An earlier start for us this year as we slipped away from our winter moorings in Droitwich on Saturday. But first what did we do over the winter?
In November we went from the East Coast at Felixstowe where we marvelled at the size of the container ships and the sheer number of containers waiting on the quayside.
And how many they get on one container ship
to the West Coast at Ynsyslas where Monty marvelled at all that sand.
We spent a week in Wales visiting family - our daughter and family joined us for the weekend. Jamie had bought his nursery school's bear along for the trip.
Monty almost got his feet wet (he does not 'do' water!
Our grandsons met up with new cousins - all Welsh speaking, but they managed to communicate well enough for a good play session. Our grandsons are second and third from the left.
And there was the youngest member of the family - another cousin of some sort - I have never got my head around 1st, 2nd etc cousins and those that are once, twice etc removed!
Christmas was a very quiet affair with the family joining us between Christmas and New Year. A fun ice skating outing was the highlight - the parents worked hard, the children had fun and Chris and I watched!
Our youngest granddaughter celebrated her seventh birthday on 29th December, so we had a special birthday breakfast that morning (pancakes were the birthday girl's request) before they all headed home.
New Year saw us on the Macclesfield Canal on board nb Cleddau with Sue and Ken. We went from Poyton to Bugsworth Basin where we spent New Year's Eve before heading back again. We saw the sorry sight on the way up.
We were moored next to fellow bloggers nb Fizzical Attraction
The sight was even sadder on the way back as it appears that they had given up trying to salvage her
When back at Poyton the rain started to lash down and the wind was so strong that Ken's brolly ended up on the other side of the cut. Thankfully some kind walkers rescued it.
Those were just a few highlights of our winter. Easter was spent loading and cleaning Tentratrice before we set off on Saturday on our first trip this year. Just a short one to Stratford and back to Droitwich for the St Richard's Festival which takes place over the first May Bank Holiday weekend.
Saturday 2nd April 2016
Droitwich Spa Marina to Stoke Pound
4.5 miles, 15 locks
We lay and listened to the rain pounding down on the roof Friday night and early Saturday morning, so we waited to set off until late morning, so we had a really pleasant cruise in warm sunshine. There were two lock keepers on at Hanbury. The Astwood flight is an easy one and takes us past the pretty cottage at lock 18.
The garden is beginning to wake up after the winter
There are two new inhabitants keeping an eye on things
We managed to recruit some passing help - many hands do make light work.
Monty has not forgotten his locking supervision duties
Our friend Thalia joined us at the bottom of the Stoke flight, so it was an easy trip done in wonderful weather - a perfect start to our spring cruise.