Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for July 1st, 2015

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2015 – Day 11

Posted by indigodream on 1 July, 2015

Saturday 20th June

Sowerby Bridge

The wharf at Sowerby Bridge is very atmospherice by night....

The wharf at Sowerby Bridge is very atmospheric by night….

We had a change in personnel for this cruise – for very convoluted reasons, Herbie Hound would not be travelling with us, but we still had little Ollie, Archie and Henry.

We had a very good drive up to the boat today, after a welcome couple of weeks at home, giving Ty some home time and me the opportunity to make some jam for Greyhoundhomer to sell at their main show today. We’ve often fitted in a visit to their show on the way to the boat, but not this year. We’re now getting acquainted with the M1, which is showing its age with tired services, lacking the splendid dog-walking areas that more enlightened motorway services provide.

When we arrived, we had a long chat with the friendly folk at Shire Cruisers – we’d arranged for them to give our engine a service, do some work on the Tecma toilet and give the boat a valet. They’d done all the work in the time we were away and she was good to go.  They’d also moored her right on the wharf so that we could load the dogs on easily. We also arranged a few days parking with them. I have to say that Shire Cruisers has been helpfulness personified. We paid up for the work (though we still need to pay them for the new solenoid valve as Aquafax could not tell them how much they cost), put the world to rights and picked their brains about the navigation ahead of us. Nigel has a delightfully dry sense of humour – when we asked him about the passage through Salterhebble he advised us to wait and watch someone else going through first. We were surprised, were we likely to meet another boat? “You shouldn’t have to wait more than a couple of days” he replied with a straight face!

Indigo Dream looking fine - the crowd you can see across the water is Cobblestones, the bar/restaurant/nightclub which is THE place to be on a Saturday night.

Indigo Dream looking fine – the crowd you can see across the water is Cobblestones, the bar/restaurant/nightclub which is THE place to be on a Saturday night.

The boat was at the far end of the wharf, but there were parking spaces nearby for us to offload the hounds and a few other possessions. We toyed with the idea of cruising this evening, but neither of us wanted to try the passage through Salterhebble with tired brains, and the wharf at Sowerby Bridge is interesting enough to warrant a visit. With that decision made, I set off for Tesco and Dunelm Mills nearby, while Richard took our big fenders off the bow and stern, first time they’ve been off since we put the boat in the water, at first he thought he would need to cut them off but copious amounts of WD40 and some awkward balancing and stretching off our enclosed back deck eventually worked with only one bolt lost into the water ( 3 spare shackles bought from Shire Cruisers for 75p each). He also needed to investigate water in our cabin bilges – aaaaaargh! We sincerely hoped it was a bit of leakage from when Shire had taken the toilet’s solenoid valve apart for inspection and NOT the resumption of the mystery leak that has plagued us since last year.

With the boat stocked up, we decided to explore the eateries around the wharf – we took the hounds with us for a bimble. We started at Temujin, a Mongolian barbecue – we had hoped that they served food outside, but they don’t own the seating outside their door, though we could have bought a takeaway and eaten it outside, or on the boat.

We then tried the Moorings pub round the corner – that’s pleasant, served food and was dog friendly. We went in, but as we were getting the dogs settled a woman asked us to move – she was cradling her grandchild as if she was in a cave of dragons and said that the child was afraid of dogs. The exclusion zone that she specified would have essentially had us sitting in the canal so we left. I was cross, the hounds were quiet and minding their own business (as they do) and it would have been an opportunity for her to alleviate her grandchild’s fears rather than reinforcing them, probably for life, silly woman!

I was tired and vexed as we left the Moorings, but Richard persuaded me to try the Cobblestones restaurant and bar round the corner. Result! They made us very welcome indeed – dogs are allowed inside downstairs (I think there’s a nightclub upstairs). However, it was a nice evening, so we decided to sit on the terrace. The staff brought the dogs a bowl of water and some treats, I started to relax. The menu was interesting and delicious, and hard to describe! We went for a “tapas” style meal of little (make that large!) dishes or meat and vegetables. But the table next to ours went for the “hanging kebabs” which looked superb! The terrace was an excellent place for a bit of people watching, as “Cobblestones” is obviously THE place to be on a Saturday night. I was in my usual scruffy boater garb, but the women of the town were dressed in their best, having employed a plasterer to apply make-up. It’s a shame that they hadn’t kept the plasterer’s scaffolding though – 6 inch heels were de-rigour, but the restaurant is “cobblestones” by name and nature – just as well there was a big gap between the tottering heels and the canal!

The hounds had the best welcome from our fellow diners/drinkers and were immaculately behaved when a pair of dalmations (and their owners) came to sit at the adjacent table. That was the start of a very merry evening as we got chatting to Mark, David and their dalmatians – young Bertie and ancient girl – a rescue dalmatian, alas I don’t have a note of her name. The girl hound was a bit envious of the greyhounds’ sheepies, so when I went to the car to get Ollie a blanket, I got her a sheepie and a blanket too. She was very contented and David was delighted that I was caring for his cherished old girl. We invited them for a cruise the next day – we were sincere, but only time would tell if they would come.

Although you could hear the chatter from the night club across the water, our fatigue, and a few beers, made Indigo Dream a little haven of peace and we all had a quiet night’s sleep…





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