Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tried to move, but failed.

I opened our last bag of solid fuel yesterday, which told us that it’s time to move back to Anderton and restock. It’s been a lot milder since last Friday, temperatures above freezing during the day although sometimes dipping again at night. So I reckoned that the ice should have thinned considerably.
It’s still an unbroken sheet across the canal and all the way to the marinas, but was only about 2” thick alongside the boat.

So I stripped the remains of the bird feeders out of the bushes alongside, leaving tits and squirrels feeling sorry for themselves, and we prepared to get under way.

First task was to break some ice around the bow and alongside to give us some working space.

Then it was off we go, or not in this case!

The ice was 4” thick away from the boat, and just broke up into slabs that jammed against each other and the hull sides, and fouled the prop.

Would you like a G&T with that?

After an hour and 100 yards of progress we gave it up, reversing back to our spot for the last 18 days. I guess another couple of days here won’t make much difference.

I splintered the end of my short pole, bashing the ice.
It was weather like this that put the final nail in the coffin of the already precarious commercial canal carrying in any real volume. The winter of ‘62-’63 also saw narrowboats frozen in for several weeks, but the difference is they needed to deliver their cargoes to stay financially afloat. Many customers who hadn’t already done so switched to the more reliable road or rail transport, leaving the boats with no work.

We’re not the only ones trying to move, but our trip was considerably less fraught than that of a boat on the Nene, reported here by Cambridge News.

Looks like we might get some more snow tomorrow. Just what we needed!

Locks 0, miles 0, distance 100 yards (each way!)

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