An early start this morning found us on the road with plenty of time to spare. As a result we able to stop twice on the way to the canal.
The first stop involved taking on fluids (tea, coffee, and hot chocolate), and the second stop, not too long afterwards involved letting out some fluids.
And then, really before we knew it, we had arrived at the marina. Our boat was ready early, and so as soon as we got there (after enduring the lengthy lock safety video) we were on the boat and figuring out how to fit in everything that came with us for the journey.
We managed to pack everything in its appropriate place (there’s not much storage but we’ve made it work), and tossed a coin to see who got which “cabin” – which really meant which part of the corridor.
We were given a manual safety and how-to demonstration, which I’m sure someone paid attention too. Well, hopefully. However I had to dash out as the food shopping arrived at the same time!
Yet again more magic was performed and the food (masses of it) somehow managed to get squirrelled away quite successfully, although the fridge is looking slightly full.
And then, after all of that, it was time to get under way. Our first obstacle was getting out of the tiny marina, which involved a sharp turn and careful steering beneath a road bridge (kindly operated by the boat company).
Everyone took their turn on the tiller, some more successful than others (I totally didn’t run it aground, well maybe just a little bit but nothing some teamwork and a big pole didn’t resolve quickly).
We have negotiated bridges, locks, avoiding other boats, and even a close run in with a fisherman (which involved some expert driving from The Captain… I’ll leave you to guess who that might be).
Given that the weather was so surprisingly good, we chose to push on through the Grindley Brook staircase, a series of three locks side by side, before mooring up for the evening.
We seem to have fallen into a routine pretty quickly, with two of us tackling the lock business and the other two negotiating the boat through the locks.
All in all a very successful first day. It’s very peaceful sat here, drinking coffee and watching the sun slowly set.