Sunday, 1 May 2011

Boat Fitness and Hindsight

Monday 25th April to Sunday 1st May 2011

6 Miles, 6 Locks – for this week

Totals: 379 Miles, 383 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 9 Swing Bridges

The painting exercise is finished for a bit longer – both sides have had a coat of primer and two coats of colour from the blacking up to the gunnels and I must say it looks infinitely better than before.

But is does raise the question of Boat Fitness and how just a few months of living the easier life ashore can have such a detrimental effect on the body and make one so lacking in any fitness.

We are slowly re-acclimatising to the more physical parts of life aboard, not with any disinclination to wish to do so – it is just we would love to be able to do so without all of the soreness and pain that goes with it – the back and the knees are making the transition a little bit more grudgingly than the remainder of the body.

We also changed the back button for a larger one that ensured that there was clearance behind the rudder – this added to our aches and pains as we took a considerably longer time to remove and refit the buttons – Boat Fitness into question again.

Diane’s laptop decided that it didn’t want to play ball anymore and packed it in on Monday, so that meant a trip into Chester on Tuesday to see what was the problem and hopefully be able to have it repaired and back before we decided to depart the marina on Saturday.

We are very pleased to say that the good staff at PC World (in Curry’s in Chester) we not only able to identify the problem quickly but we had the troublesome miss back in our possession that very afternoon – so a very appreciative couple we were on the bus back to the boat.

We did put the time waiting for the laptop to good use – exploring Chester further and Diane found and purchased another narrowboat – not nearly in the same price bracket as the first one, but of endearing value to us – this will be shipped back to Australia.
a narrowboat teapot that we found in Chester
We have found Tattenhall Marina to be very good – the facilities are excellent and kept to a very high standard; the staff are very obliging and friendly in the process; we can recommend the Chester Marine workshop to anyone needing help – Mark and Lorraine have helped us immensely.

The only thing that we have had a problem with and it is more unique to us than most is that without a vehicle it is very limiting on what you can do – there is adequate transport into Chester via the bus and even into Tattenhall (by bus) but if you want to just walk to the pub (nearest is in Tattenhall) then you do take your life into your own hands walking on the road with the hedge-rows close to the road.

We tried our hand at using the public footpaths (rights-of-way) with mixed success – on the first occasion we successfully negotiated our way back to the towpath and thence back to the boat; but our second occasion was less than stunning.

Thinking that we could remove the road problem from the equation, Diane suggested (of course, I am blaming the management) that we try the footpath (marked by the walking man in the small square on the signpost) – through the fields we walked/trudged in the directions as given by the arrows, until we ran out of arrows – too far to walk back – we moved onward – how hard could it be to find the path – the pair of sheep didn’t bat an eyelid at our presence, but the herd of cows (and some bulls) seemed to resent our presence to the point that we very hurriedly backtracked to safer ground away from the rapidly approaching livestock.

Onward we went and found a wayout – very secretively and slowly we moved through some gates and over a fence which were part of the dairy and certainly not a public thoroughfare – and beyond this our reward was a road – never so happy to see a narrow road as this.

The navigator has resigned her commission and any thoughts on her part about veering away from the road are quickly dismissed and then ignored.

Introducing Thumper - a mascot from our daughter Samantha

As one is prone to do with a computer, we update the things with the programs that are recommended to us by the “nice” people at Windows – this was the case with mine and duly updated to IE9 – what a hopeless thing to do –  opened Internet Explorer and had to remove the update – a situation made comical by “her indoors” explaining to me that she had read on someone else’s blog that we should not up date to IE9 – horses bolting and gates that should be closed came quickly to mind - hindsight - such a wonderful afterthought.

After all of this we finally set our course on Saturday and farewelled our berth and moved out onto the cut – wind in our hair, sun in our eyes and looking forward to a bit of cruising and doing some locks – 6 miles and 6 locks in total.

Julie at the Davenport Arms with a cheeky Thumper
We had promised ourselves a lunch out for Sunday which we duly kept at The Tallemache Arms in Alphraham - excellent 3-course meal - I think that we only needed 2 courses, but each was very enjoyable.
After this we walked down to the Davenport Arms at Calvely for the football and a cleansing ale or three (unfortunately Man United lost) .
Did I mention about Boat Fitness?


  1. We want to come toooooooo!!!!!!

  2. Vivienne Brennan4 May 2011 at 13:23

    James and Rosie will be so pleased to have their own boat to keep them company. You need Banjo to protect or warn you about the poor livestock you interrupted ha ha ha

  3. Its great to be reading your blog again - all the best to the muttly and his injuries. Enjoy the next phase of your travels. It all sounds so exciting even though your muscles are sore from the manual labour of painting. Love Bren and Buddy