Wednesday, 17 April 2013

45 locks in 40 miles

So we collected the boat having had all the remedial work done and headed off to get as near to Manchester as we could.  We’re now snug in a marina only fifteen minutes away from the growing family, number two granddaughter being expected on Monday.  The trip here was fairly cold and wet and took three and a half days.  The trees were bare and the locks numerous, including  ‘Heart Break Hill’ or the Cheshire flight of the Trent and Mersey canal.  Fi and I loved every minute.  She is now ‘qualified’ to drive into locks and I am ‘qualified’ to grind the paddles and push the gates open  and shut.  The learning curve was fairly steep and there was the odd bump – one managed to shift our wood burning stove a good few inches.  But no harm done and we made really good time to get here.  These narrow boats are just a tad different from a Jeanneau 42.  There’s no autopilot for a start and you have to steer the whole time and I mean the whole time.  Take a slight glance away from where you’re going and the damn thing heads straight for the bank/another boat/a bridge.  And turning to get round sharp bends or into marinas is an adventure in its own right.  Thank god the previous owner had a bow thruster fitted.
So the ‘List’ has’ been made and we are working our way through it, cross off one job and add two more, followed by a visit to the Chandler or B&Q.  Actually we are making good progress and the boat should be really spick and span for when we set off again in May.  That’ll be when the trees are out, the air is warm and the sun always shines…………
One out of the forty five

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