Southward bound

Spring and summer were apparently here last week in preparation for the season of boating. Working away in the engine bay, with the sun beating on the canopy it seemed a shame to be missing out on the sun. However I knew that if by chance it rained a bit whilst out on the canal at least the newly painted engine bay would have proper protection from any dribble of water that may find its way down there. Having finished up it was with pleasure I started out on the 33 mile, 23 lock trip southwards towards Paddington and the canal Cavalcade festival to be held on the bank holiday.


What is more, this season I have the newly painted roof in a lighter colour that will have less solar gain in the sun. The above photo is me and GB passing the flats which are built on the defunct Ovaltine factory, along with nb Tickety Boo. At that point it was not raining. And then it did, and some more, and heavily. By the time I moored up for the afternoon the deck was awash, my shoes sodden and every now and then I had to lean overboard to empty the water out of the brim of my boater’s hat. The forecast is not for dry weather but never mind, if it wasn’t for the rain we couldn’t have canals.  Us boaters can cozy down inside with our fires and central heating, change into dry cloths and watch the ducks swim by. But I do spare a thought for the visitors and stall holders at the festival. Also for all those unfortunate liveaboard boaters on subsistence living who have not got the facilities aboard to stay warm, dry and properly fed. You don’t see much of that side of canal living on the TV programmes featuring John Sergeant or Timothy West.

Well tomorrow is another day of cruising, along with the Met’s yellow warning for rain and wind. I had better tie the hat on tight!

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