Boatwif Blog

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Very flat, Norfolk*

           “What shall we do tomorrow?” mused the Captain. Before even a single prospect had crystallised in Boatwif’s mind he answered his own question. “Let’s go and see the sea – let’s go to King’s Lynn.”             So that’s why on Saturday the car bowled out beyond Huntingdon, past Warboys and dipped down onto ever so flat Cambridgeshire. The A141 road across the Fens sits on an embankment above the land....

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Two throttles…

              While the wild weather continues to whip across the UK Cleddauremains safe and dry in her shed at Stoke-on-Trent.  Is she the driest boat on the system this winter…?               Up the M1, turn left on the A50 for about 30 miles, right at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, continue for about three miles – and arrive on Newcastle Street at Stoke Boats.              ...

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Progress report

          Readers with long memories might recall that last October Cleddau was delivered to Stoke Boats for a midlife makeover.  Work was to be done mainly to the rear cabin and engine room, but there were also a few other tasks on the job sheet. There had been a couple of checking out visits in mid-November but then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year diverted attention elsewhere.            Out of sight, maybe, but...

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Jeep jiggling

            “Look, we’re travelling on water, reason for another blog,” proclaimed the Captain from the rear of Joe’s yellow jeep.             We had made a return trip into the Anza-Borrego Desert and were on the first of two days exploration of the region with Joe of California Overland Desert Tours.             It was Tuesday 10th December. In the desert, travelling on water?  Well, this was a drive up...

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Night life in Borrego Springs

            It takes about two hours to drive from San Marcos, through Escondido, inland, uphill, up about four thousand feet, to crest the mountains and then descend down, down, down to a small, flat settlement.            Borrego Springs isn’t “at the end of the world but it is AT the end of the road”.  So writes the President of the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce.  This tiny town (regular population 3,000) is down on the flat desert plain (in deep...

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Out and about in San Diego County

            Preferred option for travel for Boatwif and the Captain is by boat (and that is the sole reference to boating in this post). Getting around here is done mainly by car or by train.             Travellers from the UK intending to drive face certain challenges. Rental (hire) cars are inevitably automatics rather than having manual gearboxes. Driving is done from the left hand side of the car but on the right hand side of the road. Local roads are...

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Afloat amid routines

           A trip to Southern California to stay with the Cal Clan involves routines:  there are the domestic routines of family life, seasonal routines and the routines that the Californian Three remember and anticipate.           At this point of the trip (a Monday morning) domestic routines dominate. It’s a ‘back to school’ day after the Thanksgiving break. Bodies out of beds at 0700; don’t dawdle over breakfast; get dressed, clean teeth, find shoes… just as in millions of school age...

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Sensory overload

           The Cal Clan’s home is about 30 miles north east of San Diego. Many times there has been a landing well after dusk, a shuffle through Immigration, Baggage Reclaim and Customs, followed by a courtesy bus trip to a car rental company and delays while paperwork and car allocation is made… This year the agony of fatigue and driving an unfamiliar vehicle at night was avoided.           “Eleventh floor,” said the hotel receptionist. “Your room overlooks the city but...

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It’s Thanksgiving season

Let us be thankful for – engines.       Overnight on Sunday had come a message from Cal Son: The children are very excited that you are coming, it said, they have been de-toying your room.       Courtesy of a friend, the Academic, the Captain and Boatwif were sped round the motorway towards Heathrow, there to catch a flight to San Diego.  The engine of the Academic’s car purred sweetly, protesting not one jot when the M25...

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Friends and Cleddaus revisited

What a difference between two Fridays!           Last Friday (25th October) good friend Les Biggs was still a patient at Watford General Hospital. There had been a very major operation, as regular readers of his and Jaq’s blog will know.  Last Friday he was attached to all sorts of medical paraphernalia – and I was witness to Matron’s deep discomfort.   A storm of protest had erupted overnight after Jaq had recounted to friends and family the terrible saga of Les’s...