Messing about on a boat gives an impression perhaps of those Three Men in a Boat, struggling to complete a camping boat trip on the
We had arrived on the boat early on the Thursday afternoon of the Easter weekend. It was glorious weather and boat owners at the moorings were variously sunning themselves, polishing their brasses or towpath talking. While the Captain joined in the towpath talk Boatwif went caving, down in the "Historic Quarter", the un-renovated area at the back, underneath the dark and dusty bed. What finds! A lifejacket once found on a beachcombing expedition, a piece of metal possibly intended as an extra BBQ grill, a pair of long lost pillows – and two foam seat cushions, in brown nylon tie-on covers, probably once part of our LYS 830E Volkswagen camper van. (It is of slight concern to realise that the registration plate of a vehicle owned in the late 1970s is still recalled, but the exact combination of letters on a present vehicle can escape the mind...!) Yet again trips were made to the local waste centres, but at last, despite Henry (the Vacuum Cleaner) twice going into a long and deep sulk, much of the muck of ages and the sawdust of recent months was swept away.
Next day, Good Friday, dawned warm and slightly hazy. Cleddau was inched out of her mooring and her bow pointed north. Off up the Macclesfield we chugged, bound for the
Our attempts to moor had been hampered by lack of space and shallow water: hence the first of three long pole incidents. When moored the Captain deemed that the boat mess (external) needed to be cleared. Cleddau's rich colours had paled under layers of thick dust and, in some places, sticky tree substances. So efforts with water, a bucket, chamois leather, windolene and several dusters eventually enhanced the boat's appearance. Before departure the Captain had specially "customised" cardboard window blinds. Now inside critical measurements were taken of the windows and the cupboard interiors. On the To Do List: internal storage solutions to be sought and blinds and curtains to be sourced. If not a flight trial or a test drive this was a check-out cruise. Plan A for grocery storage didn't work as a double-door cupboard would provide easier access; Plan B threw up another potential problem, the area perhaps too warm from the fridge and hob above. So, after onboard consultation with Cheshire Mum, a Plan C has been devised.
When not measuring or boat washing or towpath-talking little wanders of the surroundings were taken. The Captain strides down the towpath, greeting all with a hearty "Good morning." Most folk respond in kind, although one or more looked startled, as if they should know this chap, but couldn't quite place the face. Up in Buxworth village a blackboard advertised plans for Royal Wedding community celebrations and the church notice board provided details of an early Easter morning service.
The Cheshire Three were on board on Monday to escort us back to our moorings. First, however, a little diversion onto new waters. The