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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2014 – Day 28

Posted by indigodream on 22 October, 2014

Rewind to Saturday 30th August & Sunday 31st August

Penkridge (Cross Keys pub to The Boat)

Hurrah – I have notes! Why? Because ths was the first day of a 2 week cruise on the boat and I was more organised!

Henry and Archie waiting on their travelling duvet (which never did turn into a magic carpet) - they were eager to get up to the boat :-)

Henry and Archie waiting on their travelling duvet (which never did turn into a magic carpet) – they were eager to get up to the boat πŸ™‚

However, I’m fitting two days into one post because we didn’t do any cruising on the Saturday. We just had a relaxing morning at home and delivered a load of jam to Greyhoundhomer in Essex – they are very appreciative and have regular customers for my preserves – makes it all worthwhile πŸ™‚

I’ve got a special pub post to come because Henry has been writing reviews, so I’ll focus on the boating (or lack of it) rather than the food.

We had a slow start to the day on Sunday, even though Ollie decided that he needed a walk at 7am! If Ollie was an old man (he is 80 in human years) then he’d be your grandad, shopping in Dorking High Street (which is full of quirky antique shops), when you were only popping in for a paper and have only paid for an hour’s parking – he absolutely won’t be rushed and insists looking at every thing on the towpath. However, pyjama walks are so commonplace on Indigo Dream that I think it’s become the new norm πŸ™‚

r_ID-0173-30Aug14Archie and Henry are experienced Indigo Dreamers and are exceptionally good company. Henry Beanz has a very phlegmatic nature and is no bother at all; Archie, on the other hand, is a more complex character, confident yet needy! We’ve had to work on his sleeping arrangements – he has to be close to us, but isn’t allowed on our bed (there’s not enough room). He could have the dog bed on the floor at the foot of the bed, but that’s Ollie’s place and the old boy takes precedence. So now we have to set up a decent bed in the narrow corridor at the head of our bed for Archie. Sadly, this is also where Henry Beanz likes to sleep. Oh dear, if you think our regular car shuffles are a logistical nightmare, it’s got nothing on sorting out the hounds’ sleeping arrangements πŸ˜€

We hadn’t planned a particularly busy day’s cruising on Sunday because we wanted to visit a supermarket to stock the boat up for our fortnight on board. We drove into Stafford to find a Tesco, noting in passing that Penkridge has some interesting buildings, while Stafford seemed a little run down.

At last, their car nest is ready and we're off!

At last, their car nest is ready and we’re off!

We didn’t set out until late morning, and as we moved from Filance Bridge, passing boats started the whisper that the canal was closed because of a boat stuck in a lock at Penkridge. We carried on down and the whispers started to get louder. We stopped at the services above Penkridge Lock and while I filled with water and got rid of the rubbish, Richard cycled to Longford Lock to find out what was going on.

He came back with the bad news that Longford Lock was blocked, nb Tilly was jammed and had been there for some hours. It seems that she’s suffering from a bit of middle-aged spread and was a few inches wider than the lock (which may also have narrowed a little in places). Of course, with narrow locks, there’s very little width to spare 😦

The singer at the Cross Keys failed to impress the houndie "Penkridge has talent" judges but she was up against three fine sausages!

The singer at the Cross Keys failed to impress the houndie “Penkridge has talent” judges but she was up against three large and very fine sausages!

We moored up below Penkridge Lock to await developments. We weren’t worried by the closure/delay – we were moored next to a pub, the boat was well-supplied after a trip to Tesco yesterday and the tank was full of water – can’t ask for more really! We settled down for a relaxing afternoon. I had a snooze with the hounds and Richard went down to see if a bit of muscle might help the situation in the lock below.

They managed to pull nb Tilly out of the lock late afternoon (a bit of common sense plus a new tirfor did the trick) and the resulting boat queues started to move. We thought about moving on but we couldn’t be bothered! We did move to a different mooring spot – although we were on mooring rings, well clear of the lock and the bend, we got clouted a few times by hire boats who just, oh I don’t know what they were doing….

We have had a few tart remarks about how this is the slowest Odyssey ever! Hmm, I can’t deny it, but it’s been quite nice πŸ™‚

Poor old nb Tilly was stuck for most of the day and had gathered quite a crowd of helpers...

Poor old nb Tilly was stuck for most of the day and had gathered quite a crowd of helpers…



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