The last winter I spent on a narrowboat, four years ago, was mild compared to this one. This time the canal has frozen over, and has been frozen for a week and a half, and it could take a while before the ice thaws.
Water is becoming a problem. We’ve got an almost empty tank, we’re not within reach of a tap and can’t drive to one. The local pub in Rodley has filled up a few water containers for me, and a local resident helped out with a couple of refills – I’m thankful for their assistance but that’s barely enough for a shower each day and some washing up. It’s not enough to run the washing machine so a trip to the launderette is overdue.
We filled up with diesel a week and a half ago but we’re down to one fifth of the tank. We have a diesel heater and have had to have it on constantly day and night to prevent frost damage to the water pipes, water pump, and shower, and to stay warm. Fortunately there’s a boatyard nearby so we can bring 20 litre containers of diesel to the boat by wheelbarrow, but it’s proving to be expensive. I’ve never used so much diesel in so short a time, usually a full tank lasts for several months. Before next winter we need to get a wood burning stove installed, to give us another way to heat the boat.
I’ve topped up the engine’s header tank with water and anti-freeze, made sure the greaser’s twisted daily, wiped the windows of condensation, and wished every day that we’d made it to our winter mooring before the freeze. Oh well, the snowy landscape’s been beautiful!