So off we went in the mist, the cold and the early light - through one lock and then left on to the Coventry Canal. In part we had left so early because we thought it would be busy through Huddlesford with boats leaving, if we came though closer to noon-ish. In part it was because we have a schedule - a relaxed one, but a schedule nevertheless; and we were running behind and a few extra hours' boating would get us back on track. (We need to be at Norton Junction to meet Barry and Pauline on Friday 2 October, and we also have to identify a place for a Wednesday pick up for ODS [aka Lesley], she of the new conservatory, new garden and water feature, and harsh boss behaviour in the Home Office et al.)
|Sunrise, not far from Fradley Junction|
We came across the first boat mad enough to be on the move as well near Kings Bromley marina, and we also saw a fisherman who said he had started at 5am.
|Now I assume that this boat is owned by NZers, but that may not be the case. It's moored at Streethay.|
We arrived at Huddlesford around 8am and there were squillions of boats moored both sides of the cut. I saw nb Are and Are, Barry and Sandra's Home Brew boat. Sandra saw us and waved and called out through the window. If there had been any possible space to moor up within a kilometre we would have done so and walked back to catch up. But no luck.
Did I mention the cold? I was bloody freezing and I was wearing 4 layers, plus gloves and a scarf!!! Even when the sun came out, I could not warm up. I saw walkers, runners, boaters in summer clothes and I wondered what was wrong with them. Just because it was sunny was no reason to be stripped down to tropical beachwear! Part of my problem was that my favourite fleecy had gone AWOL - I hunted all over the boat and couldn't find it. But when David went down to find a gilet of his for me to wear, lo and behold, the purple fleecy was lurking in his wardrobe. Now I am not going to blame him, because it could have been me who put it in there yesterday. I truly cannot be sure, so it's a 'no fault' incident.
Hence an easily confirmed decision that we will NOT be boating here in winter - if I cannot warm up in September when all bundled up in appropriate clothing how would I manage in really cold weather?
To be back on schedule, we needed to get to very close to Tamworth today. But we decided to press on - it felt stupid to have finished boating before 11am ... So we pulled over and got water before the Fazeley Junction, and while the tank was being topped up I got in the shower to warm up. The water was so hot from 4 hours of boating that my central core was warmed. So it was on with the shorts and a reduction in layers on the top half, but with the purple fleecy close at hand. Scarf and gloves were not required though.
We are now moored up before Polesworth - it was important to check out TV reception as the ABs have their first game (against Argentina) in a couple of hours. So we didn't moor up until the aerial had been put up and reception tested. David is now watching the Wales/Uruguay game to get himself in the right frame of mind, but I am going to have a nana nap to prepare myself.