Friday, July 03, 2009

Old friends, and the spot in the sky gives me problems.

Another cracking day, very hot with clear blue skies. I had a longish run this morning, so it was gone 10 by the time we were underway.
No rush though, just a short, lock-free cruise to Weedon.

Following a Gayton hire boat to Bridge 45

Although this stretch is remote from the local villages, there’s evidence that the canal was still an important conduit for trade in the area. There are several wharves, often adjacent to bridges.

At Banbury Road Bridge.
A comfortably sized marina is a fairly recent addition near Bugbrooke.

Heyford Fields Marina.

Still a couple of berths available…..

A couple more wharves are nearer Nether Heyford. Furnace Wharf probably gives its original function away in its name.

Sign at Furnace Wharf.
Heyford Wharf is near the bridge of the same name. Someone here is very handy with the pruning shears….

Topiary at Heyford Wharf Bridge
At Stowe Hill Wharf there’s a boat builder with a good reputation for classy craft.

Examples of Stowe Hill Wharf work… a nice pair.
We topped up with water before arriving at Weedon. A bit of wait spent chatting to the Danish family who were there before us. They’re on a hire boat from Wyvern Shipping at Leighton Buzzard, and this is their first trip on the UK canals. They’ve found it quite a contrast to their earlier trips on the French canal network.

We pulled in on the embankment above Weedon, between the two aqueducts.

I’d been keeping on eye on fellow bloggers No Problem, and Moore 2 Life, as they were heading in this direction. I knew they were coming down Buckby Locks, so Meg and I set off to see if they’d got this far.
We found them about 10 minutes out of the village, and spent a while catching up with the news and gossip before I set off back.

TV reception on the aerial has poor with the heavy vegetation on the towpath, so I put up the satellite dish. I got it lined up with good signal strength, but couldn’t get the channels I expected, just European ones. The setup indicated I was pointing at the correct satellite, Astra 2, but these channels were on Astra 1. Most odd. So I thought, maybe the transponder settings had got scrambled, so I got onto the old interweb to find out what they should be. Nothing was amiss, so I tried re-aligning the dish and this time got the UK channels on Astra 2. It turned out to be just “operator error”. But the upside is that while researching the settings, I came across the data for channels 4 and 5. The box we have is German, and defaults to Astra 1, so has to be manually set up for Astra 2. The preset transponder frequencies do not include those for 4 and Five, as they were not available on Free to Air when the box was built. I added them to the scan list, and hey presto! We can now get both new channels, as well as several others on the same transponders. So it wasn’t a total waste of time. I’ll have a look later to see what else I can get.

Woke up this morning to a little light rain on the windows, which soon turned into a full-blown thunderstorm. It’s dry again now, and a lot fresher, but Meg was not at all happy going out for her constitutional in the rain!

Heavy showers first thing today.
We’re expecting Sue and Vic (No Problem) and Chas and Anne (Moore 2 Life) sometime this morning. They’re going to stop for a bit on their way to Gayton Junction and the Nene.

Locks 0, miles 6


Anonymous said...

Hi to both of you.
We may yet meet while all on one boats. We are at Syston at the mo heading thru Leicester this weekend.

Hope to pass you. (and stop for a brew of course)


Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Maggie
It'll be a couple of weeks before we go through Leicester. Going to enjoy the summit for a bit. If you're still out and about would love to meet up again.