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Boat Blog: The 2011 Odyssey takes shape….

Posted by indigodream on 18 January, 2011

18th January 2011

There are too many canals…..

Too many to choose from that is…..

We’ve been plotting our 2011 odyssey and our vague plans so far include:

  • leaving Limehouse at the end of March heading along the Grand Union
  • bearing east rather than west
  • maybe we should explore the Nene properly
  • or maybe the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union
  • how about visiting Nottingham?
  • and then again there’s the tidal Trent
  • and the Chesterfield canal
  • or up to Ripon
  • on the other hand there’s the bit down to Sheffield
  • though we’ve heard that Lincoln’s worth a visit……..


Let’s do the 2011 BCN Marathon Challenge – YES, that’s IT!

That’s right, the good folks at the BCN Society are organising another BCN Marathon Challenge, having been reassured that there will be enough water in the system this year to support the boat movements (last year’s challenge was cancelled because of works on the Chasewater reservoir).

We received our application form yesterday and are now plotting our cruising around the challenge – the choices are still as above, with the possible exception of Ripon, which may be a canal to far if we’re to beat the stoppages back to base!

Regular readers will understand that we’re excited because the BCN Marathon Challenge is a 24 hour cruise around as much of the BCN as you can manage. The 24 hours is cruised over a period of 30 hours – starting at 8am on the Saturday and finishing at 2pm on the Sunday. The finish point is the Walsall Town Arm but you can start wherever you like and follow whichever route you like – there are lots of choices! There are points to be accrued along the way – you get extra points for cruising more obscure bits, for locks, for answering quiz questions and for spotting original BCN boundary posts/markers. You get details of how points are allocated in a comprehensive ‘planning’ pack. We had the best time doing the challenge in 2009 – we kept a running blog of our travels, posting every few hours – the index is here.

So, if you fancy a whistlestop tour of Birmingham then here are the details

BCN Marathon Challenge

Saturday/Sunday 28th/29th May 2011

Application forms available from the BCN Society:

Cost: £15 per boat – this also buys you a year’s membership of the BCN Society (Bargain!)

We may be looking for crew, but only among people who know us really well and who are willing to forego all of usual hospitality in order to accrue points!

16 Responses to “Boat Blog: The 2011 Odyssey takes shape….”

  1. Neil Corbett said

    I’m hoping we’ll have a go at the Leicester ring this year so maybe our paths will cross. Like you, we are moving off at the end of March and heading North, but if it stops raining we’ll go via the Thames and the Oxford.

    BTW Richard, I now have a Canon EOS40D – but as yet no lens!

  2. indigodream said

    Hmm yes the Thames is tempting, Sue will no doubt come along shortly but the Thames must be at the top or pretty near the top of our favourite waterways. But … we do prefer the GU over the Oxford.

    Cameras: Well done, I am sure you will enjoy it. Now comes the hard choice. Which lens? You know you want one of these: Our photographer friend ( won’t use anything other then an “L” series lens or two …

  3. Graham and Jill said

    I am willing and able to crew the BCN Challenge, it will be me alone as Jill will be with our boat wherever it be with the Aminals. If that suits you guys, have sleeping bag will travel!

  4. indigodream said

    Ok Graham, you’re on!

    There will be locks……..

  5. Graham and Jill said

    Locks and locks of locks. More locks = more points; competitive, moi?

  6. indigodream said

    So, which pub is going to be campaign HQ?

    We’ll let you know when we get the planning pack!

  7. Greygal said

    Count us in! Sans hounds…that would be a marathon challenge too far. And I don’t believe the bit about foregoing hospitality – it is in your genetic make-up to feed people!

  8. indigodream said

    Ok – that’s the boat full – all other crew must bring sleeping bags AND tents! There’s room to sleep 3 chaste guests on Indigo Dream – no privacy you understand 😉

    Oh, I suppose we could take one or two ‘temporary’ crew – ones who won’t be needing the meager 6 hours sleeping time available!

    Greygal – could we tempt you to a convoy with Henry H (or is that what you had in mind)? So glad that you’ve volunteered because we will need ‘Ty handlers’ – as he is at the moment, he might jump ship and try to thumb a lift back to Surrey!

    I’m really looking forward to the challenge now…..

  9. Greygal said

    Sadly, Henry H will be getting a facelift and so not available this year…but 2011? Bring on the convoy, rubbber duck! And sleep? Too excited to sleep!

  10. indigodream said

    Convoy 2012 here we come!

    No problem for this year though – plenty of room on Indigo Dream…..

    Now how to allocate the crew? Richard needs to be available to oversee the cruising plan and crack the whip; I could be cooking/blogging which probably leaves A looking after Ty while Graham and Greygal slug it out for the tiller 🙂

  11. Graham and Jill said

    Not that I’m at all jealous.She who must look after cat, dogs and boat (no particular order).

  12. indigodream said

    Ah Jill, I’m sure you’ll feelt better about it when we send Graham back to you sleep-deprived, unwashed, unshaven, unfed and exhausted!

  13. Graham and Jill said

    Mmmm. Perhaps you should reconsider your crew selection – Graham DOES NOT DO UNFED. The rest he can manage; that’s normal.

  14. indigodream said

    Don’t tell him the worse bit. Last year we were slow getting round the curly wurly so turned up at our 6 hour mooring next to a pub a few minutes after 11pm rather than the few minutes before that was in the grand masterplan.

  15. indigodream said

    Well, I don’t want to put Graham off so I should say “unfed by me” – it may be a bit of a floating buffet so if he can feed himself then he should be ok….:-)

    He might have to reach out for his own can of beer as well……

  16. Graham and Jill said

    He’s checked the rules and reckons you can take the mandatory 6 hour break whenever you like, so… if you plan the pub stop at 8.00pm ’til 2.00am you have a 3 hour margin of error!!!!
    He won’t need clothes (well, other than what he’s wearing)so I’ll fill his rucksack with homemade bread, soup and other goodies – my halo is positively dazzling. It’s 4 months away so no-one will remember these glib promises when I’m seething with jealousy and not speaking to him!

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