38 Miles, 18 Locks – for these 12 days
Totals: 1011 Miles, 824 Locks, 28 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 20 Swing Bridges
We have really taken advantage of this very unseasonable weather and had a decent cruise – down to Penkridge and return.
|The outward journey - who would believe that it would be so great|
We found a printing place in Penkridge and the people have said that they should be able to do the lettering for the new name for the boat as well as few other bits and pieces which we want to add - stay tuned for further updates.
You just never know what you might find in some of the towns along the way.
A few days each way at Tixall Wide – we had been expecting many more boats here given the conditions but there has been no more than 3 or 4 at any one time.
|Moving into Tixall Wide and not another boat in sight|
Just could not believe the weather could be this good
Admittedly the towpath is a little bit muddy but no problems in getting back to Great Haywood for a pint at the Clifford Arms – a favourite for us as we can take Banjo inside and they even have doggy treats for any of the canines in there at the time.
Dare I say it again, but this weather has been mostly very good – even sunshine on a lot of the days out – some of it was quite warming.
|A lovely morning for cruising - no wind, sunshine and beautiful scenery|
Even though it was leisurely cruising time we still were making sure about the weather in case it suddenly turned bad and we needed to get back, but (touch wood) apart from one or two days it has been ideal.
|Look at that sunshine - definitely time for the sunnies - maybe|
time for the deck chairs and suntan lotion
One of the worst days we could cruise was the day we decided to move from Penkridge back to Baswich – a brute of a day – extremely windy and with a bit of rain early on.
|No this is not a disused canal in need of restoration - just a very|
muddy towpath, which I am pleased to say was the exception
rather than the rule
We can now say that cruising in the wind holds no great fears for us – the boat handled very well and even though there were many gusts we didn’t move off course – however the same couldn’t be said of Diane’s cap which flew off back into the water – she wasn’t giving up it – not a $30 cap.
|Reuntied with her cap.|
This is the lady with whom I have been in love with for 30 years
- and now as much as ever
We had an email come through from Gill and Malcolm on nb Shoehorn in the marina that things had indeed been very rough – the winds had been extremely bad and there were items being blown off the roof – for quite a few of the boats.
We seemed to have none of this – we knew that it was very windy overnight and of course on that day of wind cruising, but it really didn’t seem quite so bad. Looking back on where we had moored, we seemed to have naturally taken the safe option of protection from the housing and trees around.
|I think this is what BW mean for you not to do - running your |
engine in gear - who know how much damage is being done
to the bank
We later saw Andy and Jean from nb Josephine and they related the very windy conditions again – they had lost the Satellite dish off the roof – as Andy has said – it takes a lot of struggling with both hands to remove it from the roof (so strong is the magnet) – but to have the dish blow off, means the wind was STRONG !
It just felt so very very good to be out and moving over this time and to re-establish the feel for being on the move.
|Brilliant sunshine, cool air and "stern" concentration|
We took an extra day and went up into Stone, winded and moored on the 48 hour moorings below the bottom lock. It gave us a chance to go to the supermarket and not have a long walk back to the boat in the marina; a chance to have dinner out without needing to get a taxi back.
If this is winter cruising then I am all for it – but I feel that it has been just a time of very unseasonable weather – in a perfectly good and enjoyable way – the turn will be on the way.
|Even the crew enjoyed being out and about - Banjo in his |
favourite spot out the back