Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Slow Start To 2013 Boating

(Boat Sickle - Tuesday 9th April 2013 - posted by Alan)

Waiting for lock at Stoke Hammond
The Easter School Holidays would normally see the serious start of one of our fairly intensive "boating years" that attempts to fit in as many miles and locks as things allow, but always moderated by Cath's job as a teacher.  Traditionally at this time of year it has not only been know for us to (say) attempt the Thames ring in the Easter Holidays, but maybe also pack in a return trip to Lechlade too.

Stoke Hammond lock, on a grey day.

Plenty of volunteer "lockies" at Three Locks - but very few boats!
This year, however, plenty else was going on.  Firstly one of Cath's colleagues was marrying, and we had an invite to her wedding celebrations in London.  Almost immediately after a "Boater's banter" was organised at Gnosall, (with the added promise of a day at Ellesmere Port for the historic boat event taking place there).  Finally I always try and attend reunions with my many old friends from my days in Brighton, who I first met when I went to the University of Sussex, and one of these was to take place in Brighton.

Swing Bridge at Cheddington
Reluctantly Cath and I decided initially that we might have to have just a few days boating, not the usual fortnight, but ultimately we called off any serious plans to go anywhere.  Although this decision was not actually tempered by the appalling weather we had over Easter, it probably proved to be quite a good one - I know other people did cancel plans, not fancying battling along in rain and heavy cross winds!
We decided however that we would move "Sickle" South from its regular mooring, onto a borrowed mooring where we keep "Chalice", as we might be able to tackle some much needed work on her if closer to home, and mains electricity was available.

Railway bridge at Cheddington
In practice that one day move ended up being our sole boating over Easter, and our first of the year.  e had planned to move "Sickle" back again by the end of the two weeks, but it became possible to leave her there a bit longer, so that is what we did.

Variety in approaches to painting cans.
Fenny Stratford to Cooks Wharf (Grand Union)
Miles: 15.0, Locks: 15

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