I started keeping a computer diary so that I could get some posts out early on our return. However, with no electricity connection to keep the laptop battery topped up, that didn’t last and I ended up making hastily pencilled notes on scraps of paper after day 2!
Day 1. 18th April 2017
We set off pretty early, away by 9.45 bearing in mind we had to fill up with water, clear down the electric and get ourselves organised!
Start time on the engine read 235.3 hr.
We didn’t last long and had our first cup of tea en route at 10am!
We hit the motorway at 10.28, and were through Strencham lock by 11.24.
Funny how doing the locks all came back to us, and it wasn’t too bad at all.
We reminisced about the first time we ever did it, how nervous I’d been, and how practical we’d been going up in the car to look at how it was done beforehand.
Eckington Bridge was our next point of interest, and I took her through with no trouble at all. It had been a bit dodgy when we first arrived as bits tended to fall off it!
The Swan’s Neck in the river is so relaxing, and perhaps in 50 or so years it will be a straight line rather than the graceful curves we experienced today.
Nafford Lock gates were heavy, and there is a swing bridge you have to pull back before entry.
Again it was no trouble for us, and on exiting we saw Simon II, a 70 footer that had originally been in Basin 2 and home for over thirty years to a couple we became friendly with. They sold it eighteen months ago and the new owners sank her in less than a week.
We were through Nafford just before 1pm, our destination being Pershore rather than Comberton Quay for our first night.
We passed one of our favourite properties and wished!
I took her into the lock, making a bit of a ballsup but at least I didn’t do my pinball impression, and coming out after locking up was pure textbook. I berthed her at the recreation ground too, and even though I approached my target a little too fast, I didn’t hit anything I shouldn’t and we were moored safely by 14.45.
End time on the engine was 240.3hr, so we had kept to our timetable of cruising for five hours a day.
We did a bit of shopping in Asda, and decided to have an early night as both of us had not slept at all well the night before.
Nerves, anxiety, sorrow, or a combination of all of those I suppose.
We know Maggie is in safe hands,. When we rang with our progress report, she had been looking for us to return by waiting for a while by the front door. She soon settled though.
Thank you for sharing your diary and wonderful photos!
More to come…………….
Good, waiting with anticipation…
I have to take a break, but excited to read the rest when I come back in a bit!
Put the kettle on and arm yourself with some biscuits!
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I’ve just started this story, I had no idea life on the canals was so dangerous, how on earth can you sink a canal boat?
Our journey started on the river and we have no idea how the people sank Simon II, let alone how they actually got that side of the boom to do it!
Our friends were gutted after living on her for so long and the new people sinking it in a matter of days.
Wow. The adventure begins! I love reading your notes about ‘driving’ that long boat! How sad that one of them was sunk. I wonder if that is a common occurrence. It sounds Like you all did your homework, though. And that house on the banks? Oh my. I would love that place, too!
There were some awesome properties along the river. It was such a shame about Simon II, having been home to the original owners for over 30 years. Not often boats sink though, at least not in our time as liveaboards, however, we were aware of several people who fell in…… Hubby included on our first trip back from Stratford Upon Avon.
Oh my ! There were all kinds of difficulties to maneuver!
It was great though. We miss it to be honest, or more the simplicity of the life itself.
I think I would miss it, too!