uncomfortably hot.

As a result of all this I should feel on top of the world but over the last few days I’ve been feeling most lethargic like a party balloon that has been taut all Summer but has now been deflated. Though I have awoken each day with great plans, the hours have rapidly dissolved away without me having accomplished anything worthwhile except a lot of listening to the radio and ‘reading me book’; novels mostly. My mood is such that even though I might have enjoyed the read, I felt I had wasted my precious time.



Autumn carpet in Warwick


But today things are different and I’m actually writing again, even though I had no idea or plan at the beginning of this post what the content would be.

However I must confess that I am currently in the middle of a favourite book of mine that I have re-read many times since I was a lad; ‘Sailing Alone Around the World’ by Captain Joshua Slocum. I have just come across an old hardback copy, which I need to get back to and devour. He’s just repelling savage Fuegan cannibals in the Straits of Magellan with carpet tacks spread across the deck of his ‘Spray’. Exciting stuff so I’ll have to get back to it.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Back at Warwick

Eight months after our departure we are back at our very familiar Winter moorings, though the season, apart from the advent of darker evenings, seems to be far away. The Sun has gone for now however and as I write, the intimate patter of rain on the roof above me soothes my mind and my spirit rather than aggravating it.

It is wonderful to wallow in the luxury of two forty volt electricity again supplied from the shore and the continued anxiety on the move as to the condition of our batteries is extinguished for a while. Though there is always a certain romance attached, it is gratifying to put away the copper kettle, which takes forever to boil and bring into service the electric one that gives a nice hot cuppa in just a short few minutes …. Such wonderful decadence we’re enjoying.

Because the season is still busy with hire boats, Kate Boats requested we delayed our arrival at Warwick till after Saturday. But when we arrived on Sunday afternoon there were still so many dark green boats around and red ones with scumbled edges that there was nowhere obvious for us to tie up. Only one mooring was available which I know they don’t normally use as it blocks the entrance to their paint shed, so we’ve had to park temporarily there, with ‘Roots and Wings’ breasted up on the outside. We are very cosy and therefore very content.



The natives are still very friendly!








Yesterday Mark on the work boat ‘Calisto’ arrived and delivered to me twenty five bags of coal so I should be well prepared for the coming cold months that probably are on the way. We are well set up till March.

It has been a wonderful seaon’s cruising and very memorable. I’ve experienced many happy and gratifying events and the company has been exquisite and superb.