For the first time this trip, the Captain, the SSO, and I had breakfast before untying the boat. That’s right, we didn’t rush off at the crack of dawn, on some foolhardy quest to cover as much of the inland waterways as possible.
Don’t worry, normal service will resume tomorrow, I’m sure.
Instead, we sat together and ate Eggs Washington Royale. It was delicious and relaxing.
We made up for this slow start by travelling constantly for the rest of the day.
Our aim was to reach the far end of the Ashby Canal, as this is designated as one of the “Silver Propeller” sites. What this means is that if you can prove (with photographic evidence) that you have visited 20 of these locations you can claim a Silver Propeller certificate.
It’s a fun way to get people to explore some of the less well known reaches of the canal network.
The Ashby was very busy today, and was more stressful than it needed to be, mainly because the head of the convoy, five boats in front of us, travelled exceptionally slowly. Weaving their way onwards without a care for the traffic jam they were building up.
This meant all we could do was sit back and watch the world go by, which is such a change of pace for us this week.
It was almost like a holiday.
It took us an hour and a half longer than planned to reach the canal terminus, but we did it.
A very friendly local man even opened the swing bridge for us at the end.
We entered the tiny winding hole, turned the boat (just), took our evidential photo and headed back.
The return journey was much more pleasant, the traffic had all but disappeared, and we made good progress.
One old lady waved in a panic stricken way, mouthing “slow down!” at us, as we passed her moored up boat. Given that we had been running at tick over (the slowest forward speed the boat can do) for quite some time, I’m not quite sure what her issue was. Everyone else on that same stretch was very friendly.
Perhaps it was because we’re in a hire boat? There does seem to be a bit of a prejudice against them, with some “real” boaters assuming that because we are in a hire boat that we have no idea what we’re doing, and therefore it’s their duty to instruct us, loudly and patronisingly.
The best way to handle that is to smile and wave. Remain friendly. Don’t argue back. You’ll be out of their lives after a few brief moments, and everyone can get on with their day.
The flip side of this, is that you don’t get long to talk to the nice people, such as the Captain’s Instagram follower who we passed in the afternoon.
We finally moored up just over half way along the Ashby. A long, but straight forward day. Very enjoyable.
Tomorrow is our last full day on the water, and it’s shaping up to be a busy one.