We were due out on Silhouette this week, but the Skeg has fallen off. Well another owner was out and the tiller went “all floppy”, when calling out Canal River Rescue they went under the boat and came back with Skeg in hand – it had rusted off! We had been given the option of having a hire boat for our week, but its not the same and we felt we’d rather go without and forgo the expense for our syndicate.
We’ve been moored at Heritage Narrowboats for a few years, and so once again its time to consider where we want to have our next base. We will be moving next year so there is a bit of time to spend on the Macc, we were out on early this month and going out again in October.
We had to shorten our trip out this time as we couldn’t both be off on the weekend. So it was going to be a Monday-Friday jaunt up the Macclesfield. We arrived early and set straight off, reversing out of the marina as the boat was at the far end of a full mooring, so no real space to turn. A compliment was paid to me by a boater refuelling, well I took “its almost as if you know what you are doing” as a compliment. It didn’t take too long to get to the locks, although we met a boat coming out of lock 2 as we were in lock 1. I assumed we were both supposed to vacate the locks simultaneously, especially as they had sent crew onwards to “help”. That they then didn’t leave the lock until I was out did mean a very wide turn and some readjusting (read that as reversing and cussing) was required to get around. After that it was plain sailing. I do the locks single handed, and it doesn’t take that long. Indeed going back to close the gates of the last lock and then ahead to set the next whilst the lock is filling, keeps the time down and my fitness up. Beau, our youngest dog, is very nervous going through locks, so Michelle stays down below with him. This does mean we get strange looks of when we meet an oncoming boat at a lock, especially if its a typical middle-class older couple with the husband steering and the wife doing the locks. Sometimes they ask, but usually just too polite, but probably don’t realise their perplexed looks give away their thoughts. It’s funny really what the perceived norms are. Don’t they realise it gives me all the pleasures and challenges of solo boating with the added bonus of doing stuff as a family when moored. Each to their own :-).
I have been enjoying my time out afloat but have not been doing much photo-for-video capture, so there has been an absence of my video’s for ooo too long. I do actually have an unprocessed set from erm about 3 years ago which includes a near miss with a
British Waterways Canal River Trust Boat which proves you can do an emergency stop with a boat! However my plan for my next cruise is once more on the Calden, so hopefully I’ll have the kinks worked out and have more video to report.
We went out for a few days before Easter, though wasn’t sure how busy or would be – it is after all the school holidays. We set off from Heritage boats and down to the Harecastle Tunnel. We had a short wait whilst boats were coming through but no queue this side. Once through we carried on up the Caldon canal. Three was a local who’s hobby was to help people through the locks. Unusual.
The canal seems to have gone through some improvements since my last trip here, with some new lock gates and improved tow paths. Indeed as we progressed up the canal we found workmen upgrading the path, so out looks like they will be doing the whole length.
We are out on the canals and heading to the River Severn, to Gloucester. Someone had just told us about the Lock 200 event celebrating the bicentenary of the lock opening taking place 6th-9th September. Wonder of its too late to book a slot?