Well....now it's time for....
Well, where have those two years gone?
We are both in a bit of a state of shock at the moment, but as a consolation we are taking away two years worth of the best memories and experiences that it would be very hard to find elsewhere.
Compared to living on land, the whole time we have spent afloat was just the best, but, if we have to choose, the Standedge Tunnel stands out head and shoulders above the other features of the system. It was a very big problem to get to it but well worth the effort once you got there.
Not too many of these thankfully and those were only engine or tenant related.
I did have the head off twice - the engine that is, not the tenant - to fix some dodgy seals but that was not really a problem.
New injectors and a new gearbox oil cooler with high pressure pipe is all that I have had to fit in the past two years, so on the basis of running the engine for at least four to five hours a day minimum, I think we can class ourselves as pretty lucky.
Tenants on the other hand……………………well, lets say no more!
The Myth Of The Canals:
Continuous Cruising is not really possible no matter how hard you might try.
Let me explain…… Starting around the beginning of the summer you are faced with hire boaters aplenty, these are like a breath of fresh air really with their antics and “we are on holiday” attitude. But you are also faced with marina based craft. Most of these boats - and I mean this most sincerely - are the biggest pain on the waterways.
They bring their boats out once in a blue moon and expect everything and everybody to get out of their way as they make their way to “their” favourite mooring or pub. This is usually the same as everyone else’s favourite place and leads to huge congestion.
Congestion is the main problem at this time of the year and this lot are very responsible for causing most of it.
Think expensive toy and you are on the right lines.
Moving on from the summer, autumn is soon upon you and the leaves abandon the trees with a vengeance. These leaves unbelievably clog the boats propeller that is spinning at around two thousand revs.
This might not seem too important but the only way to clear them is to run the engine astern. This goes on for weeks and weeks and if you are trying to move, the wear on the gearbox is enough to keep you awake at night.
By now you should also be planning as to where you want to be trapped for the winter. This is not only whether you might get iced in or not, wherever that might be, but also having to work around the BW winter stoppage programme.
This starts in November and finishes at the end of March.
Some continuous cruisers take winter moorings and pay BW another small fortune for the privilege of …………..staying put!!!!
Then, all of a sudden the ice has gone, the sun peeps through, daffodils are around along with the new born lambs and it wont be long before the ducklings arrive.
It is still not quite time for the scourge of the marina boats to infect the waterways so therefore this is it.
The best possible time to be out there.
But………………. the summer approaches once more.
This is now fast becoming almost non existent.
The winter stoppages just haven’t done anything really this year.
To escape the onslaught of boats in the summer we found the Leeds Liverpool to be nice and quiet but the main problem up there now is no water due to an absolute lack of maintenance.
This is a big canal in terms of length, shutting the whole of it admits to serious decay in the infrastructure, not - as they say - just being short of a little rain!
A canal without water is just a heap of mud and dumped rubbish which, given time, will always attract more rubbish.
Only time will tell how they get on now they are a charity.
Well thats it for us...... so as this door closes we are now looking for the next one that has opened. Thanks to you all for reading my drivel and i'll leave the last words of this blog for Ubique.
Goodbye old girl and thanks............you did us proud!