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  • clivenmel

Jan 05 2009

Normal 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Well we have moved � not a lot, but we have actually moved!  We woke up this morning and of course the canal was frozen and there was half an inch of snow on the ground!  However, the stove had stayed in overnight and the central heating came on at 7.00am so the boat wasn't too cold.   We were in no rush to go anywhere really but after breakfast Clive decided to set off.  The first difficulty was actually getting out of the mooring!  There was a boat moored right in front of us and because of the ice it was quite hard trying to get the boat to turn � I got my trusty mop out and used it as a bow thruster to push us off but even so we rubbed up against the other boat!  Finally we got out into the middle of the canal but it was quite a struggle for Clive to get her to go in a straight line, the ice was really thick � much thicker than we have seen it previously, it was a good inch at least!  Clive was breaking the ice at the stern with our antique pike that my brother Nick had given us and I was doing the same at the front with my mop handle � it did the trick, but it was hard work!  We finally arrived at the winding hole (turning circle) which was about a mile South of the marina.  It was only a 60� winding hole and remember Lady Arwen is 57� long and we had the ice to contend with as well!  Again we were manually breaking the ice front and back and Clive had to do something like a 52 point turn to actually get us facing back up the way we had come.  However instead of setting off we were at a dead stop so I went to the stern to find out what was holding us up only to find Clive fishing about in the canal with our old aluminium (totally useless) boat hook.  He had inadvertently dropped the pike into the canal!  Oh no!  I was quite upset as I know that pike has been in my brother�s barn for a very, very long time!  Clive was upset too as it has been extremely useful, but he was very surprised that it had sunk.  He couldn�t even reach the bottom of the canal with the other boat hook, so it must have been quite deep at that point.  Anyway just as he was setting off, I was taking a photograph of the winding hole when I saw something sticking up above the surface, about four inches of something � the top of the pike!!!  It must have been standing up completely vertically with the hook holding it down!   Yippee � Clive quickly went into reverse and I lay down on the deck, hung over the back of the boat and managed to grab the pole as we went past it.  It�s a shame really that he was too busy to take a photo of me, I am sure I must have looked quite funny!   After that bit of excitement we followed our wake back up the canal from whence we came and then it started snowing!  We really have absolutely everything we could possible need just at the moment to survive for a few days, which means we can moor just about anywhere.   We therefore moored up as soon as we found a convenient stretch of towpath, battened down the hatches and got warmed up.   It is very unlikely that we are going to venture forth tomorrow as rumour has it the temperature is due to drop to about minus 7 tonight!!  Breaking the ice was hard enough today, tomorrow it is likely to be even thicker due to the very low temperature so we are going to stay put!  I have not changed our "current location" as we have really moved that far - we are just a bit furth South and now facing the other way again!

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