Brewood to Calf Heath
7th November 2010
12 miles - 1 lock - 4 hours
The problem with trip reports for the last day is that they always cover familiar ground and no matter how much I like the area, it's not always easy to find something new to say.
Autumn at Chillington
On this occasion the X factor was the weather combined with the season. A misty autumnal morning with the sun burning through created great shafts of light within the cuttings, a sight so beautiful I stopped the boat to stand and stare.
Brewood moorings - with Eric Bloodaxe in the foreground
Still waters at Chillington
Autherley Stop Lock - the last of the year
It is Belle's birthday tomorow, and with Tilly returning to college today, we met up at the Fox and Anchor at Coven for a celebratory meal. Worrying that we may be late for our reservation Jeff and I got our collective skates on only to find ourselves mooring up at 12.00am - a full hour earlier than necessary. The good news is that this gave us a bit more time to complete our packing and cleaning.
Caernarfon near Calf Heath
We hauled up behind nb Caernarfon on the last couple of miles, a butty style narrowboat with an unusual hydraulic propulsion system with a bow thruster tube inserted into the rudder. Its effective and looks authentic, but very slow.
And so the 2010 cruising season draws to a conclusion. All in all a great year on the waterways with destinations ranging from Manchester, London, Sharpness and Leek, much of it acheived with a very dodgey driveshaft coupling.
Wand'ring Bark needs a break and some serious fettling this winter before we have an renewed attempt on the elusive Chesterfield Canal in 2011. She feels like the walking wounded needing remedial surgery on:
Centreflex coupling - one stud missing and the others of uncertain strength
Accumulator - split and weeping (maybe a victim of last years big freeze)
Paintwork - usual bumps and bangs plus the trauma of the Froghall Tunnel
Covers - need retaping
Draw knobs - three off and several loose
New cooker - ready and waiting to be fitted
So the cruising may be over for the year, but there are plenty of boaty things to keep me occupied over the winter months And then there is my ongoing search for the lost canals of the BCN. Plenty of material to record within the pages of Captain Ahab's Watery Tales.