Monday, January 05, 2009

Cold Snap makes for Crunchy Cruising….

After spending the weekend frozen in, we decided we really must move today, even though the ice is still quite thick.

There have been 1 or 2 boats about, crunching through the ice, and on Saturday 2 went past, heading north, at gone 7 o’clock!

Ice Breakers
Even though it is cold, it’s fine and dry, so I refitted a couple of clips on the cratch board, and then mounted and wired in my Christmas present from Mags.

Beep, Beep!
Anyway, we set off today at 10:00, thinking, quite rightly, that it would be a slow trip. We need to turn around to get back to Fradley, with coal and grocery deliveries due on Wednesday, and the next winding hole is at Bonehill Bridge, 5½ miles away. That’s a 5 hour cruise just to get back to where we started, in these conditions.

Crunching away from Whittington.
I’d not noticed it before, but there’s an “unofficial” winding hole just south of Tamhorn Farm Bridge, and, with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to break up the ice, with Mags on the tiller and me on the bank hauling the stern around, we finished up facing the way we’d come. ½ an hour’s work had saved us 2½ miles of ice breaking.

So then it was back up through Whittington, past our weekend mooring, then onto virgin ice again. We pushed on for another ¾ mile or so, but it was hard work on the tiller, and the noise was getting on my nerves, so we pulled in just before Bridge 85.

The ducks in Whittington were out and about as normal, seemingly undetered by the change in their normal habitat.

Jesus Christ impressions
Ooh, Ooh, it’s cold!
Just outside of the village there’s a derelict, half sunk and sticking out into the channel.
It will have been someone’s pride and joy, at some time.

We had another 3 boats pass us this afternoon, heading south. So as long as it doesn’t freeze too hard tonight, we might have an easier run the last 2½ miles to Fradley.

We don't seem to have lost too much paint....

We've got a neighbour, tonight. He's so fat, he looks like he's been inflated with a bike pump!
Locks 0, miles 5

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