Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Stratford on Avon (still on the river)

The moorings at Luddington have several water points so it was an ideal opportunity to wash the boat on Monday morning knowing we wouldn’t be holding anybody up who wanted water.  As usual we had to clear everything off the roof and decks first and then sweep off the tree debris before starting.

Karen sweeping the roof

Whilst outside we saw several kingfishers (or maybe the same one several times!) fly past.  It was good to see this bird again.  We only saw a couple when on the South Stratford canal over the last three months which was strange as it is normally a common bird on the canals and rivers.

A man came over to see us at one point and opened the conversation by saying that he would like us to stay all summer as he was impressed with our winding skills.  I never caught his name but he is a member of the Avon Navigation Trust committee and also the Steamboat Association of Great Britain.  Before mooring on Sunday evening I had spun the boat round and reversed back onto the moorings.  On Monday I had to turn her again so that we could wash both sides down. Both operations went really well because no one was watching.

What I hadn’t realised was that there were a group of people, having afternoon drinks in a summer house, watching us so that was how he came up with his opening statement.  He recounted several horror stories of people getting into difficulty there especially as there are the submerged remnants of an old stone weir.

Anyway, we had decided to go back to Stratford for a few days so wouldn’t stay for the summer.  I did have to turn the boat again as we were facing the wrong way but fortunately without mishap.  On the way back a plastic cruiser (yogurt pot as they are referred to) caught up with us so we locked up with them.  We knew we would get with the guys on board, Gill and Carl, as soon as we saw the name of their boat – Yoghurt – as they obviously had a good sense of humour.

As we were cruising my back started going into spasm and by the time we moored up back at Stratford it was getting really painful.   Since living on the boat my back has been fine – I put this episode down to having to bend down to wash the sides of the boat.  We had to walk to Wilmcote to get the car which we left there on Thursday so I hoped a walk would ease the back.  After a mile I had to stop as it was getting too painful. Karen carried on the last couple of miles with Buddy and drove back to pick me up having left me lying flat out on a lock balance beam.

Plenty of wine and painkillers ensured I got a good night’s sleep and it certainly feels quite a lot better this morning although I can’t attempt to sit down or put socks on!

Our view at Stratford on Tuesday morning

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