Monday, 7 October 2013

We made it! The last two trips & Stats for 2013

Friday 4th October
Stoke Pound to Droitwich Spa Marina
4.5 miles, 15 locks

A few days behind with this blog I am afraid, but we made it back safe and sound last Friday.  The weather has helped with the many loads of laundry, but I am afraid we still have a few piles/bags of ‘stuff’ we need to find a home for.

The final leg of our journey was uneventful, but none the worse for that.  The weather is certainly changing if you look at this sky.

There are signs of autumn in abundance

We did, however, not get more than a few spots of rain, so no complaints.

Our first real sign that we are getting close to home – the windmill at Avoncroft – a place we love and visit regularly.

We whipped down the Stoke flight
And then onto Astwood which is really rural.  Be warned if you come this way – lock 19 is really tough going and the top paddle on the non-tow path side spits, so stand well back if you don’t want a shower!!  Then onto lock 18 and it has to be one of my favourites with a pretty cottage and an even prettier garden which goes on behind the hedge, where I think they have some chickens to go with the green house.  Obviously very dedicated gardeners and it fills by heart with joy every time we go through here.

 We did not see a boat all day until we got to Hanbury Turn and there just in front of us was a Canal Time boat with Mum, Dad and two children (around 7 and 9 at a guess).  

 Well it was a good job that David, the VLK was there to lend a hand and that we did not have far to follow them as it was a slow laborious process.  

Still for us it was down the locks and right turn into the Marina and home to our new berth with new neighbours.   

One side is empty and it looks as though the other side has been winterized judging by the conkers.  Does this really work to keep the spiders at bay?

We stayed on the boat Friday night leaving the work to be done until Saturday.

We love the position of our new berth (mind you I don’t think there is a bad one here), but did not think about the distance from it to the car for loading/unloading, so we might think again before we load up next spring.  A wheelbarrow was borrowed, but it was still quite a job.  Two car loads and several hours later the boat was pretty empty and the house rather full! 

So was our first longish trip a success – oh yes most definitely.  We both loved every minute of it.  Two sets of visitors both of whom we have known for around 40 years - the icing on the cake to be able to share this experience with such good friends.  Monty got his first taste of city life and coped very well.  We have learnt how to travel slowly and take advantage of dry weather.  We only got really wet once in the three weeks, so cannot complain about that. 

Once we are sorted out at home we will be going back to the marina for the big clean up inside and out and a bit of touching up here and there.  We may have a day trip or two before the winter and she has to go back to Pinder’s at Stoke Prior on 21st October for the snags (nothing too major) to be sorted out.  There is just one job we have asked them to do that we feel we missed in the original spec – we have radio speakers in the saloon and the bedroom, but not the galley and with a bulkhead between the saloon and the galley it is frustrating being able to ‘nearly hear’ the radio, but not quite, so they are going to rectify that for us.

Total stats for the trip:
109 miles, 198 locks, 5 swing/lift bridges, 9 tunnels and 4 aqueducts

Postscript: Waiting for us amongst the piles of post (mostly rubbish!) was a parcel from Boatwif and The Captain from nb Cleddau.  An unexpected surprise and it was the first thing we opened and what a wonderful gift it contained – a tea cosy for Tentatrice along with a tea bag and verse to go with it!  The colours are perfect and it was even wrapped in blue and turquoise tissue paper to match the boat!  Thank you both very much – it will be treasured and used often.

 There is only one answer to the above - we will often!  Certainly every time we have a cuppa!  Thanks again.

Jan 2014:
Just to tidy up last year's boating - I have found I forgot to add our last two trips!  The purpose of the trip was to return Tentatrice to the boat builder for a few snags to be sorted out.  There is little to report about the trips except that they occured and all faults bar one have been resolved.  The last one is still ongoing, but we are hopeful it will be dealt with very soon.

Thursday 17th  Ocotber 2013
Droitwich Spa Marina to JL Pinder & Son, Stoke Prior
4 miles, 11 locks

Saturday 26th October 2013
JL Pinder & Son, Stoke Prior to Droitwich Spa Marina
3.5 miles, 9 locks

Stats for 2013
179 miles, 331 locks, 38 swing bridges, 11 tunnels.

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