Saturday, 23 October 2010

First Dawn on Test

Looking at this month's Canal Boat, you could be forgive for thinking that the boat test on First Dawn was written by Kevin Blick.  after all, that's what the by-line says.  However, there was what I'll call an "attribution error" in the office, and it's actually my work.  As long as they pay me and not Kevin...

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Debdale Wharf

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I've been to Debdale Wharf Marina today.  Not because it's the place Debdale is named after, but for a boat test.  In common with most marinas, getting a boat out and back in again isn't made easy.  Still, we had a nice run down to the bottom of Foxton Locks and back.  It was beautifully sunny, and bitterly cold.  Unusually, I forgot to take my camera, which is why I've resorted to a Google Maps image.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Friday, 8 October 2010

Shropshire Union Canal Society

We've been meaning to join the Shropshire Union Canal Society for a while, and we've finally got round to it.  We sent off the form as soon as we got back from the Llangollen trip, which was entirely on the Shropshire Union network.

The society does lots to improve the canal, not least providing country moorings in some lovely places.  Among the information given to us by the lock keeper at Hurleston, was a SUCS leaflet detailing where all their moorings are.  Even though we've been based on the Shroppie for a couple of seasons, we'd never seen the leaflet before, and in came in very useful when we were on virgin territory, to know that ringed moorings were available; most of them aren't marked in the guides.  The list of moorings is also available on the society website.

Friday, 1 October 2010

September Cruise - Day 15

Rain overnight, and it was still raining when we made the short journey from our mooring to the basin at Norbury.  I spun the boat and backed onto the wharf, and the car was soon packed and we were off.

First stop was Nantwich Canal Centre again, where I had one last thing to pick up from Bill.  While we were there, we had a look at several of the brokerage boats, to see what you can get for your money at the moment.  Then we had tea and cake in the cafe before hitting the road.

The weather on the way home was horrendous, with heavy rain and spray making the motorway driving very difficult.  We decided to break the journey by stopping at the Hatton Locks Cafe near Warwick for lunch, as it's not far off the M40.  There were a couple of boats nearing the top of the Hatton flight, all crew members looking soaked and miserable.

Being Friday afternoon, the traffic was heavy all the way home, and we didn't get in until nearly 5pm.

It's been a great holiday.  Just going to Llangollen and back felt much less ambitious than last year's three-week voyage.  But it was good to retrace steps from (we calculated) 13 years ago.  And we've discovered that it's actually quite nice to moor up at lunchtime, go and explore, and decide to stay put for the night.  But the highlight has to be the Montgomery Canal.  The weather was fantastic, the scenery superb, and the feeling of being on a secret waterway, a complete contrast from the Llangollen, made it feel extra special.