Thursday, 8 January 2015

A very difficult decision

Last year we managed just 18 days of boating. This year, we have opportunity for even less.

This is because of my new job, which needs me at work when everyone else in the family is on holiday.

Boating works when everyone's holidays coincide, but when they don't then the year round maintenance, licensing, insurance and mooring costs are too much for just a fortnight of holiday every year.

So we made the very difficult decision that the best thing to do is sell Honey.

As you can see from the pictures, Honey is a beautiful little boat and we always thought that she would be easy to sell - but even we were surprised by what happened next.

Michaela posted on an internet forum that we would be putting her in a brokerage, and linked to this blog, and almost immediately people were contacting us. By the following weekend she had been sold. On 18th January we will deliver her to her new home.

I will leave it to Honey's new owners to introduce themselves (they are taking over this blog as part of ownership) but Michaela and I are delighted that she is going to be loved as much as we did, and as much as Paul & Chrissie did before us. We will, of course, miss this happy little boat and continue to follow her future adventures.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So many photos, so little mobile data signal...

The Llangollen Canal is beautiful - but out of range of mobile data signal, so we have been unable to blog for a few days. 

To make it up to you, here are a few photos. 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Anderton Boat Lift & River Weaver

After the hire boat traffic jams in Middlewich, the River Weaver feels luxurious: wide, deep water; manned locks; pretty moorings; and hire boats are not allowed down the Anderton Lift. 

As ever, Honey loved the river. A good hull can be appreciated so much more in the flowing meanders - and we loved our sunlit meals at remote moorings. 

As for the lift itself, go and visit. If you don't own a boat, jump aboard their trip boat. It's well worth it. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Wandering Aimlessly

Because that's what you do with narrowboats. You chug along pretty bits of waterway, turning at junctions when they look interesting, stopping for tea when you feel like it, and investigating anything that looks a bit interesting. 

Cheshire is a bit Mock Tudor for my taste, but that's just my inverse snobbery: when it looks like you're trying too hard, I instinctively think you're missing the point. 

The point is that we are here to have fun, and to rejoice in the beauty around us. And there's a lot of beauty in rural Cheshire (and the local beers.)

Tomorrow, the Anderton Lift and the River Weaver. 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

The weather and our boating plans...

After two weeks of Mediterranean weather, we clambered aboard Honey just in time for the downpours. 

Settling in was quick, but we haven't been able to give Honey the thorough wash she deserves; that will have to wait until the rain stops. 

We met the local branch of the IWA at Hurleston Locks, where they were doing all the hard work in exchange for donations, and they were so friendly and helpful despite the weather. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Shropshire in the spring... very, very pretty. 

The area provided essential raw materials for Birmingham's most important industry - Knighton Wharf was where the milk was loaded onto the fly boats to be taken to Cadbury's in Bourneville. 
Woodseaves Cutting is a spectacular feat of hand-dug early 18th century engineering: over a mile of designated Special Scientific Interest, the rock is so soft that has been crumbling for 180 years.

As we passed through in the late morning, the sun had yet to rise in the cutting - so we were wrapped up in our thermals, cuddling hot mugs of tea. 

After two very easy days, the shock of Tyrley and Adderley Locks (all eight of them) was too much for Hugh. This was before I told him we were about to reach the fifteen-lock Audlem Flight. 

But Audlem is always worth a visit. 

Honey is now safely moored in her new home on the Llangollen, and I have strict instructions to buy a replacement shower drain pump before our next trip out. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A new season

We finally managed to collect Honey from the painter's yard this morning, after the previous two attempts were thwarted by gales and then a closed lock. 

As you can tell from my 'selfie' here, Honey's new coat is very fine indeed!

We're just having a short trip this time - too much work to do. But we're enjoying our short trip in the fine spring weather - and we saw some incredibly rare wildlife: a revising teenager!