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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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    Music Editor
  • Boat Name
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    Dunchurch Pools
  1. Just returned from our first fortnight on a Narrowboat, having bought a share in NB Minuet. As you can see, most of the fortnight’s trip was accompanied by torrential rain and gusty winds ☹ Minuet is based this year at Dunchurch Pools Marina, and we arrived on the Thursday evening, unpacked all our stuff and settled into our first night on a Narrowboat. In the morning, I drove the 3 or 4 minutes over to Braunston Marina to pick up Terry Robinson of TR Handling, who would take us out for the day to ‘show us the ropes’. The plan was to take an easy cruise up to Hillmorton Locks, then wind and come back down to Braunston, where he was exhibiting and we were going to be part of the Shared Boat Show which was on that weekend. Unfortunately, we turned right instead of left out of the Marina and found ourselves heading for Braunston and the Braunston Flight, with the dreaded Tunnel beyond that! We survived, albeit having sacrificed much of the newly-painted hull… and we learnt a lot of valuable information from Terry. The weekend of the Shared Boat Show at Braunston was beautifully warm, a real T-Shirt and shorts couple of days… lots of lovely visitors to Minuet, who all loved her cool blonde interior. And we sold one of the two shares available! Braunston, the village, was lovely, and we particularly enjoyed the wonderful Butcher’s shop. At 4pm on the Sunday, we untied and moved off… just at that moment, the wind became a gale and I battled to get Minuet out of the tight exit and onto the Canal. But we were soon off to our overnight pitch at the bottom of Napton Hill. On Monday morning, we were due to meet another couple with a share in Minuet, whose daughter lives near Napton, and who had offered to come with us up the Napton flight and give us a bit of help advice. After that, we were on our own! The weather was quite atrocious for the rest of the fortnight! We had everything from gales, hail, thunder, torrential driving rain… but also stretches of bright warm sun, so we were for ever changing clothes from waterproofs to shorts and back to waterproofs in the course of a half hour. Over the two weeks, my handling skills developed well, from zero to about 3 out of 10, and the locks became easier to deal with… we had lots of adventures, including running aground a couple of times and narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a runaway narrowboat.. Highlights were mooring up at Cropredy and exploring the village, with its lovely church and the Red Lion pub, mooring overnight in the middle of Banbury, visiting the Cathedral of the Canals at Braunston, spending an afternoon sheltering from the rain in the warm CanalChef at the top of the Hillmorton Flight and a wonderful warm evening at Napton (below) As we returned to Dunchurch Pools, the weather was changeable… but as we turned into the Marina and headed for the Diesel Jetty, a huge side-wind sprung up, along with a torrential downpour, and Minuet was blown backwards away from the Jetty, I could do nothing about it…. Eventually decided to go head-first into the wind, past the Jetty and let the wind blow us back on to it, even though the Pump-out tube would then be on the wrong side of the boat. That worked, but then of course, the lady from the Marina wasn’t keen to venture on to the Gunwhale in the driving rain and howling gale, so I had to do a DIY Pump-out which was… exciting in those conditions! We managed to get Minuet to her home Jetty, and spent a couple of hours cleaning and polishing in readiness for the next owners, who were due onboard the next day. Naturally, the very moment we locked her up and headed for the car, the wind dropped, the sun came out and hasn’t gone in for a week ☹ Despite the weather, we really enjoyed our first trip on a Narrowboat, and we’re already planning and looking forward to our next trip in November. November?! OMG, the weather will surely be even worse! Never mind, there’ll be more time to spend in pubs and the CanalChef!
  2. Our new Minuet, just before going into Stretton for a complete Paint Job... can't wait to see her in a few weeks time!
  3. Minuet


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