Calf Heath to Stone and back
I had worked on Honey over the winter, readying her for her BSC and sorting out the practicalities of her dry docking with Phil Jones. As a reward, Mr Primrose agreed to let me use her for an Easter trip and the plan was to do an anticlockwise trip round the Four Counties ring in the company of Jeff and Tilly. Belle was poorly with a bad cold and leaving her to some peace and quiet after a difficult winter seemed like a good idea.
We made it to Tixall on the first day, mooring on the wide with very little company. It was bitterly cold so we maintained a fire in the grate all the time. Tilly was in the cabin up front and I shared the cross bed with Jeff - all cosy and warm.
Our destination for day two was supposed to be Eturia in Stoke on Trent, but in the event I received a call from Belle just south of Stone. Far from feeling better she was much worse with a terrible temperature and her sister (Bag lady) coming to look after her. I spoke to Bag Lady - what should I do? Well, Belle is really ill, you really need to get back asap was her reply.
I agreed to rush back but the words rush and canals are not comfortable bedfellows.
I had to press on to a winding point just short of The Star and retrace my steps with all speed. We pressed on and on, finally running out of light and energy two locks below the top of the Gailey flight where we were forced to moor. An early start saw us back at the marina by mid morning and home by noon.
Belle was indeed really ill and was confined to bed for a week.
I have since made numerous forays around the Four Counties Ring, which is on our back doorstep. I have covered every mile, some bits many times, but to this day I have never actually made it all the way round in a single uninterrupted trip. Maybe 2009 is the year!
Update 10.1.2010 - 2009 wasn't the year and I still havn't done it!