Boatwif Blog

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Locks operated – memories unlocked

Yet another good idea from Cheshire Mum: “Why don’t you join us in Wiltshire for a few days in the Easter holidays and then do childcare duties after that?” That simple suggestion involved an east to west and back again criss-cross of the country and a struggle with road routes.  But out west, not far from Devizes, there was a surprise. Right outside the appropriately named Lockside Cottage is Lock 21 of the Kennet and Avon Canal. It was gongoozlers’...

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Latitude 57º North

The Black Isle is not an island – and neither is it particularly black. This peninsula lying north and east of Inverness gets its name from appearing dark against the white of the often snow-capped mountains that surround it and the grey and blue colours of the sea. Scottish Sis and Sheepman live on the Black Isle, their one-time croft now a low-lying T-shaped comfortable home.     There are six other homes within walking distance although only the lights of one are visible...

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Polishing and partying …

The Captain had a complaint: “When are we going to get chance to get stuff done on the boat. Why is my diary so full of other things?” His frustration was mounting – with daylight increasing every day and plans for extensive cruising already made why wasn’t there time to take Cleddau out of her winter hibernation? Then came a breakthrough,  a proposal from Cheshire Mum.  “You come up here to Macclesfield for Mother’s Day weekend,” she suggested “and you...

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Visual Gratification

Down to Pembrokeshire for a week of walks and family visits. What a glorious week. Pembrokeshire, “Little England Beyond Wales”, takes some reaching. The roads are better now, whether accessed via the M4 motorway, or via the A465, Heads of the Valleys route (much improved in recent years) or along the A40 across mid-Wales via Brecon, Llandovery and Carmarthen. You cannot be long in South Pembrokeshire without at least glimpsing sea, sand and castles. On a first afternoon Monty, the...

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Inaugural meeting of the Airhead Society

On Wednesday 28th January a first meeting of the “Airhead Society” was held on nb Valerie at Cowroast Marina and later at the Greyhound Inn at Wiggington in Hertfordshire.  Present were: Sue and Ken of nb Cleddau, Jaq  and Les of nb Valerie, Carol and George of widebeam Still Rockin’, Jennie and Chris of nb Tentatrice.  There was one major agenda item: sourcing of cocoa shell (dessicant) for the solids containers. Carol (Still Rockin’) was able to provide useful information...

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Winter Treats

Even if there is no cruising plan in place there’s nothing to stop a crew looking at their boat is there?      (Well apart from distance that is, about 147 miles from house to mooring). No boats were chugging along the northern Macclesfield Canal on Friday morning.  Ice extended across the canal       – and all was cold,      inside and out. The cabin was dry though, to the relief of the Cleddau crew. Time to kill – where next? Pop in and...

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A tradition revived

A bad habit had become a tradition, only to be broken in January 2014. The tradition (if that’s what it was) saw the Captain and Boatwif spend a few days in Stratford-upon-Avon in early January. There they would attend as many plays, events and exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as time and money would allow. Last year block bookings of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies meant theatre tickets in January were unobtainable – and the...

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Ring in the new…

So, we made it! Just before midday on New Year’s Eve Cleddau made it to Bugsworth Basin on the Upper Peak Forest Canal. HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL! Way back in the heady days of September sunshine there had been a whimsical thought, to by-pass the home moorings at Higher Poynton and to continue on to Bugsworth  , the vast inland port nestled in the Derbyshire hills. The broken wrist interfered with that idea then – but with just a few daylight...

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Sing out the old…

Christmas for the Cleddau crew was well and truly heralded by carols: two Carol Services back in Bedfordshire, outdoor community carol singing on Christmas Eve at Bollington in Cheshire,      then after Christmas morning presents a 295 foot climb up to White Nancy       to hear some of Bollington’s brass band play carols at midday.                  Then followed Christmas lunch… It’s been a good year end to a very good year: reunions with friends various  and old schoolmates , a Spring...

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Afloat Again

We are back on Cleddau for the New Year. The temperature inside is 17C/63F and rising. The Captain (I do not have Boatwif’s approval for this very short blog!)