Sunday, 9 March 2014

Planning 2014

(Posted by Alan)

Despite 2014 being the first year where both of us are retired, things have actually conspired to mean we have done very little boating so far this year, and almost certainly less in the first couple of months that we might have done in years where Cath was working.

If nothing else the weather has hardly been an encouragement, with record levels of rainfall, towpaths either mud-baths or on occasions under water, and with even parts of the Southern Grand Union having been temporarily shut as a result.

The harsh reality seems to be that we will still not get out and about much before Easter, as other things continue to consume our time.  But we are certainly determined to try and ge a lot of boating in when we do get going.

Now the "two boats" thing presents us with interesting logistical challenges, and although we clearly realise we are very privileged to be able to own both, we cannot both be "hopping" around the major boating events with one, and also doing an extended cruise on the other - well not both at the same time, and independently, anyway.  We are determined to show "Sickle" off at at least as many events as we have managed before, (particularly those that concentrate on the "historics), but we also want to do as much as we can with a family boat too.

So we have studied most of the known main events, and actualy tried to come up with a "stretch target" plan for the year.  OK, we realise all may not eventually be feasible, but at least if we make a plan, we can try and find ways to make it all happen.

Some weekends are manic anyway in the boating calendar - there are at least 5 events on for the Easter weekend alone, and obviously we have to pick one.  As the Historic Narrow Boat Club has gone to some lengths to do a more Southern event this year, and as our friend Jim Cooke has organised, it makes an obvious one to start with.

Anyway, here is the plan - only time will tell how well we do!

Fri 18th – Mon 21st April – HNBC Easter Gathering – Foxton ("Sickle & "Chalice")

Sat 3rd – Mon 5th May - Historic Tug Event - Black Country Living Museum ("Sickle" inside museum, "Chalice" outside)

Sat 17th – Sun 18th May – Rickmansworth Canal Festival ("Sickle")

Sat 24th – Sun 25th May – BCNS 24 hour Marathon Challenge ("Chalice")
[Our debut for this growingly popular event - if we can get boats where they need to be]

Fri 13th – Sun 15th June – Stoke Bruerne Canal Gala (at least "Sickle")

Sat 28th – Sun 29th June – Braunston Historic Boats (at least "Sickle")

Sat 26th - Sun 27th July - Audlem Festival of Transport ("Sickle" and probably "Chalice")
[Sadly this means we can't do Linslade Festival, which we have been doing in previous years]

Sat Aug 23rd - Mon Aug 25th - Alvecote Historic Boat Gathering
("Sickle" and probably "Chalice")
[Event assumed to be on this date - no announcement I can find yet)]

Sat 13th – Sun 14th Sept - Stoke Bruerne Village at Wa

A brief reminder of past events.........

Working Tug Event - Black Country Museum

Tug of War - Rickmansworth Festival
Stoke Bruerne

Historic Boat Parade at Braunston
Winding on the Alvecote parade.