Frantic (well busy anyway) preparations are in hand for our forthcoming expedition. Some are fairly obvious, ironing and packing clothes, filling boxes with logs for the stove, printing off new versions of my CanalOmeters for the Regents Canal, the Lee and the Stort, getting a voucher for the internet dongle so I can keep blogging, and so on.
Others are not so obvious, such as working out how we can break off for a day and get to Woking and back and how Kath can get to Fareham and back on another day. Train timetables have been examined along with maps to see where we might leave the boat on such days. Even boating requires paperwork it seems.
Then there's the recruitment and personnel management. News of the expedition has spread like wildfire and we already have appeals from friends to join us for bits of the trip. This is good, for the locks won't work themselves. Actually I tell a lie, on the lower Lee the locks are electrically operated. Now we have the job of fitting in where and when we can meet people. It's not just crew. Sue and Richard on Indigo Dream suggest meeting for drinkies when our respective boats cross paths. I may well be tempted.
For anyone out there who doesn't know the geography, our trip will take us from near Slough, through the centre of London to Limehouse in docklands, then northwards past the new Olympic site, through North East London and out into the sticks through leafy Broxbourne to Ware and Hertford, branching off at some point to cruise the winding river Stort to Bishops Stortford. A real mix of city, leafy suburbia, and countryside. Or put another way, all the way to the Barge Inn, with stops off at the Black Horse, the Warwick Castle, the Grapes, the Anchor and Hope and probably more we haven't tried yet. So much to do.