Saturday, 23 April 2011

LEEDS again, but for the last time in a while

Yep, we're back in Leeds... We went all the way back to a previous hunting ground....Stanley Ferry...and ended up having a Sunday roast evening meal in the pub/restaurant. Quite a highlight for the kids, considering we've not eaten out anywhere for a few weeks. I thought I would show the kids something about life, so marched them into the elsan emptying room, and proceeded to explain the facts of life on a boat.....that if they didnt hold it in, then I had to empty the casettes more often.... one of them almost puked, while the other stood by amazed as it all poured down the drain. It was quite an education for them, and I havent had to change the casette as much in the past few days. I told them that whoever made the red (full) light come on in the Thetford toilet, would be the one responsible for emptying it :)

Clarence Dock in Leeds is a haven to rest in. Elec points, a BW office just over the bridge which sells the elec cards, and the option to moor for longer then 48hrs if you pay £6 per day.

Yesterday we had friends visit us on the boat, and for effect we moved the boat up to Granary Wharf, which involved 1 very old lock, with ground paddles which work on a type of butterfly wheel mechanism, unlocked with a special key (which luckily I had stored away for such a moment). The weather was perfect and Leeds was quiet as we chugged down again, past Clarence dock, out onto the river and onward for about an hour or two. We stopped for lunch on the towpath, and just chilled. Relaxing with friends miles from anywhere, is great...occassionally I would hop up and open the automated locks for some oncoming boats as a favour. Couple of hire boats were out and about.

Due to our friends visit, I decided to reconstruct some back stairs to the boat. (I hadnt wanted any before, as it's now a main bedroom and didnt want the traffic). I've used the bed planks which support the bed at night (5 slats), and repositioned them as stairs, giving them a double purpose. Nothing like sitting in Clarence Dock, with the back doors open, watching the world go by :)

The cat has learned that he can go as far as the leash allows. At the moment he's lying on the stern floor, watching for fish. Bliss :)

Boat life can be hard, but it really does have the balance of relaxation at times. Right...time for me to go charge all my boat batteries (individually, as I blew up 2 previous chargers trying to charge the entire bank at the same time). The boat batteries are really low at the it's time to fix that :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Stuck in the mud

Well...what a day. We left Castleford , up the river towards LemonRoyd the direction of Leeds one more time. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I let the kids do some steering, and ended up stuck on a sandbank, in the middle of a wide river....frightening when it's your first time. With lots of wriggling, and stressful moments, we managed to edge the boat back into deeper water, after about an hour. It wasn't fun :) I was seriously worried the river would rise, and the boat would remain stuck on the river bed..which is one way of sinking a boat...After a call to the Brith Waterways local specialist, he said the river wouldnt rise, and that they didnt have anyone to come and rescue us :) I could imagine us staying there the whole night..but after lots of engine manouvres, we managed to free ourselves...what a wonderful feeling...:) We've cruised past the same spot a few times in the past 2 weeks, each time thinking...stay in the middle of the river...but having a 6yr old all excited about the big steering pole, apparently let me have a "lack of concentration..." his words....sheesh...

Castleford for groceries

We've just arrived in Castleford (again) to do some shopping. I bought some boat paint, and hope to get the boat looking a little better in the near future. Going for red, greys, black and white. The webcam has been working well today, so probably set the timing to every 15mins, and leave it out for good...:) I've stuck it up on a pole..:)