Monday 20 September 2021

Sandon to "Great friends"

So frequent flyers to this blog will possibly know of our association with Geoff and Margaret that started way back in 2015   HERE   when four narrow boats went over the ocean together called Crossing the Wash from Boston in Lincolnshire to Wisbech which is possible in Norfolk...  It was a great adventure for all the boaters involved and such an experience makes friends for life (Geoff and Margaret).  
So the other day when Nev from NB Percy  said he'd passed by Geoff we definitely  wanted to catch them up.  Geoff is the sort of boater who is at place A for a day or seven then in a blink of an eye is four counties away when he's on a mission.  
Well we were on his tail. 

We stopped at David's favourite shop, M&S Foodstore at Stone but this time I went in purely for essentials.  Last year David went in and spent £90 on treats and no food....  but the treats were delicious.
He did the water top up while I was in there.  I spent £42 and got lots of meals sorted. 

We worked nicely through the flight at Stone meeting all sorts of lovely folk, a Welsh couple of advanced years in a wee cruiser, the wife told me how many wonderful memories the boat held for them and here they are still boating and on the surface of it still coping, but she said her daughter wants them to give it up as they worry about them.... My advice was to carry on as this life keeps you younger and fitter.
What would you say Reader?
Another chap at the service point was telling me that he had recently had to give up his CART residential mooring in Stone as CART had given the space behind him to a violent drug addict who when asked to keep his noise down had threatened to kill him and set his boat on fire....  
He was pretty upset about his lack of recourse.

The water levels were pretty low as we got to the middle of the flight, passing boaters had spoken of the Harecastle closing and The Cauldon Canal too, with this in mind, as we got to two very close together locks and set against us with a boat approaching, I walked up to check the approaching boats plans then set the lower of the two for them giving them a quicker passage.  I went off to make coffee. Some twenty minutes or so later they came past and thanked me, but also said she had closed the bottom gates of the upper lock to preserve water.  
This somewhat irked me. 

The next place I had wanted to visit was The Plume of Feathers at Barlaston but neither of us could face the thought of food again so quickly, so we went passed but the car park was rammed!   

We'd eaten at the Plume of Feathers with daughter Verity and SIL Mitchell (NZ) a few years ago (David has just told me last year but I simply can't believe it),  what with Covid playing timeline tricks on us all I can't be sure how many years it was but today as we passed a NB with a middle-aged male only crew, casting off after leaving the pub of about 6 or 7 I asked if the food was still good?  He replied that he didn't know as their lunch had been a liquid one....!

We moored up in a sunny spot that was good for the jolly old SP (Solar Panels) and I messaged Geoff to ask how far they had got today. 
No reply.

Later, only a wee bit later a knock and a friendly voice saying that he'd recognise that bald head anywhere (David he meant not me) and Geoff had walked down 100 metres to say Hello. We walked back to have tea and a good catch up with him and Margaret in the comfort of NB Seyella.

Good times, a little of what Boating is all about, meeting friends in unexpected settings and having a good laugh, actually not just boating but Life is about.

We will make apoint of catching up with both of Mr & Mrs Seyella's or "Group Captain" next year, I still sometimes refer to Geoff as, because he was the Leader of our Merry Band of Boaters to The Wash and across it.

Geoff with crew member Amber,  Margaret was inside Seyella as we departed.

Supper was nibbles and a nice glass of, and a Happy Birthday to Margaret tomorrow, she will be an age to be proud of. 


  1. I'm glad you met up with your Wash explorers.... something I'd love to do. I'm told Percy has already been there and done that but not with me or Rachel aboard so maybe one day....That leads me onto your question regarding the Welsh couple. Your advice was spot on, keep being adventurous as long as you can, do your own risk assessments then only listen to your own common sense. You tempted to nip up the Caldon?

    1. Definitely not going up the Caldon as its due to be closed on the 22/9/21. I don't know how long for or what happens to boats already on there.
      I would say re: crossing the wash, I have the pilots number for you.
      It was a great adventure and achievement for us. David wasn't keen but it was little frightened me who pushed him into it. Do it with other boats or at least friends onboard, May is the month for sea conditions and the river Nene is just gorgeous to go up.
      I think to keep boating as long as you can is a great thing, we are all going to be a long time dead, there are also hotel boats for when the time comes that we can't own our own boats....

  2. Hi Marilyn, how are you? Covid numbers going in the right direction Down Under I hear. Nice to hear from you,
    See soon....
    Lisa x