Friday, 28 June 2013

Solar power

We had a very lazy Sunday and Monday,apart from a cycle ride into Tesco, Homebase and Aldi to pick up a few supplies.

But i did spend a few more hours fishing and guess what ???

                                  I caught another Carp. This one was a little smaller at 8 lbs .

Tuesday morning soon arrived and at about 09.30 Tim arrived from Onboard solar to fit our solar panels. We are having 400 watts of solar panels fitted and an mppt controller.

                                            Tim preparing the roof to take the panels.

It took Tim about 4 hours to fit the panels and controller. The results where instant. As soon as he connected to the batteries we were getting 26 amps in full sun and just over 5 amps when cloudy. We are well pleased with that.

         As you can see in the picture the panels are fully adjustable to enable them to follow the sun.

I must admit I do not think they look very good on the roof and I think they spoil the look of the boat. I mentioned this to Tim and he said " I have fitted this set up on over 300 boats and you are the first person to say that" Anyway he assures me they will grow on me, we will see.

                                                                  Tim's web site

On Wednesday morning it was an early start and we pulled pins at 07.30. We moored on the Tesco moorings at Leighton Buzzard as we wanted to stock up Inca with all the heavy items as we could wheel the shopping trolley out onto the towpath.

  Carolyn working up the locks on route to the Tring summit.After several hours and locks we finally found a mooring just past the Dunstable and District boat club near Cheddington.

As the towpath has changed sides we spent Thursday washing , polishing and touching up all the scrapes on the starboard side of Inca .It is the first time for a long time the towpath has been on this side and the dogs as well as us have to make sure we don't naturally step off on the wrong side.

On Friday we set off early again as we wanted to get to the Tring summit and we really wanted to spend the weekend on the Wendover arm. On route we filled with water and got rid of the rubbish so we are all set for a few days out in the country

It rained cats and dogs but we still enjoyed the cruise and the journey up the Marsworth flight of locks. At the top lock there is a very sharp turn on to the Wendover arm.

                                                 "It' a bit narrow up here" said Carolyn

The Wendover arm does not go to Wendover as it is still being rebuilt . It stops 5 miles short in a basin which is one of the few places to moor on the arm.

                                                      Our mooring for the weekend.

We arrived at the basin just as 2 boats were leaving so for the time being we have the basin to ourselves and with only 3 other boats on the arm it is very peaceful. We also have good satellite reception and over 20 megs of 3g. With Glastonbury , Wimbledon and the Grand prix this weekend we are not moving.

Happy days



Monday, 24 June 2013


Lets talk fish........I know there has not been many fish caught and the ones that have been caught have been a bit on the small side..

So on Sunday after hours and hours and more hours..

                                                           This happened

                                                              Scroll down

                                                              Keep going

                                                           And was i happy with that.....

The biggest Carp i have ever caught , It weighed in at just over 12 lbs. I caught it with a fishing reel that is 40 years old an Abu 506 bought when i was 14 years old and a 6 foot telescopic rod bought from lidl's for £5 and 8 lb breaking strain line. It took nearly 15 minutes to land it due to the light tackle i was using, but it was great sport. It took bread on a float just 6 inch's off the bottom of the canal............Now let's see if Carolyn can beat that.

Very happy days

Sunday, 23 June 2013

We have had a lovely week at Stoke Hammond and we met a great couple called Stuart and Fran off nb The Boat . We both really enjoyed their company and Carolyn especially liked their many walks with the dogs. Hope to meet up with you both again soon.

On Saturday Sharon (sister) and Philip (Her long suffering husband) brought  Mummy (Joan) and daddy (Ken)  up from Devon to see us and spend a day on Inca. Sharon and Philip went off to do some shopping in Milton Keynes so we set off on our journey from Stoke Hammond to The Globe Inn at Linslade.

                      Even though we had a few showers in the morning it didn't spoil it.

                       Joan at the helm a natural narrowboat women , She took to it like a duck to water.

                        It was then up the locks at the 3 locks pub and Joan's first lesson in locking.

                                                          "Don't let go of that rope"

                                                 She even walks across the lock gate.

                                                    Come on put your back into it.

                                                                Ken at the helm
                     We finally reach our destination and that will do nicely for dinner tonight.

Not long after arriving i got the fishing rod out and started fishing. "Do you know what i have never fished before" said Joan. So i passed her the rod and guess what happened next ???? Myself and Carolyn walked up to the pub to look at the menu for this evenings meal .Then Carolyn's phone rang. "Get back here quick" said Joan "i have caught a big one".  By the time we got back everyone within a hundred yards had heard her shouting and a crowd had built up around her.

                                     She caught a lovely Bream..Look at that crowd around her.

        She soon had her second fish, But she would not hold it as the first one was so slimy.At her very great young age Joan has now discovered 2 new skills she never knew she had,a boat women and a fisher women.

After Sharon and Philip arrived from their shopping trip it was time to eat so off we went to The Globe. We tried to get into the restaurant but it was fully booked.

                                                    But we had a good evening in the bar.

                                              It was then back to Inca for nightcap

      Before long it was time to say goodbye and i am sure everybody had a good day.

We will stay here for the next couple of days as we are having the solar panels fitted on Tuesday and we have satellite and Internet reception and a tesco's if we need it about a mile away. Oh yes and there is the pub as well..

Happy days

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Stoke Hammond

After leaving Fenny Stratford on Monday morning we found a lovely mooring about a mile outside Stoke Hammond.

                                                     This will do us for a few days.

Carolyn was struggling with her folding bike and as it only had 20"wheels she couldn't keep up with me on my bike .So with a Halfords store at Fenny stratford i was told that i had to buy her a new bike.The only problem now is that i can't keep up with her.
We put a for sale sign on her old bike and with in an hour a lady walking the towpath bought it..Result

                                                  And her first ride was to the village shop in Stoke Hammond.

The village of Stoke Hammond is a thankful village. This is a village where every person who left to fight in the 1st World war returned home after the war ended. It is one of only 52 thankful villages in England and Wales. Out of the 52 villages 14 are double thankful villages where they lost no men in the second World war either.

That's a bigger fish.... a silver Bream.......I think it was my lucky t-shirt that helped me to catch it.

With the temperature on Wednesday hitting 27 deg and with good Internet and satellite we might stay here for a couple more days before finding somewhere for the solar panels to be fitted on Tuesday.

Happy days

Monday, 17 June 2013

Fenny stratford

On Friday we were up early and pulled pins at 08.00 which is early for us . Our destination is Fenny Stratford for the weekend. It took us a couple of hours to travel the 3 or 4 miles at our snails pace.

The view from our front room of the lock at Fenny Stratford.
First job after mooring was to drill a hole in the Brolly mate we bought to enable a rotary washing line to be fitted on the tiller.

                                          Looks good to me ......  But will her ladyship like it ? .

 "I like this" 

A little bit later there was an almighty swan fight. It went on for about half an hour with several other boaters trying to break it up. Eventually they came into the side of the canal just in front of Inca. We managed to get our pole in between the 2 and separate them as by this time the pair of swans had nearly drowned the single swan. The canal was white with feathers but all 3 swans seem to be OK.
On Saturday we had a walk around Fenny Stratford and came across Pollards a real ironmongers that sold just about everything and . We got some pegs for the new washing line. (Big spenders)

Unfortunately a stupid person on the towpath told Carolyn that there was a large retail park just up the road. So guess what ?.........We had to go and have a look around it. There was a Tesco TK something Halfords, Argos,Asda etc etc..Ended up spending a fortune, but more about that later.

On Sunday afternoon we had a walk to the lake which is about half a mile from Fenny lock.It almost seems like a different world from the canal and with the temperature at 19 deg it was a most enjoyable stroll.

Pulled pins at about 10.00 and went straight into Fenny Stratford lock.This lock is unusual in that there is a swing bridge right in the middle of the lock.

Just the other side of the lock is the water point, elsan (toilet disposal) and refuge disposal. So we emptied and filled and got on our way to stoke hammond.

Happy days



Thursday, 13 June 2013

Milton Keynes

We arrived at Giffard park on Monday and found a good mooring about 200 meters before the water point.

Our mooring at Giffard Park
               With a large park on the other side of the canal it is ideal for Molly and Hamish.

Whilst looking at the guide book on Monday evening we noticed a co-op on the map about a mile from the canal. First light on Tuesday off we went with ruck sacks with the intent of getting some wine recommended by my mate David. It was not a very big store and the only cotes du rhone was a 13.5 % one. Not sure if it is the one you meant David ?? , but for £4.49 not bad at all. We did get more than one bottle like you do.

                            Co-op cotes du rhone .Went down a treat while listening to radio 2.

                                     With a pub just a short walk away we just had to try it.

           We had not heard of a sizzling pub before but it was good value. (steak and rib combo)

               Filling the water tank at Giffard park on Wednesday morning. One of the slowest taps yet.

This our present mooring about 3 miles from Giffard park . We are now at Campbell park about a mile from Milton Keynes city centre. On Thursday morning and with high winds we decided not to move and decided to go into the main shopping centre and get a rotary washing line to fit onto the tiller of Inca. We had already bought a bracket to fit on the tiller and just needed the line.

On the way to the shopping centre we went through campbell park with its cricket ground......

                                                              and amphitheatre.

                                                   And a funny looking light pyramid.


If you are into shopping (which i am not) then this is the place to come to .I have never seen anything like it before and even Carolyn was blown away by it. It had every shop you could think of then loads you had never heard of. We took the bikes and locked them up at the park end of the centre not realising that the shop we wanted was a mile away at the other end of the centre.

                       To break up the shopping we spent a couple of hours in Duncan's place. (not).

                                 The famous concrete cows are now in the shopping centre.

We are both impressed with Milton Keynes .Not just the shopping centre but the parks and housing estates which are all very well kept. May-be on our journey back up the Grand union canal we will spend more time in the area.

Happy days