Sunday, 8 September 2013

How To Be At Sickle's Next Event?

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

We know we are temporarily breaking our resolve to do our boating at a bit more sedate pace, but, as already explained, we are also keen to get to all this years events with "Sickle" that we reasoned we might just manage at the start of the year.

But with Cath currently unavailable during the weekdays, (don't ask!), could we get "Sickle" from Shackerstone this weekend to Stoke Bruerne by next weekend, ready for "Village at war" - one of our favourite events.

Well, yes we can, but only by me "single handing" "Sickle" for much of it.  I'm no natural single hander since I broke my pelvis a few years back.  Steering the lock free sections isn't too bad, but I don't really do jumps any more, and am not confident with tacling too many locks alone.  But from Shackerstone to Stoke Bruerne the "real" locks only kick in at Braunston and Buckby on the Grand Union.  The biggest task on the narrow canals would be the paired single locks at Hillmorton - I reckoned I could do that.

Approaching a typical attractive stone bridge on the Ashby
So I would stay with "Sickle" and start the journey, but Cath needed to be at home.  If we left Shackerstone and got a few miles in that would help, so that's what we did.  Rather daftly I suggested Cath could take the car on to another point, then cycle back or walk back to meet me coming towards her.  We could travel on those miles, have a final meal together, and she could then leave.  We rather miscalculated though, and she walked far further than sensible, plus by the time we arrived at Stoke Golding it seemed highly unlikely anybody would be serving a meal.  Fortunately we wee wrong, as a pub there actually has an Indian Restaurant attached to it - a double blessing, as I could have a proper pint of real ale with my "Indian" rather than the "traditional" Kingfisher, which, if I'm honest, I only drink under duress.

Sleeping alone on "Sickle" for the first time was an odd experience, but as a "Grand Union" motor's cross bed is really only a "single" in household terms, I did have a bit more room than sometimes!  I later learnt Cath wasn't home until about midnight - we pushed things a bit far, really, but it makes my task for the next couple of days a lot easier.

Shackerstone to Stoke Golding
Miles: 9.9, Locks: 0

Total Miles: 481.4, Locks: 251

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