#16 Yet Another Easter Cruise – Part 2

#16 Yet Another Easter Cruise – Part 2


Good morning welcome back and more
importantly welcome aboard! You’ve timed that well! You’re joining mark in the
galley as he prepares a bacon bap and a cup of tea for us. Paul has been cleaning
out the rainwater gullies that form part of the frame that the deck boards sit on
at the stern of the boat. We found that a bottle brush is very good at reaching
the parts that other brushes just can’t reach. The reason Paul is cleaning the
gullies is that we’ve noticed a few spots of rust around these and there
are parts where the paint has been worn off from the lifting, or dragging out, of
the deck boards over the years. The deck boards are of course lifted to give access
to the engine bay where we do the engine checks before setting off each time. So
Paul is cleaning the metalwork around the gullies before treating the rusty and
worn areas with a coat of rust treatment product. We’ve used the old favourite fertan, other rust treatment products are available. With the deck boards raised
there’s not really the room out on the stern deck for both of us to be there
without getting covered in fertan. Which is why Mark has opted to be chef and
scullery maid. I would just like to mention that none of the products
featured in this vlog are paying for any form of promotion, there is no product
placement adverts going on here at all! I’m just using what we had onboard the
boat on this particular weekend. It’s Saturday the 20th of April 2019 and
if you watched our previous vlog you’ll know that we are moored up on the
Leicester arm of the Grand Union canal between bridges 25 and 26. As you can see cooking on a narrow boat
is pretty much the same as cooking anywhere else. Our galley has pretty much everything we need to sustain ourselves during cruises. The hob and oven are gas,
the fridge is 240 volts and has a decent freezer compartment in it.
That’s essential for making ice to cool down drinks! There’s also hot and cold
running water as I start to serve up and tell Paul
that breakfast is ready when he is. He applies the finishing touches to the
area he’s working on and climbs out of the engine bay. You’ll notice that we have two sauce
bottles on the go. If you were having a bacon bap with us, which would you have? Red or Brown? Let us know your favourite in the comments below! (Or use the Poll) After eating his bacon bap and drinking
his tea, Paul hits for duck hatch with a scraper and with some sandpaper.
He has spotted that there are a few rough patches appearing and once he’s
got the fertan out he wants to apply some here too. We allow the rust
treatment product to dry and after a spot of lunch, at around 1:30pm, we attached the centerline’s and removed the mooring fenders. there haven’t been many boats passing us
and, typically, as soon as we are ready to go there seems to be a convoy. We wait whilst the other boats disappear.
Just when we thought the coast was clear and we set off, there’s another one! Looks like there’s a bit of a party
happening on the towpath! It’s good weather for it. As we said in the last
vlog there’s some excellent places to moor along this stretch on the Leicester Arm. After bridge 26 there is plenty of metal armco to chain or pin yourself
to. We pass a family in their inflatable
canoe and pass under bridge 28 just after which there is a winding hole. Paul has a nosy in the electric cupboard
and notices that the solar energy production isn’t as good as he thinks it
could be. He suddenly appears with a soft brush and launches into giving the
panel’s a quick brush over to see if that improves things. He seems to be happy enough when he next
checks the meter, all this good. Let’s move this along a little bit by having
some more of those ten-second cut away video clips. Here we go… After bridge 37 there were some moored
boats, although we didn’t see any spinning “owls” sign here, we still slowly
tick past them as all good boaters do! Forty-five minutes later, we were finally
making the turn onto the Welford Arm. You would not believe the amount of footage
that’s been left out of this blog! (You probably would actually) At just 1.6 kilometers long the welford
armed transports you from the Leicester line of the Grand Union canal to the
picturesque village of Welford. The canal was opened in 1814 and originally built
as a navigable feeder linking from Welford reservoir and the Soulbury
reservoir to the old Grand Union canal, now the Leicester section of the Grand
Union canal. This Canal has a single lock and ends with a Wharf at Welford. This
allowed coal and other produce to be brought to the town, serving the needs of
the local industry. One of the other produce included limestone, which was
turned into quicklime in a complex of seven kilns that line the Wharf. This
is the largest kiln site on the Grand Union and you can still see the remains of
the kilns today. There were originally three mills along
the Welford Arm, Bosworth Mill beside bridge one, then Naseby Mill and finally
Welford Mill just before Welford Lock. Welford Mill had a lift bridge to allow
access to it, but sadly all that remains of the lift bridge now is a single
wooden post. As less goods were transported by canal
boat during the first decades of the 20th century, the Welford Arm became
increasingly unused. When trade stopped the canal fell into decline and in 1949
ceased to be used for navigation. The short length of the welford arm turned out
to be something of a blessing, when the old Union Canal Society had formed in
1964 to protect all local waterways; it took up the cause of the Welford Arm,
fighting for the restoration of the canal – something that was feasible
precisely because there was so little of it! The Welford Arm subsequently
reopened in 1969 following 15 months of work and the removal of ten thousand tons of mud. It became a showpiece of what can be achieved by small teams of volunteers
when it came to restoring canals. It’s now home to two marinas, a pub and the
remains of those lime kilns. It’s a small but perfectly formed gem and one
that might not have existed were it not for the dedication of volunteers who
recognized a local treasure when they saw it. As we approach the lock, look out for the
wooden post on the left-hand side. That’s the remaining part of the Mill’s lift
bridge. After a quick game of rock-paper-scissors it was decided that
I would be the lock-keeper today. The lock was in a half-full half-empty state,
so I opened the paddles to lower the water. Paul is at the tiller, bet he wished he’d
done the lock now! (Evil Laugh). We hadn’t realised we were being followed, but a crew member
from the boat behind us came up to help out with the lock. A boater, coming in the other direction,
appears and we talk about how busy the end of the Arm is. We’re told that there
SHOULD be room for ONE boat to moor up at the end. The place where they had been MIGHT be long enough for our boat. She looked at the crew member from the boat
behind us and said that they MIGHT be able to squeeze in somewhere. I hopped back aboard and give Paul the
bleak news about mooring places. We head on out of the lock, at tick over speed
as all good boaters do when passing moored boats. The gaps we see appear to be too small
for us, which should be good for the boat following us. So that’s good news isn’t
it?! Right let’s do the… If you’ve enjoyed
watching our adventure give us a thumbs up, but don’t forget to comment below and please please do subscribe if you haven’t already! Ding the bell if you
want to be notified when we next post. Hold on we could fit in that gap!!! That’s
definitely long enough. Just opposite the marina entrance is a winding hole, if we
go just slightly past. Then backup and turn the boat around,
we can then moor up in the gap we just passed. You don’t need to see us
winding… …thanks for watching see you next time?!
Bye 🙂

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