Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Yesterday morning before we set off from Braunston, we emptied the ash in the stove. It was then we noticed the baffle (lid inside the stove) had fallen down again! This has happened several times now since we bought Cyan.

After letting the fire go out while we cruised to Norton, the grate was only just cool enough to fix it when we moored. The stove was cleared of cinders and ash, the firebricks removed, and the baffle taken out (the firebricks had to be removed before the baffle could be moved). After looking inside the stove, full length on our tums with a torch, looking up inside the stove trying to find what the problem was – we thought it was time to read the on-line instructions!

How stupid are we…. embarrassed to say we’ve been trying to fit the baffle upside down, and back-to-front! We couldn’t believe it! The stove was ‘correctly’ and easily reassembled, and a fire was lit. The fire ‘roared’! We’ve never had it roaring before! Plus the fire is now responsive to the air inlet, it looks like we can turn the fire up and down to control the temperature, instead of having the air inlet at max most of the time. Plus there’s a lot more heat being generated from the fire into the boat; probably heat was previously going up through the chimney.

With mixed emotions of feeling stupid, and feeling happy that it looks like we’ve ‘cracked’ our problem, it was a relief to have the fire roaring away on such a cold night as last night.

At 8:00 am this morning, the canal was frozen, there was a white frost over cars, boats, houses, and snow was falling, settling on the layer of ice on the water. We weren’t moored in an ideal place, but we resigned ourselves after listening to the weather forecast, to spending the day at the top of Buckby Locks, huddled by our ‘more efficient’ fire.

What a difference half an hour makes; just after we had a full-English breakfast, two boats passed us to go down the locks, breaking up the ice. It had stopped snowing, and the frost had cleared. We decided to move to a better mooring, just down the lock. Before we left John visited the Elsan point, returning for a bucket of hot water to unfreeze the frozen tap. While he was busy, I prepared Cyan for cruising.

While John prepared the lock; at the right moment I untied Cyan, and sailed her into the lock.

But not before I snapped the picture below of old lock beams; rotting by the hedge. It’s a home for lots of insects. There were many birds hopping over the beams and nearby bushes, obviously enjoying the bird’s ‘natural’ feeding area.

From the lock Cyan sailed under the A5 (Watling Street).

Near the lock was this chappie, we had to do a double-take – it looks rather realistic. Guessing Buckby Locks are named because of an abundance of deer in this area, obviously a long time ago.

We moored just beyond the next bridge.

Does life get any better than this? Total peace!

Despite the sunshine, ice was still on the water. Yet the strong sun had put our batteries on ‘float’ for a couple of hours via the solar panels.

John took Rusty for a short walk to the next lock, here he snapped a train…

… and lorries on the road. All forms of ‘transport’ merge here, from an old Roman road, to trains, boats and lorries.

‘Anchor Cottage Gift Shop’ sits by the lock – it was closed today, though John did return with February’s edition of Towpath Talk.

1 lock, and a hop skip and jump (half a mile)!

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