Sunday, 6 July 2014

Not Taking "Sickle" Home (A Change of Plan)

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)
Retrospective post for Fri 4th to Sun 6th July 2014

On the first day
What we thought we were doing after the Braunston show was to return "Sickle" South to her home mooring, and indeed until the desire to visit a pub with friends on the final evening of Braunston overtook us, we had planned to start on the Sunday evening.  In practice, though, we decided to drive home on the Sunday, and actually do boat moves another day.

Narrow Boat Trust boats pass South, loaded
That decision proved to be a good one, because as we considered the weeks ahead after that, we realised that moving a boat South would inevitably mean just extra time spent moving it North again!  We spend too much time traversing between our home moorings and any choices of routes North, and would rather spend more time on the canals we get to less often.

One of us regularly gets off to give Odin walks
So I decided to make some enquiries, and quickly found out that we could move "Sickle" up to Alvecote marina, which is very "historic boat friendly".  We started to weave a whole plan for the next couple of months involving both boats, and getting "Sickle" further North would aid this plan.

Working our way up the Coventry canal
However transport reared its ugly head again, as neither Braunston, (where "Sickle was), or Alvecote, (where we wanted to move "Sickle"), were readily near to public transport.  With only one car available, we would need to drive to Braunston, but to get ourselves, (and the dog), back from Alvecote without one.  We would also then quickly need to retrieve a car from Braunston.

Atherstone locks on the Coventry
And so it was that Cath, Odin and I drove up to Braunston on the Friday, to make a gentle start.

Atherstone again
What we realised is just how much we enjoy "Sickle boating", even though it involves living in a basic ill equipped and very small box with a large black dog.  (The dog, it has to be said, takes all this in his stride, and accepts he will have just about a two foot square of floor, and get walked on quite a lot!)

Always interesting boats at Grendon Dock
A largely uneventful trip, with the only problem encountered being that when we tried to moor in a favourite spot two locks up the Atherstone flight we fond that the levels were down enough that we wouldn't get near the bank, and hence would struggle to get Odin on and off.  already late, we had to press on right down the flight - thank goodness for long light evenings, as the meal was cooked on our Cobb oven very late into the evening.  The bonus was that at the new mooring location we met two different couples that we know, so enjoyed a long chat with each.

Joshers at Grendon

Kangaroo and Stafford


Dog walking again - dog obviously exploring somewhere.
The solution at Alvecote was to find a dog friendly taxi to get us to Tamworth station for a train home.  We did eventually, although we need not have worried what the dog might do to the taxi - I was more worried about putting the dog in a taxi in such a disgusting state!  Two trains saw us home, and our son Michael picked us up from the station.  Retrieving our other car from Braunston needed a bit more ingenuity, but suffice it to say we had it back the next day.

Braunston to Alvecote
Miles: 41.2, Locks: 15

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