Boatwif Blog

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Southbound back to Stoke

       “You must keep folk informed,” announced the Captain on Sunday evening. “Shouldn’t you be blogging?”        So:  Cleddau’s been on the move again, back down Bosley, (yes, remember the Bosley 12 locks, a downhill drop of 118 feet), down through rural east Cheshire towards Staffordshire.         After the unexpected pleasure of  The Boar’s Head meal on Wednesday not being accompanied by piped musak but by live instrumentalists, Thursday and Friday became serious work days. There was Boat Stuff still to...

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Musical interlude

      Between cruising northbound up the Macc to return Cleddau to her Higher Poynton moorings and then turning back south to Stoke-on-Trent there was an interlude, well – two actually.  First, between boating exploits, the Cheshire One took up a holiday residency in her Bedfordshire bed – and then, before the southbound trip could begin, there was Music…            Boaters to Higher Poynton soon discover The Boar’s Head. The Braidbar Owners group frequent it often; the Festina Lente crew were...

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Initial ‘Sea Trials’ completed

      It’s taken nearly a week to bring Cleddau “home”.       From Longport Wharf it’s been a slower than usual journey (27.64 miles, the Harecastle Tunnel, 13 locks), slower to allow time for adjusting the trim (see the useful lump of railway line moved from front deck locker to engine compartment)  and assessing the on-board electrical and plumbing systems.       After six months away from the Macclesfield Canal there is a satisfaction at spotting the familiar (the lovely Ramsdell Hall...

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Cleddau back on the Cut

    Friday 4th April: six months after arriving at Longport Wharf in Stoke-on-Trent Cleddau was deemed fit to leave.    How excited were the Cleddau crew – up the M1, across the M6, take the M6 Toll, re-join the M6, now the A500; oh, the road route has become well known.     The boat lay, like last week, under the slip at Longport; she had been cleaned inside and her external bodywork relieved of the dense layers of shed dust.     ...

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So who was Jeremy Bentham?

A view of the Cleddau Bridge – Cars are transported high above the waters of Milford Haven now.  Decades ago the Hobbs Point jetty was where foot passengers and cars lined up to catch the Cleddau Queen and later the Cleddau King ferries across to “the other side”. A long shot down the Haven – just to the left is the embarkation point for the Irish ferry to Rosslare; on the right there’s a glimpse of the tanker jetties, a reminder that...

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Eyes wide open in Lincolnshire

It was a Spring jaunt to Lincolnshire, a week of re-acquainting selves with faces and places from a long ago past… Who cannot be stirred by the sight of the vast Lincoln Cathedral presiding high above the city? Stand in front of the enormous West Front, contemplate the skill and dedication of those who more than nine hundred years ago began this building. Inside, far removed from the city’s hubbub, in the gloom at dusk, hear just the murmur of...

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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...