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Down Under

by wilvir

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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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Brunel's 'SS Great Britain'

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This beautiful addition to our cabin is a print on canvas from an oil painting by ships portrait artist George Mears (1828-1906).

I stumbled across the opportunity to buy this beautiful reproduction much by chance when we met George Morris, a delightful gentleman, who owns the original oil painting and who produces this limited edition print from it. He also professionally mounts the canvas in the frame you see in the photo.
8th Sep 2013, 16:26   comments (0)

The Days Are a Changing

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1. From this.
2. To this.
3. Then this.
7th Sep 2013, 23:24   comments (0)

The Old Man of Wilvir

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7th Sep 2013, 14:34   comments (2)

Narrowboat 'Dreamcatcher'

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1. Finally on their way again.
2. (L-R) Celeste and Miya.

After a delay of several days brought about by starter motor failure and a couple of electrical faults, Celeste and Miya set off from Great Seabrook Locks heading for London to begin life as liveaboards.
6th Sep 2013, 23:53   comments (2)

Friends and Fixes

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Great Seabrook Locks, Grand Union Canal. Thursday 04Sept2013.

1. Moored below Great Seabrook Top Lock.
2. Indulging in my favourite pastime.
3. Neil lending the wind-'lass' a hand.

Tomorrow we begin picking up the pace as we make our way northwest for the coming winter months.

We've had a great week here at Pitstone, having spent time in the company of great friends Neil and Jude who live in Wilstone, alongside the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal and with dearest friends Martin and Brenda, who are always more than generous in ensuring we have all we need wherever and whenever they come to visit. We can be certain we'll see them over the winter months as they seek us out join us for a weekend together.

Last week, in preparation for the shorter days ahead, I fitted two new domestic batteries and a new shore-power charger. Over the past couple of days I've also cleaned and painted the stove, chimney, replaced the fire-bricks and cleaned the oven. So we're now all ship-shape for the coming winter.
5th Sep 2013, 23:31   comments (0)

Moving On Down

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Here we are below Seabrook Top Lock. We arrived this afternoon to spend a few days being visited by friends and to do a final check of the boat in preparation for the colder months ahead, before picking up the pace and heading northwest to this winter's cruising ground now that Autumn is fast approaching.
31st Aug 2013, 00:12   comments (0)

Back on Track

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1. A family Sunday lunch get-together at the 'Anglers Retreat', Marsworth.

Never one for clocking the passing of time, especially living as we do, I've never the less been reminded of the fast receding months by the arrival of the Perseid meteor shower in the night sky and, much closer to home, the ripening of blackberries.

I need to get the blog back on track too as the days are becoming noticeably shorter as we move northwards to seek out quiet moorings to over-winter, and recent weeks have flown by.

Jim and Helen have continued on their way as they have still to find a mooring for 'M' over the winter months, while we have slowed to our usual pace since leaving the Thames. This gives us a chance to meet up with friends old and new who live locally along the route of the Grand Union Canal.

To bring us bang up to date, just this weekend gone, we had a summer family get-together at Ivinghoe, not far from where we're moored. Our son Craig made a sweeping detour on his way home to Kent with his family at the end of a two week caravan holiday in Dorset, and our daughter Emma, with her family stopped off on their way from Norwich to Legoland, conveniently staying overnight in Craig's caravan. All-in-all a great weekend.
30th Aug 2013, 00:24   comments (1)

Royal Swan Upping

1. The Swan Uppers arrive at Mapledurham.
2. The skiffs and flags of the Queens and Vintners.
3. The skiffs and flags of the Dyers.
4. The Swan Uppers depart and head upstream to Goring.
5. The Queens Swan Marker (note the feather in his cap).

During our run down the Thames in July we happened to moor at Mapledurham where we were fortunate to observe the pageantry that is 'Swan Upping'. Today this is an opportunity to carry out an annual census of the Mute Swan population, to check upon their health and to ring the cygnets.

The Wardens of the Queens, Dyers and Vintner Swan Uppers arrived in splendid style to break for lunch, dressed in their traditional finery aboard six skiffs led by the Queens Swan Marker. They were kind enough to give us a swans feather as a memento of the occasion, which will be framed and displayed in the cabin.

For more info on Swan Upping go to:
7th Aug 2013, 22:53   comments (0)