Monday 27 May 2024

A cruise on the Tiber!

 Sunday 26 May Rome Visit

So we have come to Rome for a few days! Today we have walked from our Airbnb half a mile to the Vatican, having breakfast on the way. John had a full English and so was not hungry later, unlike Liana! St Peter’s Square was just clearing after the Whit Sunday appearance by The Pope. Police, Red Cross and army were busy. 

We took a river cruise on the Tiber.

We carried on to the Capitoline Hill where the Musei are situated, then looked over at the Roman Forum. You could view both the Palatine Hill (emperor’s palace area) and the Colosseum behind it. 

Later, we had pizza and watched the final stage of the Giro d’Italia cycle race zoom past us, with loads of police bikes and cars, plus support teams blaring past. It was exciting.

Later, we walked the mile to the railway station, Roma Termini, to wait for our daughter Sarah to arrive from Florence. We eventually got home after adventures finding taxis, buses etc!

Monday 20 May 2024

Whit Sunday Pie Cruise

Friday May 17 2024 a short cruise to Retford

First, we sang Happy Birthday to our middle daughter Jo. Congratulations!!,

Hoorah! The hospital silencer is fitted and engine serviced, and we are cruising the few miles to WhitSundaypie lock, just before Retford.

The sun is shining brightly, the sky is blue, ducklings are about too.

We paused a mile up the cut, to sort out the electrics: For some reason, the 24 volt hob switch was off, so Liana couldn’t get a spark. Also, she thought the gas was off, but a quick check showed it was on, so we soon had a cup of tea! The mains was also off, so the fridge came on once that was sorted. Somehow, we had left it on and it was iced up, so that was another job! John managed to lower our new pramtop, as it was so sunny.

The overflow weirs showed the water level was fine, but the “bottom is too near the top” , and the canal really needs dredging, CRT. Don’t expect to travel at above 2 knots/mph.

We enjoyed the countryside as we passed up the Idle valley. Reaching Whitsundaypie lock, a couple leaving it reopened the gates for us with Liana and a little push they requested from Annie.

Two boats were already moored just beyond the lock, ready for our RWBC event tomorrow. Once moored, we followed Dave & Shirl a few hundreds yards to The Hop Pole restaurant, where we had a rather pricey but tasty and well cooked meal, so it was worth it.

Saturday 18 May WhitSunday Pie Lock celebration 

Today our boat club is celebrating the historic opening of this lock, when the local farmer’s wife is said to have made pies for all the navvies. Ellie Wadge and her team have cooked pies at the club and rushed them here for lunch, while about nine Narrowboats moored. Other members arrived by car with chairs and tables etc. 

The sun came out, too, and the wind dropped, so we had a fine time. The pie was tasty, John won rum and Liana won beer in the raffle. We all had a lovely time in the sun, sitting out until it got dark and too cool.

Sunday May 19 Retford

Liana had felt unwell, so we passed by the Hop Pole and buttercup meadows on our way into Retford. 

Once up the narrow lock, we stopped by Asda on the embankment at Retford, our usual mooring, rather than continue towards Ranby. We had a walk around town, bought a few bits, then chilled on board. John watched the last Match of the Day this season, before bed. Klopp and Liverpool FC fans had an emotional goodbye.

Monday May 20

We decided to head home, as Liana was better but still a little under the weather.

First, we had to continue through West Lock, wind just beyond and return through the lock. Liana was rather athletic/daring!

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Annie gets a new Cratch and Pramtop!

 13 February 2024 Preparing for the new boating season

We’ve just been to inspect our newly fitted cratch and pramtop. The old cratch and rear tonneau cover had both shrunk about eight inches (!) after ten years, so it was definitely time!

We are impressed with the pramtop sides, just what we wanted. The roof needs more support to prevent rain pooling, so an extra metal support will be fitted this week.
It will be great to be under cover when we go up and down the Trent in the rain, for example, or as an extra “sun lounge”!

We had matching pigeon box covers made to make them more weatherproof, especially in the winter. 

The cratch has some interesting features we asked for. There is an inside privacy flap on the new side windows, secured with Velcro when down. A third zip at the front lets us roll up that narrow side piece to reveal the folding cleat (near Liana’s feet on the photo), which is used by Liana to take a turn on bow ropes when using high river locks. Without it, a strong inrush of water can tear the rope out of your hands when going upstream in such a lock. It is also useful for mooring, to secure a spring rope. Well done, our fabricators from Burton Waters Marina, near Lincoln.

17 February 2024 Finishing the job

We had asked Chris from Marine & Industrial Covers to add two extra tapes to secure the cleat flap on each side of the cratch. Also, the pramtop roof needed a third support in the middle, plus accompanying Velcro flaps fitted to the roof. We are delighted to report that he has done a great job for a reasonable price. Thank you, Chris!