Monday, 13 September 2010

Elaine's Birthday Weekend

Wednesday 21st July 2010 - Great Haywood to Tixall Lock
Left home just after 1.00pm as I had to go into work in the morning. It was a very hot and humid day although arrived at the marina in good time and in perfect conditions for boating; sunny, dry and without any wind. Loaded the boat and pulled out of moorings. Literally the minute we pulled out of the marina the heavens opened. Although the hood saved our skins it was a very heavy rainstorm that thankfully quickly ended allowing us to moor up in the dry below Tixall Lock.
Thursday 22nd July 2010 - Tixall Lock to Acton Trussell
A slow start safe in the knowledge that we only intended cruising up to Acton Trussell today. A lovely morning, sunny blue skies and only a slight breeze. However within 10 minutes of setting away, up through the lock we endured the heaviest rainstorm I had ever been cruising in. The water was rushing backwards along the gutters of the barrelled boat roof with such volume and speed that the outlets forward of the rear cabin seemed pointless. Water poured with huge momentum into the rear deck area so that despite the adequate systems for displacement it appeared that I was stood in three inches of water for a period of several minutes until the rain subsided. This wasn't too problematic as this area of the boat is designed to cope with wet conditions. However, Elaine then remembered we had earlier opened the side doors during the sunny conditions that had prevailed 10 minutes earlier. There was now a river of water inside the boat making it's way from mid-ship to the rear cabin that Elaine was now battling with while I steered the boat to a temporary mooring against the towpath avoiding the need to drop the hood at the next bridge! Once it fared up we continued on to Stafford Boat Club Marina for lunch, then on to Acton Trussell; mooring opposite The Moat House Hotel.

A view of The Moat House Hotel from the side door

Friday 23rd July 2010
Elaine's birthday. After birthday present opening I asked Elaine to marry me! (After almost 11 years I thought now was about right!). She agreed; and after a champagne breakfast and a celebration lunch in the hotel it wasn't safe to cruise any further today.

The Ring!

Saturday 24th July 2010 - Acton Trussell to Great Haywood.
Slowly cruised back toward Great Haywood, stopping again as Stafford Boat Club Marina to watch the Grand Prix Qualifiers and stock up on some provisions from the Co-op in Baswich. Finally arrived back at the Marina at 5.00pm.
The crew from nb. Kaspra (our next door but 1 neighbours) were just pulling the boat out of her berth and intend to cruise until October. They announced they had both just retired and were going to make the best of the Summer: Elaine & I were not jealous in any way!! At least I hope it didn't show; as we wished them well on their journey through gritted teeth.

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