There is often a lot of preparation, events and planning leading up to Christmas and then there is a lull after. We are having a lull. We don’t have a next place to be or a deadline, but we are keeping moving to keep the boat’s tanks and batteries stocked. Having stopped early yesterday (“rain stopped play”), we went along the old familiar route with swing and lift bridges, that we’d covered before. This time we were going a bit further and reached a fourth swing bridge. Shane did the first one, with the correct windlass, while I received a random “love your boat” call from leading walkers. I did the other 3. I did have to go and stand on the electronically operated one to make it release the key. It will have saved spot of people a lot of trouble, for that person to write that on the metal instruction plate.
While walking between bridges, I saw there had been alot of recent hedge trimming. I had noticed in the morning, some of my holly decoration on the front of the boat had been blown away, so when I saw you cutting on the ground, and some with berries, I thought I would collect a sprig. There was a narrowing before the next bridge, so my plan was to throw it into the bow well, so I didn’t have it to your while trying to deal with opening the bridge. However when I tossed it over, the prickles snagged in my gloves and it didn’t follow the planned trajectory, landing in the water in stead. Definitely not worth getting my gloves wet for, and now I didn’t want to run back to get more, as I had a bridge to open. Pesky prickles!
On our way we saw a warning sign well back from the boat but the warning wasn’t about bridges or landslips, but about another tricky plant.
When pushing one of the bridges closed (for boats, or open, if you are using the road) the cyclists came along. I told them it was nearly there. I was a little unsure as there was a small back swing and was giving an extra push to make sure and one said,
“If we were gentlemen, we’d give you a hand.”
Then one of them did come and give a push and decided it was fit for purpose and said he’d test it and if I heard a splosh, it hadn’t worked… All got across safely.
After the last bridge we reached Furnessvale marina and saw a boat we had seen a few years ago and had been discussing with Bryn, Nye and David recently, a boat with a reconstruction of the Robin Reliant Trotters’ van from “Only Fools and Horses” TV series. The boat seemed to be called Rodney.
We had a late lunch after some awkward manoeuvres at Whaley bridge, where we got water,. The manoeuvres were made more awkward by both of us needing our lunch while we did them, and a huge spout of water cascading from a 6″ diameter pipe into the winding space. We need to move again, as we were stopped in a space a little too short for it boat, and that would make other boaters have even more difficulty manoeuvring. A man asked me the boat length as we were tying up, as another boat had recently moved, leading a space further up. It was 18 get sorted though, so it wasn’t going to be any better. He advised that there was space at Budgeting and we planned to go there anyway.
Arriving at Bugsworth basin, we had yet more tricky mooring as there was a bend in the wall and some collapsed stonework. Some more for rope hauling and we got in close enough. Shane considered moving again, but agreed that now we are more or less moored, moving wasn’t going to help.
We had a stroll round the basin before dark and there has been lot of conservation and campaign work into making this a place of interest as well as a working basin, largely by volunteers. A recent addition to the community was this free lending library, constructed with consideration, giving equity of access to children.