Crick to Overwater

This was a different sort of canal trip for us, not an out and back journey, nor a circular cruise, this was from A to B, from Crick in Northamptonshire to the boat’s base at Overwater in Cheshire. Narrowboat Oakmere had been on display at the Crick Boat Show and we had the task of bringing her home. Instead of the usual idle meandering, there was almost a sense of purpose. We would be delighted to do it again.

The waterways are a grumpy old gits paradise, there is always something or someone to moan about and if all else fails you can moan about the weather. This was ‘mixed’ for the first few days – gales, sunshine and occasional hailstorms but at the beginning of the second week everything turned for the good. This image of a near perfect June evening was taken from the Shugborough estate at Great Haywood looking towards the river Trent and the canal. Oakmere is moored with others, in the distance, beneath the trees.

... the view across the Shugborough estate at Great Haywood towards the Trent and the canal.  Oakmere is moored with others, in the distance, beneath the trees.
The standard meeting place is the lock where brief alliances are formed  and stories exchanged – the beloved is in her element finding time for animals and humans alike.  I am happier just grinning as I sink into the depths of the lock, cursing the crew for talking too much and taking too long to open the gates;-)

One man, his dog, his boat and a pint of beer at Great Haywood Junction, he seems to have found all that he requires from life:

... at Great Haywood junction

These are more postcards from the journey as Oakmere makes its slow journey north to Overwater:

Oakmere ...

Gailey ...

Descending ...

... on the Shropshire Union

Final stretch ...

... at Bridge 77 on the Shropshire Union

And finally, a strange but true golfing tale. While progressing in a southerly direction on the Staffs and Worcester Canal (Saturday 6th June about 11:30) there was a large clatter as a golfball bounced into the Oakmere’s rear cabin. First instincts were to look for some junior culprits hiding behind a hedge but then I noticed the familiar layout of a driving range through the towpath hedge (3 Hammers Golf Complex). Given the height of the protective fence, I would guess this was a severely hooked pitching wedge resulting in a “boat in one” – the rear hatch on Oakmere may be bigger than a golf hole but bear in mind it was moving at the time. Not so much Golf in the Wild as Golf on the Water.

Strange but true ...

Travel theme: Ripples

These are ripples where ripples should not be – yet another very wet 2012 summer led to a significant rise in water levels along the Trent such that the gardens nearest to the river at Shughborough Hall, Great Haywood were under water; these trees should be rising from verdant lawns, not ornamental lakes.  Now we are told that following  six out of seven summers with above below-average temperatures and sunshine, and above-average rainfall, the UK “could be in the middle of a 10-20 year cycle of wet summers.  I don’t think I wanted to know that:Shughborough in flood

(click on image to enlarge)

Travel theme: The Four Elements

I struggled to come up with a set of photographs for this Travel theme; I could find four separate pictures with no connection between them but that didn’t seem very satisfactory. Consequently I have opted to represent all the elements in one photograph; you might have to cut me some slack here but if you look closely they are all present, more or less:

Great HaywoodThe picture was taken below the lock at Great Haywood on the Trent & Mersey canal – click on the image to enlarge.  Here is the same photo with a hint of colour – I could not decide between the two:

Great Haywood