The Perfect Pivot

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Everyone has a great night’s sleep last night and we are ready to do it all again today. We have a very laid back schedule today and can have a nice, leisurely morning and breakfast. No fire today – we have no logs and it is warmer.

The first stop is to fill with water (as usual). Katie and I walk the towpath towards the water station while the boys bring up the boat. We pass a couple of fishermen and they are please to show us their “catch.”

The excitement for today will be the many lift bridges we will come to. The crew has to jump out and someone needs to use the special tool to crank the bridge up, let the boat pass and then put the bridge back down. We all take turns as the day goes on. It is actually kind of fun (and gives you a purpose…).

Since we have a lot of time and only a small amount of kilometers we will shoot off on a dead end “arm” just to see what’s up. We hope at the dead end we will also get to practice turning around at the “winding hole.” Keep in mind that our boat is very long as narrow boats go. We are 67 feet and the winding hole is 70′. Not much room for error. We will have to make our actual turn on Thursday morning in order to start our trip back to the base. We are thinking that a practice run will be good.

As we begin to make the turn, another boat passes us on the right (almost bumping into us and running us aground).  When he sees that we are turning down Prees Junction he tells us “there is nothing down there.”  We go anyway and are rewarded richly:

Turns out the “turn-around” is at the marina and it is a huge space.  We are wondering how much space we will have when we actually have to turn…  We motor on.

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We made a stop at Whitchurch to look around and ended up at the wonderful Cock and Greyhound Pub. where we shared a starter platter and some pints.

We made a stop at Whitchurch to look around and ended up at the wonderful Cock and Greyhound Pub. where we shared a starter platter and some pints.

Back to the boat in the rain (naturally).

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We have decided to motor on to Grindley Brook where the “70′ Winding Hole” is.  We will attempt to turn around tonight before there is a line up of boats waiting to go through the Staircase Locks there.  Rich is captaining and needs to have nerves of steel for the turn-around.

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The picture  does not do this maneuver justice at all.  They SAY it is a 70″ winding hole (our boat is 67″), but at one point we are completely wedged sideways and simply WILL NOT FIT.  Rich makes one more valiant effort.  Viola!  Success! We have successfully turned this beast around. We can relax tonight.

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happy that the boat is turned

The Horse and Jockey Pub is down the road (thankfully).  We are very content with the accomplishments of the day and have a great dinner.  The boat is becoming more comfortable with every day.  We are turned and ready to turn around and head back towards Trevor.

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