Sunday, 2 May 2021

Boating but not on Percy ...?

When we were out the other week we were doing that boating thing of leap frogging another boat and that boat was Jubilee Halfie and Jan's boat. Whilst we were winding and heading back they were heading off on the four counties with a trip up the Caldon. As we live above the Caldon on the stretch between Consall lock and Froghall tunnel we agreed to meet up and take them some post they had forwarded to our place.

So yesterday we walked down and met them as they were on their way to the 48 hour visitor moorings. John initially moored up and put the kettle on then a decision was taken to cruise on and with little encouragement we hopped onto the foredeck and enjoyed seeing our bit of canal from a boat rather than walking (which we do a lot) 

With the extra weight (!) and a willing pair of guiding hands a quick risk assessment was taken and the intrepid couple decided to go for the basin - through the very low Froghall tunnel....

My all time favourite canal bridge - Cherry Eye Bridge

John turned the engine off and with him on the stern and me on the bow we handed Jubilee through  - it got very tight at one point with literally an inch each side at the front .... but we got through 

(Pictures by Jan  -  pinched from NB Jubilees site  - here for another perspective )

Success !

John then expertly reversed into a pontoon in the basin and joined an elite club of boaters who have taken their boat into the basin.

Sadly there are some that cannot respect the countryside  - I speared it and took it home 

Skip forward the next day and we returned to help 'hand' Jubilee back through the tunnel. John had been proactive and found more wood and cut it and stacked it on the bow. He'd also topped the watertank back up and added a bucket of water and a bottle of water on the bow and some paving slaps he found dumped on the stern - that's proactive.

Success, seemed easier no doubt in part due to the few steps John took.

Yes we also met another boat on the narrows  - great to see boats coming up our canal. They reversed and we cruised on.

We live up there ...

We even met our neighbour Margaret and her family at Consall lock. We brought Jubilee up ( despite the boat we passed in the narrows leaving one of the paddles two click up  - John spotted it as we hovered close to the top ! 

Off they cruised to hopefully get past the river section before the predicted heavy rains that'll bring the Churnet up for sure. 

It was lovely to meet them again on home turf and help them get into and out of the basin. It also reminded me how much we miss Percy and what we could and maybe should be doing more of.  We walked back home up through he woods for some gardening ( Rachel) and some motorbike fettling (Nev).

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