Posted by Alan
It is becoming abundantly clear to us that there will be heaps less boating done by us in 2015 than in the bumper year we had last year.
We are selling our leisure boat "Chalice", that has served us well or the last ten years, but its very much older replacement "Flamingo" will be a major project before it can be used in the same way as a reliable and comfortable boat that we can live afloat in for weeks at a time. It is quite possible a the moment to stay on it for several days on its mooring, but that is in no small part because so far we have not started pulling it to pieces! Once we do, it is likely to be at least a partial building site for many months, probably with few of the services based on water and electricity that we have come to expect in "Chalice". However it still has a conventional working boat back cabin, so can already compete with "Sickle" in providing that small living space, even if much of the main cabin conversion ends up being in disarray as we work through it.
My health issues, particularly the eye problem, but also the injuries sustained when I fell in at the mooring, have also heavily impacted us making a proper start on "Flamingo", and instead we have largely focused on assessing what we have, and making some basic improvements to increase useability wherever we can. Even so, we realised quickly that we could not continue to meet the costs of three boats, and that getting "Chalice" on the market had to take priority over "Flamingo" for a while. Now, with "Chalice" at a brokerage, hopefully we can spend more time on the boat we intend to be its replacement, (although I face further eye surgery in a few weeks time, and my damaged shoulder shows little signs of any great improvement).
So where does all that place us in respect of actually doing any boating in 2015 in our own boats? We certainly want to not spend our entire time boatbuilding, and do want to fit in some trips around working on "Flamingo". Each year I try and work out what events are on, (particularly those relating to historic boats), ad we then attempt to work out a provisional plan of which e might attend. This plan is never written in stone, and has to be amended as circumstances change - for instance last yea we lost all three of the first events planned, because Odin, our dog, was critically ill - although we did manage everything we had in mind after that once he was OK to go boating again.
Here is a list of events that I think we will be thinking about....
Sat 16th - Sun 17th May – Rickmansworth Festival ("Sickle" - missed last year because of Odin).
Fri 12th - Sun 14th June – Stoke Bruerne Family Festival (A firm favourite - possibly both boats).
Sat 27th - Sun 28th June – Braunston Historic Boats (Although the very loud music in the beer tent is somewhat of a deterrent for this one).
Sun 16th August - Fenny Stratford Boat Festival (A new event, and certainly a possibity, as "Sickle" is based there, if nothing else is happening)
Sat 29th - Mon Sep 31st - Alvecote Historic Boat Gathering (We are less sure about logistics for this one, but we love it, and would like to get at least one boat there)
Sat 12th – Sun 13th September - Stoke Bruerne Village at War (A "must" for at least "Sickle" - a lovely event, this one).
Sat 26th - Sun 27th September - BCLM Working Boat Gathering (Hmm! - This would be lovely,and actually being inside the BCLM is a very different kind of thing altogether. Unlikely, I guess, but perhaps not impossible!)