The Caldon is pretty and with interesting turns and some tight spaces. It had been recommended by many and in addition my sister Anne ( London based) had told me her friends, Dave and Jane, also had a canal boat and are not very far away. He was a cyclist and she was a retired speech therapist so all in all we should surely get on. They were on the Caldon so we had a good reason to divert. We realised though that we were making a slower pace over the previous days than predicted – the ready reckoner for covering distances that we were using assumed an experienced crew of 3 and all the locks set in your favour, plus going faster on the level than we have done. Add in that two cannot send one to the shops while the boat goes up locks and we concluded we had better not go too far along, or we would fall behind on our future schedule.
Despite a comedy of errors.. late departures; misunderstandings; mooring at a pub for lunch that was closed until 4; completely walking passing each other and walking right up to the top of the locks intending to help them through, only to receive a message that they had reached the bottom (and they DID have all the locks in their favour so faster than expected) …We managed to meet at last and had a lovely evening together (and we had fitted in washing and shopping) so all was well by the end.
We had expected to go our separate ways the next day but we traveled along in the same direction. We were booked into the Harecastle tunnel and they weren’t and online booking was closed. However Dave managed to ring up and they were allowed in too, and so we have continued to meet throughout the day after all. It’s been a great pleasure. We hope we can meet again some other time.
We will also be keen to revisit the Caldon canal and go further. We can potter past the potteries again.