What a difference in the weather from the beginning to the end of November, but we are very cosy and warm on Skyy and the electric blanket is lovely making Jacquie’s sexy!! fleece pyjamas almost superfluous. At the beginning of the month we had a delivery of ten 25k bags of Homefire Ovals from www.coals2u.co.uk, it burns hot and long and one bag lasts between four and five days, depending on how cold it is. We have just ordered another ten bags which road and snow permitting will hopefull reach us before we use the last bag.
Fortunately the water supply remains turned on and providing the day time temperature gets above freezing we are able to keep our water tank topped up. The only problem is that the needle on the gauge to the loo tank is now well into the red and SKYY is well and truly iced in. Even if we could break SKYY free of the ice, the pump out facilities are frozen and very often the basic on shore toilet is also frozen. To save us having to keep walk crossed leg to MacDonalds, Homebase, Sainsburys etc. we decided to order from an EBay supplier a Porta Potti, fortunately it will fit into our bathroom between the existing toilet and the shower and we can empty the cassette at the Sanitary Station at Selby Lock, unfortunately the new Porta Potti is frozen into the couriers depot in Hull, but hopefully it will arrive tomorrow.
Duggie loves the snow, all ten inched of it, but hates his coat and hides when it comes into view, but on these very cold days it’s essential. As it is his legs and face gets covered in snowballs that stick to his fur and depending as to how much is stuck he either goes into the shower or a bowl of hot water and a flannel will suffice to melt it.
Since the beginning of the month I have been attending the rehab sessions and ‘Romping through it’ was how my progress was described by one of the physios. I have one more week to go, this weeks session having been cancelled because of the bad weather. In between there have been numerous trips to the doctors for final cardiac assessment, blood tests, retinal photography, test results and dentist etc. and the good news is that I am absolutely fine.
Ever since SKYY came to Selby Boat Centre the Motor Vessel Ouse Patrol had been moored up behind us. This is a very sturdy business like boat but was starting to look rather tired and neglected, when a couple of chaps came along and said that the intention was to take her back to Goole Docks. Whilst they abortively attempted to start the twin six cylinder diesel engines, batteries were very dead, I had a long chat with them. Up to 2004 this vessel went out every day from Goole to plot the shipping channel along the Rivers Trent and Ouse, and each day the river pilots were given the daily plot. In October 2004 the Ouse Patrol and it’s regular crew all retired and the boat has unsuccessfully been up for sale ever since. Jeb, one of the crew lent me a DVD of a film of that last day at work and how different she looked with all her brass work gleaming and her shiny white paint. On the 11th November the crew returned and the batteries having been recharged the engines started in a cloud of exhaust smoke and slowly she eased out into the middle of the canal all the time scrapping the bottom. Her destination was Selby Lock and downstream to Goole, but I was surprised that evening to see that she had only got as far as the Selby Swing Bridge, just before the lock basin and there she still is and surprisingly vandal free, but for how long? Hopefully she will soon be on her way to a safer location.
In the middle of the month we drove south, stopping of at lots of different friend before staying nearly a week with Tor and her nine month little girl, Emily, what a delight, although I stayed well out of the way at feeding time and nappy changing events, Emily got on well with Duggie providing the stair guard was between them, saving Duggies, Dennis Healey eye brows from tugging and Emily’s fingers from a nip. We ended our trip at Kim and Johns, before heading back to Selby on Sunday.
Monday evening, just after I arrived back from rehab, Phil and Lynne plus Stanley the dog arrived for a visit. Duggie and Stanley had a quick spat before peace and eventual friendship took over. On the Wednesday Lynne brought her ninety year old Dad for a visit. He joined us back in the summer on the River Weaver and as then, we went for a little cruise, although the weather was dry and bright as it was last time, it was very cold, but we got the stove stoked up so that it was warm enough for him to sit under the cratch cover in the front well as we cruised up to Haddersley Lock. We turned and stopped for lunch here, arriving back at our mooring just before it got dark when Lynne ran her Pop back to Brighouse before returning to SKYY for supper. They left us early next morning for the start of their return trip to the West Country.
Our intention is to stay on SKYY for Christmas and at the moment it looks as if it will be a white one, it is all very pretty at the moment but warmer weather if it arrives won’t disappoint. In the meantime stay warm and our good wishes go out to all those brave continuous cruisers.