Sunday, February 04, 2007

A final trip to round out year one

Insurance renewals remind us that it’s now a year since we took over Herbie (well 9 Feb actually). As a final trip we took out Steve, my best man thirty years ago, and Kathy Fordham for a quick run up to the Malt Shovel at Cowley and back. It was a cold but sunny day and once again we caught glimpses of the Slough Arm Kingfisher(s).

Time to look at our stats for the year. 75 days aboard, 523 miles cruised and 394 locks negotiated. Do you think we now qualify as boaters? I’m sure some would say we’ve barely started, but I reckon we’re not wasting the asset anyway. One of the things that has been nice is entertaining friends aboard, we’ve had 16 friends/ family members as crew so far, many visiting more than once, and we hope to increase that in the coming year.

Two more things we hope to achieve in year two are 1) undertaking a long trip (several weeks continuous), and 2) refreshing the paint on the roof and front and rear decks, and possibly also the name panel.

Back at Herbie’s base, we moor up against Lady Elgar, a beautiful boat with fine paintwork and some proper traditional fittings, including a boatman’s cabin inside, plus some very non trad things such as a computer workstation. Sadly her current owner is seldom to be seen, but her original owner Trevor Pavitt has just published a book about his travels on her. Trevor and his wife spent a number of happy years living and cruising on Lady Elgar and seems to have covered virtually the whole of the inland waterways system. You can see pictures and find out about the book at I dropped Trevor an email to say we were LE’s new neighbours and he replied quoting the paragraph at the end of his book when he and his wife finally walked away from the boat with tears streaming down their faces. Well, even though she seldom moves these days, she is still a lovely boat and looks in good nick. We tread very respectfully on her stern each time we cross over her to board Herbie.

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