We were both awake early, 5.30 to be precise.
Nothing to do with a restless night, anxiety, or ducks doing impressions of alarm clocks.
Maggie was dozing at my feet as usual, but Hubby decided to get up and do the manual checks before our journey home. I snuggled down and thought about yesterday’s events.
No good dwelling on it, we came out of it OK with a bit more experience and had learned a valuable lesson about boat safety.
Then I got up too.
According to the forecast, we could expect rain and wind throughout the day, though not to the extremes of yesterday thank goodness.
At 6.30, conditions were perfect for the off, but we were the only ones up.
Hubby had been walkabout the evening before and discovered that, had us girls walked beyond the supermarket, we would have found ourselves in the High Street.
Hubby and I therefore decided to take the dog for a walk and do some window shopping at the same time. With nowhere open, it was a sure way of saving money!
Sadly, as is a fact of life these days, there were a lot of empty premises, and not a lot to attract our interest, apart from this:
It brought to mind a sign I’d seen years ago which read:
‘Dogs welcome, please tie your kids up and leave them outside’.
It started to rain, so we made our way back to the boat and put the kettle on.
A week without mains hadn’t proved a hardship at all as we had a hob kettle, and although our fridge runs on 12 volts, I’d made sure we had nothing perishable in it as it drains the batteries, so we only had it running while the engine was going.
In Stratford, we had run our engine for just half an hour Saturday and Sunday, which was sufficient to charge the batteries and give us hot water for the day.
At 7.30 there was a tap on the door and the suggestion of being ready to move in about half an hour. We said we were ready to go, so we set off together at 7.45.
We were through the lock twenty minutes later, and it was about an hour and a half to the next one.
Our friends were eating their breakfast on the way, and we were keeping an eye on the weather. The sky was getting darker, the wind teasing us with the occasional gust, and we had our waterproofs out in readiness.
There’s a footbridge over the lock at Nafford and you have to move it out of the way before you can get your boat in. It was funny, but I don’t remember it on the way up and therefore I don’t remember having to put it back into position when we exited!
Still, we abided by the rules and left things as they should be.
With just one lock to go when I took this on the return journey, we were within two hours of home.
The wind was still toying with us and the sky was threatening, though we were lucky and it only rained twice.
We were back at the marina by midday, and Hubby reversed us in perfectly, taking things nice and slow, working with the wind instead of trying to beat it.
Our friends were also back in their berth and sorting themselves out.
We did one final check on the boat and then hit the shower block!
Summary final day:
Number of locks : 3
Travel time as per engine hours : 4.3 hrs
Distance travelled : 14 miles
Total distance return journey: 42 miles
Fuel used: 40 litres diesel
Engine hours start: 73.1
Engine hours end: 109.4
Total distance: 84 miles
Total locks: 36 (18 each way)
No of days travelling: 7
No of days at Festival : 2
Water used : 3/4 of a tank, approx 75 gallons
Festival ticket : £25
Spending money: £30 tops
To finish off our ‘holiday’, we shared a takeaway and a bottle of wine with our friends in the evening. Good food and good company, what more could you ask for.
It had been a tremendous week, fun, exciting (scary!) and within a sensible budget.
Whilst on the river, we passed a variety of holiday hires.
Other Brother had a one twelfth share in a narrow boat (now given up after 19 years), and when he rang last week to see if we were still in Stratford, he was surprised at how expensive the river licences are until he realised he’d only had to pay a twelfth of anything to do with his boat.
He’s said that he may be in our area in the next few weeks and would like to visit us here in the marina. I’ll have the tissues ready and the kettle’s always on OB. 🙂