Thursday, 16 June 2016

6 months on Burnt Oak

This is so amazing, we've been living on Burnt Oak for half a year. We've got used to the life style very quickly and can't imagine living any other way. We've met lots of lovely people on other boats, many who've lived on them for many years, boat traders, walkers on the tow path, people in shops and at events. I can only think of one chap lately who was quite irate that there were 4 boats going through the swing bridge as he may miss his bus.

We started out at Poynton with rain, rain and more rain, leaving the tow path as complete bogs, at times it looked like a dog had shaken it's self in the boat with mud splattered from our clothes and boots. Then we were frozen in a few times and had a good bit of snow and that's when our boiler broke, oh, how pleased we were to have the fire, which was kept stoked and ran all night. We've had wind that blew us into to the side and that's where we had to stay. As the weather got warmer and we didn't need to have the fire on I felt somewhat uneasy, as if something wasn't quite right, but that
feeling passed very quickly. And now I fear I'll end up sun burnt so plaster myself with suntan lotion. Now we can look forward to going full circle, keeping the fire stoked and have stews bubbling away on it while we're wrapped up warm cruising along.

So how far have we gone? For our first 3 months we were trapped on the large stretch of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals as the locks either side were closed for repairs. At times we were in danger of getting into trouble from the authorities for over staying, mainly because we were frozen in and couldn't move. Plus, we spent 2 weeks moored near Heather & Jason's. When we counted up our mileage we were totally amazed:-
326 miles, 197 locks and 54 swing/lift bridges.
We have stayed in Manchester and Liverpool, two cities we've never visited before and in some amazingly beautiful rural areas from the heights of the Peak District to the low flat reclaimed farm lands of West Lancashire.

We've been to two festival Ellesmere Port at Easter and have just left the IWA's festival celebrating the Leeds and Liverpool Canals 200th year at Eldionain Village, Liverpool..

This is a very lazy life style on the one hand and quite labour intensive on the other. We need to plan where to get water & diesel. Sometimes we have a good long walk to replenish our food store and we can't store too much and don't have a freezer. During the winter we had coal, wood and gas delivered to us by the coal boat nb Alton. We just love our
composting loo which needs emptying every 2-4 weeks. The smell when you are near a pump out station or Elsan disposal point are horrendous, where as our loo smells earthy like my old compost heap at home when we empty it.

We are looking forward to our summer jaunt across the Pennines to Leeds. We're hoping to moor near Yarndale the wool festival in Skipton in September. John's promised to visit Fawcetts the Maltsters in Castleford, he used to speak to the office on the phone and only met the delivery chaps. Then head back to be near Heather & Jason's for winter.

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