Cleddau on a test cruise

Tuesday 17th May – Friday 20th May

Techno Son-in-Law and Physicist Friend had campaigned to do a third annual spring cruise to Bugsworth. Diaries and calendars, i-phones and gizmos were consulted, dates agreed and time booked off work. Then a complication: frustration over the lack of close-to-hand storage space for toothbrushes had mounted. A call to Bourne Boats: any chance of an over-the-basin cupboard and shelf before the summer cruise? A date was given: deliver boat to Kerridge by 0900 on Wednesday 18th. So, an evening drive from Beds on Tuesday, arrival at 2150, departure from Poynton at 0640 on Wednesday.

At 0845 on Wednesday we tied up at Kerridge. WW and DD jumped aboard. This was to be a precisely-customised, mirror-fronted cupboard, bottom shelf for hair mousse and items of similar height, middle shelf for shampoos and sun lotions, the top for tablet packages. Measurements taken, we were banished.

With walking boots, poles and waterproofs we towpath-trudged the six miles back to the car, first in mizzle and drizzle, later in serious showers.

Spring cruise day dawned on Thursday and out we bowled to Kerridge, regular crew plus the relief crew. Wonderful Wayne and Dark-eyed Daniel had done a stunning job; meanwhile Trusty Tim had changed the short-spouted basin tap for a longer version. Cleddau set off, northbound up the canal, under the command (and hopefully the control) of Techno Son-in-Law.

“So you think you can trust him then?” ventured Wonderful Wayne.  Only time would tell…

After school on Friday Boatwif, the Captain and the Cheshire One headed north to the regular mooring. There she was, neatly tied up, on the right pontoon. “Want a brew?” enquired Techno-Son-in-Law. “The others have had one.” And there on the boat was a party in progress. Comfortably seated were Techno’s parents and their friends. Meetings and greetings! A “castanet dress” recently bought in Spain, presented to the Cheshire One by Big Granny!

Then for the debriefs. Relief crew had promised to work their passage. Physicist Friend had painstakingly varnished the new cupboard and shelf; Techno Son-in-Law had successfully fitted a magnetic catch to the upper airing cupboard door.

But what of the boat?

·         shower spacious and efficient (from the 6’2″ one – a design triumph!)

·         all lighting and fittings working

·         galley spacious, easy to operate in

·         all galley equipment tested (oven temperature gauge possibly unreliable)

·         galley cupboards well-equipped and laid out

·         dinette cushions remain in position, in both seating and sleeping mode

·         diesel heating potentially noisy for late slumberers in the back cabin

Overall, a very positive thumbs up was awarded. Then, as a parting shot, Techno Son-in-Law suggested provision of another frying pan, just big enough for a single egg.

Does Boatwif ever eat fried eggs? More to the point, does the Captain, Chief Chef, ever provide them? Reader, the answer is – NO!

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