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16. Oct, 2017

As you know we share our travels with Sam and Bubbles our 2 cats. What you probably don’t know that the cats were mine way before the Captain came along and he has adopted them as his.

The adoption of him on their part has not been so easy but since being on the boat Bubbles, (the ginger tom), has become a reformed character and is nowhere happier than snuggled down on the Captains lap or sleeping on his laptop whilst the Captain is writing his log.

Sam however is another story and until recently would not entertain the Captain, unless food was involved and she has always been frigid and stand offish with most people. In the evening she would sit on the arm of the sofa next to me, head butting my hand for attention and purring away like a miniature steam engine but that was as far as it went and as for the Captain she simply ignored him.

Well..... I don’t know what the Captain said to her in the last few weeks but she is a changed character and has started to edge her way slowly but surely on to the Captains lap until last night she was all the way on and she stayed there much to our surprise.

However this is causing jealousy issues with Bubbles who in no way or form wants to share his ‘lap’ with anyone. He did try sharing it once but obviously was not happy. So there has been a couple of incidents were they have gently nipped each other but I can see it turning into all out war in the future, will keep you posted.

Most of our blogs are about the places we have been and the beer we have drunk but I thought for a change I would write about some of the things you need to live aboard.

Planning as in any walk of life is important but when you live somewhere with no mains electricity, water and gas. A toilet that isn’t plumbed into the sewer, permanent dustbins for our rubbish and an engine which requires diesel to work planning takes on a whole new dimension. We spend a lot of our time checking were the facilities we need are on the system to ensure that we are in the right place at the right time to fill up with water or pump out the toilet. The Captain has to think when we moor up about the amount of shade we are in so that the solar panels are in the sun which ensures we have electricity for the evenings TV and also when mooring up were the TV signal will be strongest. We always say time on the cut is unimportant and we plod along at our own pace but it’s down to the excellent planning by us both that lets us live this way. Whilst the Captain organises the above I am in charge when it comes to ensuring we have food beer and wine and anything else we need from a shop. We work together and usually our plans come together nicely. Sometimes we do get caught short but there is usually a solution to be found.

Many people on the boating pages on facebook ask about what you need to live a board and travel continuously and I would say you need to be practical, dont panic and have a less than romantic view of life aboard. If you can take whatever is thrown at you in your stride and work through it and learn from it then it’s a great life but if you panic easily and see the problem rather than the solution then maybe it’s not for you. We have had engine problems, water pump failure and even had the propeller fall of more than once but working together and keeping our heads has meant a solution has always been found.

Right back to our travels

On Thursday we planned to moor above Sawley lock and visit the Lock Keepers Cottage a little micropub which had come highly recommended but it was not to be as the owners after a busy summer had closed up shop and headed a way on holiday. A shame, but one for next year.

So instead we headed for Shardlow which we knew had a couple of very good pubs. We came up through a couple of locks with NB Cutlass and a lady single hander but parted company at the last as I spotted my first damson tree and of course we had to stop and pick some. We met up with Cutlass again when we moored in front of her outside the Malt Shovel and got into conversation with her Captain(sorry didn’t get her name) and board with her were 2 beautiful husky pups, 13 weeks old and absolutely adorable but very naughty, as pups are. She was in a bit of a dilemma as much as she loved the pups she knew she really couldn’t keep both if any of them (boats and big dogs, not a lot of room). She had some friends who wanted the boy pup and had room for him but she was torn as her young son had really taken to the pup. We chatted for a while before leaving her to clear up the mess the pups had made inside the boat.

We saw her again in the Malt Shovel and she only had the girl pup with her, sadly but for the best she had let the boy go to her friends and was still unsure about keeping the remaining pup. I hope she is happy with whatever she decides.

They had Hobgoblin (see always comes back to the beer) on in the Malt Shovel and the menu strangely was Thai food but it looked and smelt lovely but we only stayed for the one before trying the New Inn and a very very happy Captain, they had Titanic plum porter on so a couple in there. They also do good food.

We spent Friday moored in the middle of nowhere and Bubbles supplemented his diet with a couple of well caught mice.

Saturday and Willington, we have stopped here a couple of times in the past and the last time we very impressed with the Dragon pub as it had a stout on called Tuffars Old from Boot Brewery but it was not to be this time so just the one before walking down to The Green Man. Last time is this pub we found it very dated but to our surprise it has had a face lift and very nice it is too. A selection of real ales and the food menu was interesting and reasonably priced. To finish of the night we called at the local chippy mmmmmmmmm proper chips.

Sunday and off to Burton on Trent after a lovely lunch of pulled pork and all the trimmings cooked and served by moi and the transformation of Sam first became apparent much to our surprise and delight.

Monday and we caught the bus into Burton. We have never visited the town centre before, last time we just went to the Brewery museum and then back to the boat. The centre has all the normal run of the mill shops and of course a Wetherspoons, The Lord Burton and as the weather was bad we had to give it a try. With Hobgoblin on tap the Captain was a happy bunny. A new addition to the menu is pizza so feeling a bit peckish we tried the meat feast which at £6.95 was very good value and very tasty.

Thats all for now folks

 

8. Oct, 2017

For those of you who don’t know about boats I will explain. A steel narrowboat needs to be taken out of the water every 2/3 yrs to have its bottom cleaned and blacked. This involves pressure washing the bottom to remove any growth, barnacles and bits of rust/muck. Then 2/3 coats of bitumen is applied to protect it for the next couple of years. The Captain had decided to not only do down to the bottom, but the sides up to the gunnels, and the tunnel stripes of red and white on the back too.

So we are at Langley Mill, and on Tuesday morning Vicky guides us into the dock and pumps out all the water, so now we are ‘high and dry’.

Vicky with her husband Dan took over the running of Langley Mill boatyard last year, and are doing a great job in restoring it. They live on 2 boats in the yard with their 2 young daughters, who love the life. Dan still works part time, so the everyday running of the yard is left to Vicky, and very good she is too.

After she had pressure washed our bottom, the Captain took a look round and rubbed down a few bits. I then convinced him that after the festival, and the weekend with Di and Mick, we needed to have a quiet day, and that we could work together next day and get it done.

It was not so quiet for Sam and Bubbles, as Snap, a big black tom from the yard stalked Bubbles. Bubbles being the laid back cat he is just ignored this attempt to intimidate him, but Sam was having none of it and snarled and hissed a warning. There was not all out war strangely, and they soon settled down to their own territories.

However next day there was a big problem as it rained in the morning, and you cant apply the bitumen to a wet surface, so the Captain started stressing out, I did my best to assure him that everything would work out fine, before heading off to Asda to get a new mop. An hour later I returned.

I know an hour to buy a mop, well in my defence I saw a number of people I knew, so got chatting and the time just flew. First I met Pat and Julie, Pat I worked with at Denby, he was the fork lift driver and we got on well. He told me a few horror stories about work, which made me glad I had had the chance to leave when I did. As we were saying goodbye I spotted Maurice, we had lived on the same street for over 40 years (he still lives in the same house) and he had been a very good friend of my Dads, his wife Sandra was about somewhere and he went off to find her. We met again in the veg aisle to continue our chat. Then, as I left the security guard caught my eye, Clive from Rotaract, an organisation I had been involved with in my 20’s and I had known his Mum for a long time to. So of course had to stop and catch up.

When I eventually returned to the boat it was now dry enough to start the painting. It was not easy as you have to work the bitumen into all of the little nooks and crannies, but after a few hours hard graft we had got it done and the rain held off to let it dry.

Next day and the bottom got its second coat courtesy of the Captain, whilst I painted above the water line and up to the gunnels. Not quite so back breaking which was good, as by now our backs felt they were breaking

We didn’t feel that bad later so had a walk to the Bunny Hop, unfortunately there was not really a dark on the suited the Captain, so just the one.

Friday, and whilst I put my new mop to good use the Captain finished off the last of the painting, and when he had done our home looked wonderful, and all the worrying about the rain came to nothing.

Now we were ready to party at Heath and Jennifer’s silver wedding. Adam very kindly chauffeured us to their front door (the M1 was a nightmare) and it was great to see them. We were staying at theirs for the night, and after a quick drink we headed off for the pub were to party was being held.

When we got there it was already busy with their friends and family. We had a lovely time, and the buffet was amazing. But what amazed me most was the numbers of gins available and how many Jennifer tried. 

A great night was had by all, and we slept great in their son’s bedroom, thanks Ethan for giving it up. After a very nice bacon butty, we watched as they opened some beautiful presents. Mainly bottles, I think people know they like a drink, but a trip round a winery and brewery looked really good too.

We have plans a foot for them to come to the boat and visit Coventry when we return in October.

Adam (bless him) came and picked us up.

I think we could have done with a quiet night in on the Saturday, but it was not to be as I had arranged to meet Di and Mick in Ripley. So off we went and met up in the Old Cock Inn. Titanic Plum Porter for the Captain, so we had a couple in there. The Bear and Monkey micro pub on Oxford street has recently changed hands, and the alterations to the pub had much improved it, and the beer was great too. As we sat and talked my friend Kerry from Denby walked in, and we had a great catch up. I hope she remembered me to everyone.

After a pint in the Crompton Arms and the Pear Tree we caught a later than intended bus back. It was a good night.

Sunday and our precious home was returned to its rightful place in the water. As a big thank you to Adam for running us round we took him and Julie to Lotus Lounge in Alfreton. Its an all you can eat chinese buffet, but rather than having to get up and fetch your own food, your order is freshly prepared and bought to your table, the selection of starters is ‘to die for’, and the mains selections is also wide and varied. Our favourite is Yuk Sung mmmmmmm. And at only £9.50 each you cant complain at the price either.

To finish off our stay at Langley Mill, Chris who had poked his head in at the festival, came for a visit and a long chat and catch up. He is the quality guy who works in the warehouse, so could fill me in with all the gossip, and sadly from what he said, it is not the place it used to be and once again I was so glad to get away. He also told me he follows my blog which to nice to hear, and he bought us some blackcurrant sundaes as a treat. What a friend.

Now it was time to leave Langley Mill and head.........

Well we are not quite sure where or when we will get there.

3. Oct, 2017

Well we got there and moored up in the last instalment. Wednesday was a quiet day with more boats arriving, and we headed off to a meeting in the evening to find out what was occurring, and how we could help.

As with a lot of these events, the people that organise them have been doing so for years, and from a newbies point of view it all looks a bit chaotic, and this was no exception.

We turned up bright at early on Thursday and reported to Marie, but she did not seem to have any idea what we could do to help. Just then the rubbish bins from the local council arrived and we were set to work putting bin bags in them. Only a 10 minute job, so what next, ‘have a brew’ came the reply. Not really a tea drinker, I started looking round for something and spotted a couple of small tents/marquees that needed putting up, checking the field plan we headed off with the first of these, it was very heavy but we got there. As we started, we realised that even the small tents really needed 4 people to erect them, but we persevered until 2 more helpers turned up with the second tent, and between us we soon had them up.

After dinner we were put to work putting signs on the road, again didn’t take too long, and on our return to the field we spotted the beer and bar arriving, much more up our alley. So we went to supervise and help were we could. The bar and all the paraphernalia was being provided, and set up by the Nottingham Brewery, but the bar would be run by volunteers during the festival. The beer was from a number of local breweries, and there were 25 barrels (all different) and a good selection of ciders. Of course the Captain spotted the Honey Porter from Milestone straight away. What the guys from the brewery had forgotten were the tasting notes, so there was no way of knowing exactly what each beer was like. (This was rectified later). Unfortunately the festival organiser Moose had asked for 30 barrels, and wasn’t that happy with the size of the actual bar, but he had to ‘stay calm and carry on’. He was however right that 25 barrels was no were near enough, and the brewery replenished the stock a couple of times over the very hot weekend.

After tea the Captain decorated our boat with bunting and fairy lights. We really stood out in the darkness. He also entered us in a number of the festival competitions, but more about that later. There was a surprise as Chris, a gentleman I used to work with, stuck his head through the side hatch and had a quick chat. The reason for it being short and sweet were the mozzy’s, which were attacking and biting him. This was a sign of things to come for all of us. We caught up again later in Langley Mill to continue our chat.

Friday, and off we went to help again. I was sent with a couple of others putting up more signs on the road, whilst the Captain ensured that tables and chairs went to the exhibitors that had booked them. After lunch I stayed at the boat to prepare for Adam and Julie coming along later, and the Captain headed back to the field.

After feeding Adam and Julie, they had come straight from work, we headed off to the entertainment tent were there was a quiz on. Too late to actually take part in the whole thing, we joined in for the last few rounds. The bar was up and running and the Honey porter was lovely according to the Captain.

Saturday, and after a very large breakfast we headed off to look at all the boats and the stalls on the field. It was very busy with people on the towpath, and to my amazement there was a fishing taster session being held in the midst of all this all this. It was causing a lot of problems with people trying to get by on quite narrow bit of path. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against encouraging people to fish, but they really picked the wrong spot on this occasion. On the Sunday the organisers actually re-routed people off the towpath and round the fishermen.

The events on the field were varied and entertaining. There were a number of canal societies present, including The Friends of the Cromford canal, and a group from the Erewash. There was a shire horse called Shrek, and you could have a go at driving a mini digger. Plenty of food stalls and of course the beer tent was open. There was music on in the main tent and plenty of places to sit. But it was very hot. I think I found the Captains Christmas present on one of the stalls, a flight in a micro light over the Derbyshire dales and dams, but shush don’t tell him.

Adam and Julie headed off after looking round, and we had a couple of pints and listened to the music, before returning to the boat for a quiet night, and to psyche ourselves up for the next day, and my sister Diane and her hubby Mick.

After another good breakfast we set off to meet them at the Gallows pub, were we had our first drink of the day, they had Titanic Plum Porter on, but the Captain only had a half of his favourite beer knowing it was going to be a long day. They enjoyed looking round the boats and the field, and after a pint in the bar we left the festival and caught the bus into Ilkeston.

Ilkeston has a number of micro pubs which had come highly recommended, the main one being the Burnt Pig, and this is where we headed first. We were not disappointed at all, and after that we went to the Spanish bar, again well worth a visit. Teatime, so back on the bus to the Festival pub at Trowell. Very good food and very reasonable.

The evening was spent in the entertainment tent listening to Mike and the Moonshiners, who played an eclectic mix, including some Scottish airs on an Irish bagpipe, much to the dismay of our Mick who cannot stand the sound of them. The evening finished about 2am on the boat. Not the best as next day we were going up to Langley Mill, and the 10 locks to get there.

Next day we had planned to get going late morning, but as we had won a prize we had to wait for the presentation ceremony. Of the ones the Captain had entered us in, we won the most locks done since May 2017 to get to the festival, and we were presented with a very fine brass windlass, a bottle of wine and a certificate. We have to return the windlass next year, and the Captain is planning to mount it on a nice piece of wood before we do.

So we set off and Diane was helping with the locks, although she goes to the gym most days, heavy lock paddles and gates need a method, rather than brute force. After a few demonstrations and a lot of shouting (sorry Di) she seemed to get the hang of it. and Mick jumped off the boat to help with the heavy gates too.

We got to Langley Mill early evening, and Di and Mick said their farewells and headed off to the Bunny Hop for a final pint, whilst we collapsed in a heap exhausted.

In too dry dock our next adventure.

PS

Bubbles and Sam were the most photographed, and petted cats at the festival. Both basking in the adoration of the passing people. 

26. Sep, 2017

Just to clarify IWA stands for Inland Waterways Association and is a boaters group involved in the promotion and restorations of the canal system.

Right where were we, Cromwell lock for the night, before mooring in Newark and returning to this interesting and pretty town. Unfortunately, because of our hold up at Torskey lock, we decided to spend just the one night in Newark before moving on to Gunthorpe and trying the Unicorn once again. Before leaving Newark we pulled into Kings Marina for a pump out and spotted a boat we knew just mooring. It was Bearwood Boster with Trina and Paul on board. We managed to have a chat with Paul but only waved at Trina. They were staying in the marina for a few days so they could nip home to sort out a few bits.

We spent the night at Gunthorpe, before heading back to Nottingham for a couple of days, it was meant to rain and as we were ahead of schedule now, so it meant we could avoid getting wet.

We only walked up to the Olde Trip this time, and again the beer was very good.

Sunday it was Bubbles day. He strutted up and down the towpath deeming to be stroked by his fans, and visiting his admirers who were the sat on the grass, but it was the boat in front of us who got the most attention. The owner was doing a bit of touching up whilst his crew relaxed and fished. Each one got the Bubbles treatment. He jumped on the back to check the work was being done right. He stuck his head in the side hatch to supervise things. But it was the crew sat in the front cratch that got the most attention, Grandma didn’t seem too impressed, but this didn’t deter Bubbles as he jumped aboard to be admired and stroked by the children. When they moved from the boat and on to the towpath to fish, he sat keeping them company, but with a wary eye looking out for dogs.

Monday, and on to Trent lock and the Erewash canal. The Captain had organised for his old RAF buddy John to come and visit us. They had not seen each other in 40 years.

As we came up the lock I was annoyed to see a little blue and yellow narrowboat moored up on the water point, and it was causing major problems. The 2 boats which had come up in front of us both wanted water, but were hovering just by the top lock gates, as there wasn’t enough room to moor. The boat using the water point had managed to pull in just at the beginning of the visitors mooring, not ideal.

I got chatting to the lock keeper, and found out the boat had been there all day (I later found out the owners had turned up on Sunday lunch, and even though there was room on the visitors moorings, had moored by the tap, locked the boat up and disappeared). I also found out that boats going to the festival, had been arriving for the last few days (we had expected to be one of the first). I could see the little boat was going to cause huge problems if not moved, but it is not the done thing to move someone else’s boat without their permission, so I commiserated with the other boaters and lock keeper.

As we left the lock John and his son in law Diego appeared, and after we had moored up came on board for a chat. It was great for the Captain to see one of his friends, but the visit was just too short, and after they left we decided to head to the pub, The Steam Boat.

On passing the badly moored boat, I happened to mention to the lock keeper, that if not moved things were only going to get worse tomorrow, as more and more boats needed to fill up before heading to the festival, as there was no water available on the festival site. The next water being at Langley Mill basin at the end of the navigation. I suggested that the Captain would be only too happy to help him move it. To cover his back the lock keeper called his boss and was given the green light, so the boat was moved back on to the visitors mooring. Inconsiderate boaters who don’t care where they moor, or how it will affect others, are a pet hate of mine.

Good deed done we went to try a pint. Obsidian, a black lager by Draycott Brewery, very nice too.

Due to the number of boats that had already gone up to Ilkeston, we decided to join them the next day. The Captain had found out our mooring number, and had a reasonable idea of where we would be. Through Hallam Fields lock and we could see numbers sprayed on the grass, so I jumped off and walked ahead until I found our spot. It looked good, as we had a hard edge to moor against, what we couldn’t see was the stones beneath the grass, which meant we couldn’t get our pins in at the back. The Captain managed to pin the front and centre of the boat but wasn’t happy, so contacted the Habourmaster.

When they came along they had more success with a bigger hammer, but it was then we found a number of other issues with our mooring. The form we filled in asked if we had any pets, and any special requests. As you know we have 2 cats, so we requested not to be put next to boats with dogs, but this was not passed on to the mooring planners and we found ourselves surrounded by doggy boats. We were meant to be moored on the outside of a boat with a 3 legged dog, and the boat in front of us had the biggest, blackest, hairiest dog called Cassie aboard. Cassie belonged to one of the Habourmasters, and after securing us we stood chatting, then Sam appeared on the roof and proceeded to hiss and growl at this huge dog, much to the amusement of the dog and her owner Rex.

I will only say a couple more things about our moorings, the cats got used to the dogs, we stayed on the inside as a boat didn’t turn up due to breaking down, and other boaters were happy to let us stay put. Cassie became a regular visitor to our side hatch for a titbit or 2 when Rex wasn’t looking.

To finish off our day we headed up to the Gallows pub, we were expecting a reasonable selection of real ales on, as it is the sister pub of the Steam Boat, but they must have been saving them for the weekend. The Captain ended up on John Smiths (his fall back beer) and I tried a few of their lagers. We sat outside with Lisa and Fred, also here on their boat for the festival, and chatted about this and that. Fred was happy as he managed a couple of extra pints because we were having another, and another.

More in part 2

 

 

 

 

18. Sep, 2017

Now for you of those who know my dear Captain this is not an easy thing to do, he is a very laid back individual most of the time, but as usual I am getting a head of myself.

Saturday, and we headed for Lincoln and back through the guillotine lock. As we arrived another boat was coming down so we waited, and I eyed up the large swan on the lock. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of these beautiful birds, but I do pay them the respect their size requires. The boat seemed to taking its time coming out of the lock, and the reason soon became obvious, as a group of 5 signets swam from the lock in front of the boat. Mum or Dad on the lock side returned to water and rejoined its partner, but unfortunately not the signets, as they were distracted by a very yappy dog on the other boat. Whilst they hissed and the dog yapped the signets swam off down the river and out of sight. As we entered the lock with me driving (a miracle) Mummy swan tried to join us, obviously thinking her babies were still in there. I managed to dissuade her and up we went. It was heartbreaking to see them looking desperately for their babies. There is a happy ending to this story, when we met up with Sue and John off The Angels Share on Saturday they had seen the family reunited.

Once moored up we headed into Lincoln, there was a 1940’s event on, but it was too late in the day for us to get dressed up so we just went for a look round. (One for our calendar I think.) We found the Cardinals Hat and were very impressed. They had a great selection of beers on (but maybe not the cheapest) and the menu looked really interesting with lots of Mediterranean influence. Our beers of choice were, 3 Graves Stout by Pentrich Brewery at 6.6% for the Captain, and Green Devil a hoppy IPA at 6% from Oakham for me. Strong indeed but we had a few.

Sunday and a very steady walk (you can imagine why) to Brayford Pool, there was a custom car show on with some amazing machines to look at. On returning to the boat we decided to let Sam and Bubbles off, there was a small grass verge with trees dotted here and there, so somewhere for them to explore. The Captain happened to ask if they ever climbed trees, and as I had never seen them I replied no. When I went to check they weren’t exploring to far from the boat, I could see Sam but no Bubbles, until a little ginger and white furry face peeped out from the bottom branches of the nearest tree, much to my surprise.

We decided to leave them to explore, but unfortunately they didn’t want to return when it was our bedtime. This meant a sleepless night for me (I do worry), until 4.30am, when after answering the call of nature I checked the side hatch, and they were sat waiting to get in, much to my relief.

Monday and we returned to Saxilby for the night before going onto Torskey lock. We knew we wouldn’t be able to get on to the Trent until Wednesday, so moored up at the end of the visitors moorings. It was great for the cats, and to put my time to good use I did a bit of baking, sausage rolls mmmm. We also picked our few tomatoes that had managed to ripen. Unfortunately they were on the watery side, but we have some new ideas of how to grow them next year, so fingers crossed for a better crop.

Now back to what stressed the Captain out. We moved from the visitors moorings on to the lock landing quite early to wait for the tide to be right so we could pass through the lock, and then get on the Trent and go back to Newark, which we knew wouldn’t be until 3.30ish.The Captain had booked us in with the Lock Keeper when we arrived. There was just ourselves and 2 other boats when we arrived on the lock landing, but soon a number of other boats were waiting including a wide beam, a large yogurt pot and a couple of small ones too.

Whilst we were waiting we observed the cruelty of nature once again as 2 families of swan clashed. The parents of the younger signets appeared to abandon them as they were attacked by the parents of a family of older ones. The aggressive parents tried to drown the poor babies, and of course the Captain and I had to go down and see what could be done. He decided if we could get the signets out of the water, and reunited with their parents, the problem would be solved. But of course this was easier said than done, and after he managed to get one of the signets on to the lock side and safety, only for it to return to the water straight away, he gave up. A happy ending, when the younger signets found their own way out of the water,  the other family lost interest in them.

Then the stress started. As the time came to go into the lock 2 more narrowboats, and 2 small yogurt pots turned up, and even though we had booked in, and the lock keeper knew we were going all the way to Newark, he waved the new arrivals into the lock before us, and we had to moor up and wait whilst they went down the lock and other boats came up. We were promised we would be next in. But when the lock was ready, and the Captain started to enter he was waved back again as the 2 small yogurt pots and the widebeam were called in. At this the Captain removed his life jacket in disgust and sat on the bank gently chuntering to himself (well not so gently). At this point the lock keeper seemed to realise that he had a very unhappy boater on his hands, and decided to get us in at the side of the 2 yogurt pots (it’s a very big lock) much to their dismay (a small fibre glass boat is no match for 16tons of steel narrowboat). After much shouting and manoeuvring we were all in and hanging on for dear life to make sure the boats stayed away from each other. When we were down and out on to the river, the Captains annoyance and stress doubled, when he saw that the 2 narrowboats that had jumped the queue, were staying on the visitor pontoons for the night whilst we were trying to get to Newark. I did my best to calm him down and cheer him up, and  eventually he returned to his normal self.

However we didn’t make it into Newark but stopped off at Cromwell lock for the night as it was getting too dark to continue.

Our return to Newark next time folks