Sunday, 1 January 2017

Napton (well, 2016 was a different year for us)

Heading towards Napton junction on our New Year’s Eve cruise

We spent 2015 cruising nearly every day of the year around many of the canals and rivers of England and Wales.  We explored many places we had never even heard of before let alone visited.  We had adventures, got wet, cold, windy, too hot and just right but the main thing was we had a brilliant year and loved every minute of it.  We made new friends and kept in touch with old friends. 

2016 was completely different, Karen took a contract in Warwick and consequently our cruising and lifestyle changed.  We spent the year moving around Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to keep in commuting distance of Karen’s office.  Chalkhill Blue 2 was built in 2016 and was delivered in October so we had to take the old boat up to Manchester and swap her for the old one.  We were soon back down to the Midlands to carry on cruising locally.   Even with the change of lifestyle we still love it and it has given us many more happy memories

What it has taught us is that there are vast areas of the Midlands that are unspoilt and we have become very fond of the area, so much so that we feel we could live around here if the time comes to move back to bricks and mortar.

To show the contrast in lifestyle we travelled 1,232 miles through 1,158 locks in 2015 and just 489 miles through 326 locks in 2016.  Irrespective of the distances travelled we have met some fantastic people on the cut and now we are staying locally for the near future we are making friends with people following the same lifestyle as us.

We returned from our family break to the house we rented in Hartley Wintney over the festive period on Friday and when we woke on New Year’s Eve it was like we had never been away.  It was a still and dry day so we had a short cruise to Napton.  When we arrived there were plenty of mooring spaces on the stretch leading to the start of the Napton flight.  These moorings are ideal as they are next to the Folly Inn.  Within a couple of hours about ten more boats arrived and all the spots were taken – people had even started breasting up against other boats.

Karen taking us onto the Oxford canal at Napton junction

After mooring and having a spot of lunch we walked back to Calcutt to get the car.  We went for a couple of early evening drinks in the pub and then went back to have dinner.  Miraculously we both stayed awake until midnight which we had not expected as we were shattered from our holiday and I have been suffering from a sore throat and earache.  Since living on the boat Karen hasn’t had a single cold and I have only had one and that was just a couple of weeks ago so was probably still hanging around.

Once again, we wish all our family, friends and blog readers a happy 2017.  To me, writing the blog means we will always be able to re-evoke the memories of previous years.. 

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