Tuesday 19 July 2011

Narrow Boating

Yes, readers, You'll know by now that we have been absent for 2 weeks on our standard family holiday, narrow boating round the canals of Yorkshire with the Silverwoods with, this time, two extra passengers.

The Silverwoods brought along their new dog, Maxwell, he of the night time commando raids covered in this blog 6 months ago. This poor little mite has now been bought, rejected and moved on several times in his short life, so the Silverwoods have now adopted him and agreed with everybody involved that this is now for ever and he is now owned by them so that he can have a secure and safe home for ever more. There's no more "Oh, we think we might like to try him back now". Also on the trip came that bl***y gnome. I'm going to have to have words with him. Thinks he can take over my blog, huh? We'll see about that.

So, it was the usual set up. We hire the boat from Shire Cruisers in Sowerby Bridge who are, as always, brilliant. We cannot praise them highly enough for their boats, friendly service, booking all the 'pinchpoints' like access over controlled summits and through restricted tunnels, etc. We hire the 56 foot 8-10 berth job 'Northumberland' because we like the fact that you can see straight down the length of it from the central front door to the central rear companionway, so it's easy for the humans to count children and dogs in a hurry. Other boats have doors to the side of a corridor which moves from port to starboard, but that's just our preference. The picture here shows her in the basin at Sowerby Bridge waiting for us to load.

The first day is all about packing the car, loading dogs and driving North - it's about 4 and a half hour's driving, Kent to Sowerby Bridge and on this occasion we get there before the Silverwoods, who are coming over from Ireland, so we're embarked and stuff stowed, sitting having a coffee and then the pre-flight briefing when they arrive. There is thorough training but now after 6 years we only get the refresher version, sign all the paperwork and take over our boat. We are doing the Pennine Ring anti clockwise, so we're off round through Tuel tunnel lock and on up to Brearly for our first, quite easy day. We moor, as usual by the school playing fields, so that kids can let off stream running round on the grass and paddling in the stream, and we dogs can get to know Maxwell.

Properly under way tomorrow.


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