Sunday, March 08, 2009

A change of pace.

Using your own boat leads to different habits that hiring one. When we used to hire boats for canal holidays we used to put in long days cruising. We did the four counties ring in six days. 110 miles and 94 locks. Now we have our own boat we’re not in such a hurry. In the last eight days we cruised 22 miles and did 22 locks. We used to cruise eight or nine hours a day, but now we generally aim at five.

Have we got lazy? No, we make more time to explore the places we visit. From Brentford last week we took buses into London to visit the British Museum and see the Sutton Hoo treasures. From Hanwell we twice walked to Osterley park to visit the National Trust house and gardens.
About two miles each way including negotiating the puddles in this narrow footpath by the railway. Here Kath does her high wire act to keep her feet dry.
Not only that we fitted in two pub quizzes and a pub music session. Simon (nbTortoise) took some great pictures of the session using a camera with real black and white film. See them on his blog -that's a great one of me at the bottom. So, not so much a cruise as a holiday using the boat as a travelling base.

Now our plans for the summer, that’s a real cruise. We’ve been researching the stats. If we complete our plan to cruise the fens going the long way round via the Thames and the Oxford canal, that amounts to over 550 miles and over 300 locks. I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty daunting, even though we plan to do it in bits over three or four months.

We also need a plan B because the rivers may not be kind enough to let us pass if it rains a lot. Hmmm.


Simon said...

I'm touched, thank you - I must have a good look through them all and see if there's any more ones worth seeing. I can even do you a print or two next time I fire up (or rather make accessible) my darkroom-in-an-alcove. No breath-holding, though. ;-)

Dane & owner popped into uxbridge the other day - I heard the boat coming and recignised her from the engine sound. ;-)

Vallypee said...

I think I prefer the more leisurely pace myself. I've never been one for eating up the miles...much more fun to do what you did and explore as well.