We owe you some serious catch up posts to explain where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to since we started cruising again in January. In progress, I promise, guvnor. In the meantime, here’s a quick match report on our game-changing Monday.
We finished our end-to-end journey along the Staffs and Worcester canal with a flourish – a full three-sixty turn across the expanse of the aptly named Tixall Wide. The coots were confused by our shenanigans, much to my amusement. Then it was back onto a (boring) stretch of the Trent and Mersey canal for the third time. Down some (boring) locks and along past the (boring) Armitage Shanks bog factory. As we approached a stretch of narrows, we realised it was all about the team performance today and Tom strode ahead to check the way was clear before I brought the boat through, keeping my eye on the ball the whole time.
As we turned the corner and left the bogs behind us, we saw the boat Celtic Eagle moored up in their home ground. We first met them on the Leeds and Liverpool canal back in June, so it was a real treat to be invited over to their house for a cup of tea and a good chat. Made us feel like real boaties, with canal friends in every port. The final minutes of the game saw us pull into Fradley, historic canal junction and general scenic spot. Here, we ran the clock down over a very enjoyable meal in The Swan – iconic canal pub par excellence, with excellent beer and cheap, delicious food. We weren’t planning on eating there but the smells – so delicious – couldn’t resist – nobody could.
After dinner we idly checked the stoppages for our journey downstream along the tidal river Trent. Oh no! Our game plan was in tatters because a lock on the Trent is knackered until mid May, rendering the Trent pretty much impassable. This was more than a potential banana skin, this changed the whole stall we’d set out for the summer. But, at the end of the day, canal boating is just a game, so we sat down to some serious re-planning and have now rejigged our schedule and made the forthcoming fixtures even more exciting. We are going to go down the Leicester Section of the Grand Union, along the apparently beautiful river Nene, then ACROSS THE SEA! Oh yes, we’re going to push Felucca to give 110% and head across the Wash from Wisbech to Boston. Let’s just hope there are no more own goals or foul play between now and then.