Thursday 16th September 2010
Weather Blustery Wind, Sunny spells and occasional Drizzle
First job was to receive Justins feed from BUPA and get on our way – boat wise that meant 5 locks immediately at Stoke which are slow to get through. The guys
were in good spirits as the new crew support boat leant to us by Canal Cruising Co at Stone was pretty much top of their range and very luxurious. Sheets, blankets, two proper loos!
The Deputy Chairman of NABO Howard Anguish and is wife Hillary were crewing on a voluntary basis for the next couple of days so they had a skipper with serious seagoing background having had a career as a ships master among other things!
Justin following Elysium which doesnt happen very often – they are generally miles ahead!
The planned journey to Stone was really very pleasant of eleven miles and eleven locks and the two boats worked well – Hillary is a qualified narrowboat skipper too and so we swapped boats and lock keeping duties between the three of us. Our day took 6 hours however – but our kayakers were in The Star Inn reputedly the oldest pub on the canal, predating it by some 4 centuries, by just after two! Lovely pub with good menu and later tat evening Howard, Hilary and I enjoyed a nice meal talking boats at NABO all evening while Jane and Mum cooked on boat for the crew including Gabrielle’s (mum) speciality – apple crumble.
Karen ( owner of Canal Cruising Co at Stone – established since 1948 and reputedly the oldest ire boat company by a mile) made everyone so welcome – her and her staff did everything for us – the use of their boat was in itself a massive gesture. We can all thoroughly recommend the company, the boats and the stretch of the Trent and Mersey they operate on! Thanks again.