Thursday, 12 March 2015

Finally Boating in 2015

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)

Moved near a bridge to load up "Chalice"
As many of you may know, the first part of my year has had far more to do with NHS hospitals than it has had to do with boating.  This has severely impacted our ability to sort out very much with any of the three boats, beyond occasional checks that they are still floating, and trying to keep the two that have water systems from suffering frost damage.

In an ideal world, what should already have happened is serious attempts to get "Chalice" sold, but we felt it only fair on whoever buys her that we made some effort to tidy her up a bit.  Fortunately she is a sound and reliable boat, but after being boated very intensively last year, (more than we have ever done before), some bits were looking decidedly in need of a bit of TLC.

"Ricky" boat "Taplow" remains sunk at Cheddington.
Then there was a very very long stoppage to allow Canal and River Trust contractors to repair one of the more "hairy" looking bridges in Milton Keynes.  It had some very bad cracking, and (very worryingly) some detached brickwork in the arch which has looked for some time that it could fall on boats and boaters passing underneath.  The stoppage was planned to run over about two months, and not scheduled to end until March 13th.  This would have meant if we had try to move "Chalice" to a broker for sale, we would have had to try to do so many weeks ago, and then not only avoid this stoppage, but also others going on around that time.  We realised this would rule out doing any makeover on the boat, and frankly I was not really yet well enough to do a lightening move of "Chalice" anyway.  So we reluctantly accepted that about now was the earliest we might take the boat for sale.

Odin is absolutely overjoyed to be boating again!
All was not lost however, and I have felt more able to do serious work on boats between hospital and GP visits.  The weather has on the whole been kind, and has allowed touching up and general cleaning up of outside paint.  We may do another post on this, but basically "Chalice" now looks far more like the boat she should, and I am happier to pass her on to a new owner than had we not been able to find this extra time.

"Sudbury" shares a Willow Wrewn livery with our "Flamingo"
But we are now into what we hope will be her farewell trip with us.  A bit sad in a way - we absolutely loved the Cooks Wharf mooring, but it is only 52 feet, so no use for "Flamingo", and is really too expensive to consider moving "Sickle" to.   So we had given notice for the end of February, and have been a "boat without a home mooring" since.

So today we loaded up, and set off.  No great rush, as the feedback is that the bridge stoppage is highly unlikely to end early, so if we arrived there any earlier than tomorrow evening, we are unlikely to get through.

"Tasmania" is for sale at the moment, but seems very expensive.
We haven't seen another boat move while we were, and found every lock fully against us, and needing "turning".  I hadn't realised the degree to which my still very damaged shoulder, (which has had further X rays and an ultrasound scan in the last week or two), would affect my ability to whizz paddles up - it was often painful, but thankfully always possible.

Had we left Cooks Wharf about half an hourearlier I would be tying this in Leighton Buzzard, but with failing light and my eyesight issues, we sensibly decided to stop a lock and a couple of miles short.

Cooks Wharf to Grove Lock near Leighton Buzzard
Miles: 5.4, Locks: 8
Trip totals:
Miles: 5.4, Locks: 8


  1. Good to see the blog active again, because boating things are happening, I hope it's a sign of 'continuous improvement'.

  2. Hopefully, we will now be able to concentrate on Flamingo. Alan is continuing to improve, but still being checked/treated for the damage he did falling into the canal more than 2 months ago, and for his eyesight problems.


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