Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Restless night on the boat. The beds are narrow, the boat creaks, and we are all in unfamiliar territory. Nevertheless, I awaken around 5:30am and get up to make a fire and coffee. Everyone else comes out shortly and we all enjoy the fire. Breakfast will wait until we fill up with water and pass through the locks.
We have a lot of kilometers to cover today to make it to my planned mooring site in Bettisfield. The boat is untied and we are off hoping that today’s journey will be a bit more relaxed than yesterday.
First stop – water. We purposefully moored close to the water station so it would be easy to get to today. We hope we can figure out how to do it. We are supposed to fill up every day.
After a short time we come to our first lock. Fortunately, there is a boat coming the other direction and they tell us how to operate the manual locks (sort of). Katie and Don man the locks and do an expert job of it. There are two in a row and are the only ones we will pass through both going out and coming back.
We made it and now it is time for breakfast. Katie and I prepare scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, toast, bagels and orange juice. (I don’t know we managed to not get any photos of the repast.)
We eat in shifts because we need to motor. I am determined to make it to Ellesmere for the “Tuesday Market.” The rest of the crew doesn’t think we will make it (too slow, too far), but we manage to sneak in just before the market closes at 1:00.
The market was a dinkly little setup in the community center where the most prominent item was women’s underwear… Oh well, it was a good diversion.
Since we are here we decide to look around a bit. Evidently there is a Mere (lake) that has a hiking trail – we are down with that. The Mere is beautiful and we have a good time strolling around it as the sky begins to blacken.
It is a shame that we don’t know how to have fun together:
We need to scoot a boot and end up at the Red Lion Pub just as the sky opens up. Red Lion is a great place for lunch and a pint. Katie and I are extremely happy to be connected to wifi.
By the time we finish eating the weather has cleared. Time to stop at the local Tesco Grocery to pick up a few supplies and then back on the “damn boat.”
No fire wood at Tesco and we really loved our fire this morning. We stop by the marina, but the store is closed. Bummer.
I try my hand at the helm and an pleased to make it through a bridge without damaging the boat. This is kind of fun! (and a bit nerve-wracking)
Tonight’s planned mooring is at Bridge #50 just outside Bettisfield. There is literally nothing here, but because of my previous research, I know that there is a pub just 1 mile off the towpath. We follow my little map and end up at the Sun Inn Pub for dinner.
Don considers getting a room at the Sun Inn for the night so that he can get a decent night’s sleep, but decides to join us back on the boat instead.
Today has been a fantastic day on the canal. We are all more comfortable with the workings of the boat and have relaxed into the slow, slow pace of canal travel. All of us are hoping to have a great night’s sleep tonight in the middle of nowheresville.