Monday, 28 January 2008

Rural bliss

Following on from Saturday's mission, I got up early on Sunday morning and began to descend the Stockton lock flight single-handedly and complete the journey to Jonno and Helen in Long Itchington. These were the first wide-locks that I attempted single-handedly, and despite the wind I managed the first two on my own without any real drama before being offered help by a man and his young son out on their Sunday morning walk. I lent them a couple of spare windlasses and made a cup of tea, and they worked all but the very last lock for me. Had they not, I suspect it would have taken me the whole morning, but I would have got there in the end. It's still beyond me how he managed it, but the little boy must have been no older than about 7, and was able to open the lock gates. They were taller than him! Strong little thing - I even struggled a bit with them.

On arrival in Long Itchington, there was no sign of Opposite Lock. Gutted. I had tried to phone them the previous evening, but there was no answer. Perhaps they had moved on, I thought.

Not one to be defeated, I continued cruising. As I hadn't passed their boat already they could only have headed in one direction. It was only about 10:30am, and there was no way I was being defeated now that I had come so far. After a few more minutes cruising, I spotted Opposite Lock in the distance. Victory! 6 months after taking ownership of my boat I was finally where I wanted to be - out cruising. For real. Yeah baby! Moored up behind them (just glad they didn't see the mess I made of tying up, what with strong wind and a tired girl...) and spent the rest of the day enjoying tea and Grandma's home-made fruit cake on the boats. Bliss.

In the evening, the man who shall now be known as Jonno-Oliver for his outstanding culinary abilities, cooked a delicious Thai Fish Curry for the 3 of us. Drunk lots of wine in celebration, then went to bed tired out but buzzing from the feeling of accomplishment.

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