Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Remembering We Have Another Boat

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)

The record shows that "Chalice" has moved once so far this year, but not since the very first two days of the year.  It really is quite exceptional for her to have lain inactive for so long, but the recent decision to do our extended trip with "Sickle" has meant that other than some basic checking from time to time, "Chalice" has just stayed tied up.

First lock with "Chalice" in a lot of months.
This is Cath's half-term week, and we had hoped to get external work done on both boats, but it seems the week is doomed to largely be wet throughout, and that simply isn't going to happen.  (I suppose the good news is that the canal still desperately needs all the rainfall we can get!).

Anyway it is so long since "Chalice's" engine was last fired up that I wasn't even sure it was going to without a bit of a fight.  I need not have worried - the battery still seemed in good order, and the engine started into life with very little effort.

Mike on his way to Stoke Bruerne Gala with "Victoria".
The other thing I had forgotten is what very, very, different boats "Chalice" and "Sickle" are.  Despite only being a 50 foot boat, "Chalice's" cabin, and particularly roof area, seems massive after time spent with "Sickle".  The back cabin is very much taller above the steerer's position too, making you feel far more "surrounded by boat".  With a lot less power, "Chalice" doesn't romp away as you first start to move, but it is far more important to remember that she also has nothing like "Sickle's" capacity to pull up in just a few feet.

"Towcester" on one of its regular fuel delivery runs.
Anyway, the objective was just to go a few miles and put a bit of charge in the batteries, whilst enjoying a pub lunch in the middle.  Well that's quite an easy objective, and we had no trouble meeting it.  The weather turned a bit damp, but not excessively so, and, despite being laid up for many months, "Chalice" performed impeccably, and threw no surprises at us.

Thoughts are starting to turn to where any big summer holiday may take us!

Marsworth & Back
Miles: 2.7, Locks: 4

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