There is a saying that BOAT stands for Bung On Another Thousand, and it has felt a little like that this week. After the problems I mentioned last blog, after an overnight power failure, we got things working, and set off for our first trip of the year, to the little town of Market Harborough. It was lovely sunny weather and all was good with the world – until at 1am the power failed again. We brought the narrowboat back to our boat yard/marina but all the engineer could find was that the leisure batteries were a little old and weak. So we have replaced all four of them and now have a set that should charge to 480 amp hours, and last 4-5 years. After the previous expense over the winter upgrading and servicing across the boat, we are hoping that we now are ready for the summer and all will be well for the next six months. Some chance!
But despite the inevitability of more things going wrong, we are feeling pretty chilled because we have now set off properly on our 2022 adventure. Yesterday we left the base and steered up Foxton locks, a beautiful staircase of five locks, the steepest set in the UK, bringing the canal 23m up to the highest point on the Leicester arm of the Grand Union canal. We will have a few days at this summit level before dropping down another lock staircase and heading through the dark, wet Braunston tunnel in the direction of Oxford.
It should be early enough in the season that there will not be too many boats on the cut (narrowboater jargon for the canal). I just hope the weather stays as sunny as it has been this week. The days have been lovely, the nights very cold, but we have good heating when we are awake, and a cozy duvet when we are asleep.
So yes, more will go wrong, but we will also have the best of times. I am looking forward to sharing with you each week.