Travels of ‘Joanie M’ – Life as a Continuous Cruiser 30 May 2013

The spring cartridge to repair our toilet didn’t arrive on the Tuesday so I went back to the Post Office the next day after visiting the Gloster Regimental Museum on the Quay. From the comments written on the envelope it appeared that a dyslexic postman had first delivered it to the Debenhams store opposite.

As it was late afternoon I decided to fit it the next day. I split the toilet in half, just remembering to shut the water off and first cleaned the rubber seal for the ball that the effluent passes through, not the most pleasant of jobs, and then reassembled it all with the new spring. It now wouldn’t work! The only difference between the new and old cartridges was the colour so I rang Leesan to find I had been sent one for a 500 series toilet rather than for a 5000 series! So another wait.

Presenting myself at the Post Office again on the Monday, no parcel again. So much for First Class Post. To give plenty of timne we decided to head back to Saul Junction and fill the diesel and, due to the continuing cold weather, buy some more coal – actually Multiheat – and hope the spring would be there on the Wednesday, which it was and was duly fitted.

Gloucester Docks was playing host to the Tall Ships that weekend with a number of restrictions on boat movements, which coupled with the tide times, would mean a late arrival at Tewkesbury or trying to find a mooring on the river so we decided to leave ion Thursday. What an awful day! Wet with a strong wind blowing in our faces all the way upriver. It was so cold we had to put our gloves on!

It was even windier the next day so we stayed put in Tewkesbury walking around the town and the Abbey.

Fortunately Saturday dawned bright and sunny and we made our way upstream, threading ourselves through sailing boats, rowers and canoeists to moor that night in utter seclusion at Comberton Quay, sitting out on the grass with a glass of Boddingtons! What a difference a day makes. Sunday was even hotter, and easier as the volunteers were out doing most of the locks for us. Unfortunately many boats were out too and most of the best moorings were full. We eventually stopped at Chadbury Lock with an Anglo Welsh boat on the other side waiting for an engineer to replace a broken gear change cable. This lock is completely inaccessible by boat and we all watched as the engineer parked some 1/2 mile away and walked to the lock in a great sweep to avoid a drainage ditch that separated him from us.

The next day, the Bank Holiday saw us a Evesham. walking into town we were lucky to watch a performance of the local Morris Dancers in the square. Disappointing though was the absence of any local greengrocer. We had hoped to buy some local asparagus and with Evesham being the centre of the growing region, what better place. Some chance as there is no greengrocer and doesn’t appear to have been for several years.

And then the rain came down again. We braved it the first day but with levels rising we played safe and stopped at Bidford. Still no grocer but a Budgens displaying locally grown produce.

Useful Information

Trained as Engineer with Ford Motor Company. Ran Vehicle Electrics Business in Southampton until 2004. Share in 'Sundowner' from 1999 to 2007. Sold house in 2007 after having 'Joanie M' built to our spec - not that we haven't changed a number of things. Been cruising ever since.

Paul Smith - Thursday,30 May, 2013

You continue to whet my appetite for the life of a continuous cruiser. Keep the posts coming!

The weather has been awful here too for the past three days. Not only have I had gloves on but a thick padded jacket and a fleece hat too. I gave a pair of holiday hirers their pre cruise briefing on Tuesday. The instruction lasts about forty minutes and involves taking the holidaymakers up through Calcutt Top lock. By the time I was ready to step off the boat and leave them to it, both of  them were shivering so much that they could hardly talk to me. They said that they had no food with them at all so they would have to cruise to the next pub before they could eat. Unfortunately the next pub on their route was two hours away at Braunston. To add to their misery, the rain hasn’t stopped since they left. This is one couple that probably aren’t going to get bitten by the bug!


pearley - Friday,31 May, 2013

I’ve been watching the tyre being used as a fender that is tied to the private mooring opposite. When we arrived on Wednesday the whole was visible, yesterday morning the bottom section was under water, by last night I could only see the top 8 inches. This morning I can still see 8 inches so hopefully it will now start going down and we can move. As long as we get to Stratford for Monday as we have some expensive tickets to see ‘As you like it’ at the Theatre.




Our Nige - Sunday,2 June, 2013

Good to hear you finally got your spring sorted and now the weather is a little better should make your life a bit easier. Shame Paul your hirers got the worst of it and no food with them either. Hope they got stocked up at Braunston and will try again when it’s warmer. Hope you make the theatre and enjoy the performance and as the summer moves in we can all enjoy a glass or two of Boddingtons in the sunshine, or what ever tipple takes your fancy. Here’s to a half decent summer.




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