On the whole life has been quiet for us since we returned home in early September. We have had two notable boat related outings - both to meet up with our friends Sue (Boatwif) and Ken on their boat nb Cleddau. On both occasions the weather was perfect.
14th September 2020 - Norbury Junction
As we drove north by road they were heading north by boat. They arrived and secured a mooring a while before we got there - we were at the mercy of the M6. Communications en route worked seamlessly and it was agreed we would phone when we arrived. Ah, the vagaries of modern technology - we had no signal! We did, however, manage to find them. Adjacent tables were found in the pub garden and we enjoyed a meal together whilst maintaining good 'social distancing'.
Then it was back to Cleddau and a tow path cuppa.
22nd September 2020 - Rode Heath
We had enjoyed seeing Sue and Ken in 'real life so much that we decided to do it again. This time they were heading south on their way back to the Macclesfield Canal. No communication problems this time and once again we enjoyed a good meal in a canal side pub garden before heading back to Cleddau
Our main task since returning from our boat trip was to prepare the boat which is booked in for bottom blacking and other jobs with Crafted Boats. A lot of stuff has been brought home for sorting out. I have been assured it won't all go back on board in the Spring! It is horrifying how much you can store on a narrow boat - it seems to increase each year! It is a good job we have a conservatory that is too cold to use in the winter. We have a king size ottoman bed the base of that is full as well. The boat itself is very bare.
The dry dock is about 7 miles from our marina, however there are 45 locks, so not an easy trip. We have another set of friends who have rolled up their sleeves to help us with Tardebigge before now. We had planned that they would come and stay for a day or so to lend us a hand. We were all waiting on tenterhooks for the announcement from Boris last Monday - would we be able to 'mix households' or not? We were, so they arrived Thursday afternoon. We had a quiet Friday just enjoying the novelty of being with friends. They are the first people to enter our house since lockdown started way back in March. Well apart from a couple of men who delivered a new washing machine. Did we ever imagine just how wonderful it would be to spend time with friends - it was always good, but now it is even more special and something I will never take for granted again.
Saturday 17th September 2020
Droitwich Spa Marina to The Queen's Head, Stoke Pound
4.5 miles, 15 locks
Fortunately we were blessed with good weather - dry, with some sun and not too cold. We set off from Droitwich at 10:25. As you can see it was calm with a lovely blue sky.
The first three locks are just around the corner at Hanbury - the first time Jane and Chris have come across locks with side ponds. There were two voluntary lock keepers on duty and a steady stream of boats up and down, so it was a speedy transit.Jane and Chris with their dog, Kiera (Monty's best friend) at Hanbury in the sunshine
The six locks at Astwood were all ready or nearly ready for us to enter and we were the only boat on the move, so again it all went very speedily.