Monday, 29 April 2013


Captain's Log - Week 8

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their best wishes and enquiries as to how James is doing after his op. 

The captain's log this week has not got one entry with movement of Lois Jane but nevertheless it has been an eventful week and I can't wait to get the cruising miles in and the lock count up.

Well lets go back to last Monday 22nd April, it was an early start and we arrived at Sandwell Hospital, just outside Birmingham, at 7:45am James was checked-in on the ward and there started a marathon wait. I was asked to leave the ward about 9am and left to wander the hospital, I managed to find a seating area and grabbed a coffee and sat watching the hospital world go by. I knew James was the last from his bay on the ward to be going under the knife, so at about 1pm I went back up to the corridor outside the ward to await his return. After about half an hour I saw a nurse I recognised from the morning so asked her if James was back on the ward yet, there was always a possibility he had gone and come back whilst I was away. But no, she said he's not back yet - he still hasn't gone! She went and checked with the ward sister and I was allowed back on the ward an hour before official visiting time. James finally went off at about 2:45pm when I grabbed another coffee and headed back outside the ward so I knew when he returned, which wasn't until about 5:30pm so no chance of coming out today then. I made a quick call to Enterprise to extend the car hire and was able to go back on the ward for visiting at 6:30pm. They are quite strict with their visiting but I suppose that's good for the patients as people aren't coming and going all day. After visiting and the hour journey back to Bugbrooke I finally arrived back on LJ for a night on my own.

Tuesday 23rd April - the following morning after pottering around trying to keep busy James text me to say he would definitely be out today but didn't know what time, I headed up the motorway again so I would at least be there where he was discharged and not have him wait an hour for me to get there. So after another few hours wait he was finally out and we were on the way back. I then went to surgery in Bugbrooke to get James registered as a temporary patient as the nurse there would be able to remove his stitches after a week.

Wednesday 24th April - first job was to get the hire car back to Enterprise in Daventry and then they gave me a lift back to Bugbrooke and that was basically it for the day.

Thursday 25th April - whilst pottering around outside and sweeping the front deck, I spotted Festina Lente going by, James has been following their blog from the start and it bought back memories of our search for a narrowboat. Andy recognised Lois Jane and immediately asked how James was doing, all too soon they had passed but hopefully our paths will cross again. By the way if you are reading this Andy, I loved your Sunday lunch opportunities - its just what James would say.

Friday 26th April - I have been trying to get the outside of the boat cleaned and polished this week, but it's proving to be a bit of a nightmare - it hasn't been polished for a long time so it's been quite hard work. I am even trying to get the brass looking shiny again, I have been putting this off for sometime as it has all been lacquered and its horrendous getting it off but the one navigation light that I've started is beginning to look nice and shiny again, it's going to take some time!!

Saturday 27th April - we met up with Les and Mea from Blue Moon again, they popped in to see how James was doing and also drop off a few bits they kindly got for us whilst they were in Northampton. It was lovely seeing them again but quite sad saying goodbye as it will probably be sometime before we see them again as they are now heading off down the Southern Oxford canal before returning to Thailand in June.

Sunday 28th April - This morning I was on the back deck making sure the drain holes were clear and getting the cover off the engine bay when Adam on Briar Rose went by, we had a brief chat and again he very kindly asked how James was getting on.

We have still had the problem of loosing coolant water after RCR came out to us at Buckby so they have been out again - twice - and still every time the engine runs for an hour or so about 5 litres of coolant end up in the bilges, I have been forever mopping them out and refilling the engine. They have finally manged to track it down (I hope) to a leaking hose and will replace it. It means draining the whole system down and until we get to a water point we haven't got the 80 or so litres spare to replace it, we knew we were going to be here a while so have been very careful with our water usage, I never knew I could wash my hair and shower using so little water!!

Anyway enough of my ramblings, James had his stitches out today he's doing much better and even managed the mile and a half stroll to the surgery and back. Maybe we'll be back on the move before too long. 

Cruising - 64.75 miles
Locks - 17
Tunnels - 2

Our mooring at Bugbrooke, opposite The Wharf


  1. Nice to see James is back on his feet, hope he make a speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks Mark and Corinne, stitches out now so it feels a bit more comfortable for him, he's well on the road to recovery :)

  2. Hi James and Debbie,
    I am the 'visitor' from Switzerland that has been following your blogs now for some time and in fact recently bought a canal boat which we are keeping just up the road from your present mooring at Heyford Fields. It was amazing that, when we brought the boat down to her new home from where we purchased her (nr Tamworth), we spotted you moored up! I didn't quite have the nerve, as a very new per on on the cut, do actually come and say hallo. But it was an amazing coincedence to cruise past you when your blogs had certainly influenced us in taking the plunge and deciding to buy. Glad to read you are well, James, and perhaps next time we are over and cruising, I will be able to say a personal thank you!!

  3. Hi Ian,

    Lovely to hear from you. Look forward to meeting up next time you're over. Looks like you've chosen a very nice marina there, would you believe we will actually be there in a few days! RCR haven't been able to sort out our engine coolant leek so the guys from the boat yard there are going to do some investigating. What's your boat called, we'll keep an eye out for it.

    Cheers - James