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The Odyssey – Summer 2008 Day 14

Posted by indigodream on 18 June, 2008

Lapworth Top Lock to Bridge 27

Alas, today’s the last day of this stage of the odyssey – it’s been a tremendous two weeks – the canal’s have been varied and interesting and we’ve had the best of the weather. It’ll be weekend cruising for the rest of the Summer but we’ll do another 2-week cruise in the autumn.

Today was a ‘packing day’ – good grief, how can two people generate that much dirty washing in a fortnight! I know what I’ll be doing for the next few days…..

The dogs knew something was up so they were in a state of high excitement all morning.

We’re leaving the boat for 10 days now so we were obviously concerned about security. One plan was to contact the local boatyard (Swallow Boats) and actually pay for a mooring with them. Richard went off on a recce with the the dogs and had a very productive chat with them. Kally was extremely helpful and gave us some very practical advice. They didn’t have any ‘private’ mooring spots to spare but they did tell us the best spot to moor on the towpath – opposite some residential boats so there would be people around. They also advised us that they haven’t had any trouble there so we were reassured.

We also booked some work on the boat – repairing a section of wood on the hatch, checking the engine alignment and possibly a bit of carpentry inside. Richard also gallantly booked a valet so I didn’t spend the last of my holiday cleaning fluff off the floor!

We were going to ask them to put in an extra ‘flushing point’ into the sewage tank (as per advice from Culcutt) but Swallow boats didn’t think it was worth it. A separate point apparently just lets water flow over the sludge without dislodging it. You’re better off running a load of water in (via whatever inlet you fancy) and then rocking the boat vigorously to mix the tank contents. So we decided not to have an extra hole knocked in the side! I’m always gobsmacked at the range of opinions about toilets on narrowboats!

We offloaded our gear at top lock – you can park a bit closer to the canal there making it a bit less of a trek with the bags. I then moved the car up to the boatyard and Richard moved the boat – all straightforward until I got an ’emergency’ phonecall – he’d encountered an unexpected liftbridge with the gear on the offside so I had to trot down the towpath to take the boat through! How do single-handed boaters manage? We passed through several swingbridges on the K & A with the gear on the wrong side so once you’d opened the bridge you couldn’t get back to your boat.

We are so slow when we’re leaving the boat – we dawdled and we dithered in order to delay the inevitable but eventually by 2.30pm we back in the car, going considerably faster than 4mph (and paying considerably more than 79p a litre for the piviledge!). We’re now home and the dogs are relaxed and happy – they enjoyed their holiday but there’s no place like home 🙂

Future Blogs

We’re new to blogging so I hope that everyone that’s been kind enough to comment will forgive us for not replying individually – we’re not sure of the protocol here. Thanks to all of you though – it’s been a great pleasure to read your positive and encouraging comments. I have really enjoyed writing the blog and have found that it’s enriched my cruising because I’m looking around for interesting things to add. It’s also my ‘memory’ (the one in my head’s notoriously bad!) so I’m sure that I’ll enjoy reading it over in the future.

We will keep blogging but as it’s our ‘ship’s log’ there won’t be much between journeys – the next will be in about 10 days’ time. Richard is planning to a guide to locking – he’s certainly had the experience! I’m planning to transfer our written logs onto the blog as the pencil’s starting to fade and it would be good to have an electronic version (which isn’t in my dreadful handwriting!). I’ll be heading these “The Archive” – then you’ll know not to read them (!) as my old written log won’t be as descriptive .

A last doggie tale

As the dogs are so accident-prone I regularly inspect them for cuts and bruises and am eternally vigilant for signs of damage. Richard, in conspiracy with the dogs, has taken to calling me (rather unkindly) “The paw police”.

So, here are the ‘paw police’ files:

Chief suspect


ALIAS: Druids Classic

ALIAS: Mummy’s Boy

Charge: Speeding without due care and attention; Failure to apply brakes.

Evidence: Cuts and bruises. Paw spin tracks at top of garden ramp and round side of shed.

Sentence: Visit to vet, staples and blue bandages!


ALIAS: Moors Gem Lou

ALIAS: J-Lou (she has a big bum),

Charge: Aiding and abetting!

Evidence: Cuts and bruises, bits of knee left on brick pier (ps thanks M&S Pet Insurance)

Sentence: More blue bandages!

These are the prime suspects but don’t let this put you off – greyhounds make great pets!

We’re currently sponsoring Paddy and Billy (at the Ockenden Branch –

Why not support a retired greyhound by giving one a home, sponsoring one or just giving a donation the Retired Greyhound Trust – – go on, you know you want to 🙂

One Response to “The Odyssey – Summer 2008 Day 14”

  1. Greygal said

    You guys have had a real grey fest haven’t you? I think we’ve only met three in six years so you’ve obviously had our share! And I just love those cute pics…Thoroughly enjoyed the blog, come back soon

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