Saturday, 6 April 2013


We did it! I got up this morning after a very frosty night to find the water iced over, but not enough to cause us problems. As it was, I was grateful not to be suffering after an excellent evening with Helen and Lloyd, scoffing nibbles and quaffing beer and wine whilst putting the world to rights.

The good laugh is that they don't use the internet on Alice, so I can say what I like about them here, hee, hee.


Actually, Chris from the nobby moorings will tell Helen all about it at work next week, so I'd better be careful.

Anyway, after a reasonably leisurely start we got ourselves organised to start cruising. It's been so long we had to think quite hard about all the stuff to be done, like putting the Ecofan safely out of the way, getting the walkie talkies on, rolling up the cratch, disconnecting and stowing the shoreline.

We finally got going just after nine, being waved farewell by Lloyd, Martin, Mina and Geoff – as I said to them, a long hard winter has been made much more bearable by such good neighbours.

Over at the service wharf, Justin was just removing an Aqua boat from our favourite berth, the one down the side, so I refrained from winding him up with the crack which had sprung to mind, that is "Bloody typical, the sun comes out and you can't get moved for hireboats in the way…"

Pumped out and dieseled up, we pushed across to the Midland Chandlers side. I went and paid for the diesel and collected the paper from the shop for the last time for a while. I put my head round the doors of MC, but they still didn't have any coal; apparently they are having trouble getting supplies now. I suppose the smokeless fuel manufacturers have run their stocks down in anticipation of reduced demand and been caught out by the late spring like the rest of us.

We've still got one bag left and about two thirds of a net of logs, so we're not desperate yet.

I managed a half decent turn out of the marina for once, and we had a steady chug through Willington and onto the familiar route through Burton to Branston, where we've stopped for the night. There's a bit of traffic about, mixed privateers and Canaltimes mostly.

After we'd stopped I checked the engine bilge; no sign of coolant loss, I'm pleased to say. After a late lunch we turned to and finished putting Sanity Again into cruise mode. The dehumidifier has gone back under the bed, I've sorted all the stuff in the radio cupboard, which had got a bit chaotic with bits and bobs chucked in there, and we had a mega session turning out the bow locker on both levels and getting out stuff like mooring pins that we'll need.

Sheila's also excavated her troughs and compost, so the next thing will be looking out for herbs and annual flowering plants, I just know it.

Tomorrow, on to Alrewas, probably. At least after the dry month we've just had the river levels are well down and there shouldn't be any problem getting past the weir.


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Bruce and Shelia,

Congratulations on finally getting underway and what a fabulous day to start your cruise. If all goes well with Ian then we may also be on our way in June. You never know our paths might cross again one day. After all there is only about 3000 miles of navigation to cruise along so the chances are pretty good. Ha ha ha(:

All the best

Irene & Ian

Dave said...

Great to see you have finally cast off.

Past the old Sanity last week at Barbridge Junc. The chap onboard says to say hello.


Anonymous said...

Happy cruising.
Just wondering how much Lloyd and Helen pay you for the nice comments???


Anonymous said...


Looking forward to your cruising posts :-)

Sue, nb Indigo Dream