Sunday, 21 August 2016

Cruising Home - Finding Strength July 2016

Our Summer Cruise  2016

The Return Home - to Overwater Marina July 2016

On the Grand Union Canal  July 2016

Day 38 From Braunston, along the North Oxford to New Bridge, Br.103 - 3.5 miles
Day 39 Onto the Grand Union to Fosse Bottom Lock - 10 miles 21 locks
Day 40 Through Royal Leamington Spa to Saltisford Arm Trust Mooring - 7 miles 4 locks

After the tragic and sad events of my wife's death, my children were very clear that I needed to get the boat back to my home mooring at Overwater Marina, Audlem.

The first leg was leaving the mooring at Braunston (where, with the agreement of CRT, the boat had been for an extended period of 11 nights. My sincere thanks to CRT for helping me in the circumstances). My daughter was crewing - an absolute delight to spend quality time with her. She took on steering and reached level 3 by coming into the locks - both gates open! Also, locking us through on the long day on the Grand Union.

We arrived at the Saltisford Arm Trust to a pre-booked berth - with electric!
Knowing the boat was safe, my daughter and I made the train journey back to Cheshire for the Funeral Celebration and Gathering at Overwater Marina.
Many thanks to all who helped me and supported me and this time - my children, granddaughter and sister-in-law.

The next leg was the journey up through Birmingham and down onto the Shroppie.
This was done with my son and my granddaughter as crew.

Day 48 Saltisford Arm Trust, Warwick to above Turner's Green Br. 63 - 7 miles 21 locks
Day 49 Grand Union onto the N.Stratford Canal and the Worcs and B'ham
             Moored at the Cadbury Visitor Offside - 14m 21 locks
Day 50 Onto the BCN to moor before Sheepcote Bridge, opposite the NIA - 4 miles

Having driven down from Cheshire, we had a later start from the safe berth at Saltisford Arm. Soon, we were locking up the Hatton 21 wide locks - although we cold see a pair of boats ahead, there were none following us so we pressed on.
On the level pound the rain finally came and we finished in a heavy downpour, pulling over on the rings and good concrete edge at Turner's Green. A long and physical day of some 7 hours.

Leaving the berth at Saltisford Arm Trust

Passing nb Hadar, a replica of a Small Northwich narrowboat of the Star Class originally built for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company by W.J. Yarwoods of Northwich 

On the Hatton 21 lock flight - resting with my granddaughter

I did the steering up the lock flight

Leaving a lock - we used just the one gate

Looking up the flight with my son waiting at the opened gate

Steering through Shrewley Tunnel

A photo of the safety markers at the centre of the tunnel

Paddle out of action on the Lapworth Flight at Kingswood Junction

Different paddle gear on the Northern Stratford - presumably from restoration days

Daniel on the offside - note the waterfall byweir!

The electric lift bridge No.26

Brandwood Tunnel

The effigy of William Shakespeare on the northern tunnel portal

The interesting guillotine lock No.1 on the Northern Stratford - now left open

A tight turn at Kings Norton Junction

We're going to Birmingham

Moored in Birmingham - opposite the NIA

Friday, 12 August 2016

Tragic and Sad Farewell July 2016

Followers of this Blog will have seen my last post of 10th July as we reached the countryside just outside Braunston, Northamptonshire.

As we set off on the Monday, my wife Chris, became extremely breathless and laid on the bed. I brought the boat into Braunston and sought help from the staff at Tradline Fender. We were soon in a taxi to a Daventry GP and then very soon in an ambulance to Northampton A & E and onto the Critical Care Ward.

Unfortunately, there were complications and Chris suffered a catastrophic brain haemorrhage and passed into Spirit peacefully on the Friday.

And so our Adventure together came to a sad ending.

Farewell to Chris, my amazing best friend of 48 years, married 45 of them.
It has been a wonderful adventure together, with so many memories to comfort and laugh at!

Spread your Spirit Wings and fly high
Open your Spirit Eyes and look ahead
Walk straight upon the Star Trail ...

Christine died 15th July 2016, aged 63

  Read at the Funeral Celebration by Judy, Christine’s Sister
Her journey’s just begun by Ellen Brenneman

Don’t think of her as gone away
Her journey’s just begun
Life holds so many facets
This earth is only one

Just think of her as resting
From the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and years

Think how she must be wishing
That we could know today
How nothing but our sadness
Can really pass away

And think of her as living
In the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And she was loved so much

Funeral Celebration flowers

Marina Flag at half-mast

RNLI dipped in respect

Our University Summer Ball in Exeter - 1970

Our Wedding Day - November 1971

A photo of us in Chester on 'Noggin' in 1990

Venetian fun at a friend's wedding

Enjoying a Wedding Anniversary on the Pullman at the North Yorks Moors Railway

As boating friends!!