Having been tied to the towpath opposite Kate Boats Yard for sometime Janis and I were quite ready when the time arrived to move our two little ships the short distance across the canal to take up winter moorings.
In the late low sunshine on the afternoon of 1st November we let go and they moved smoothly but eagerly on this last short leg of their 2014 voyage. Pretentiously I am calling it Voyage 6 for ‘Futurest’, since it’s the sixth year that she and I have enjoyed life together.
Statistically during the year we have covered a total of 546.3 miles, passing through 352 locks, 14 tunnels, 11 lift bridges and 52 swing bridges. All this happened during a total cruising time of 314.5 hours which gives us an average speed of 1.74 miles per hour taking us through, again on average, one lock every 1.55 miles.
Though the voyage was most memorable and happy, especially as neither Janis or I had travelled across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal before, and generally the weather had been very kind to us, there is nothing quite like the expectation of winter moorings.
The thought that one can catch up with meeting family and friends again is very powerful, but the biggest joy, having been relying on the vagaries of 12 volt battery power for seven months, is the initial pleasure I receive from the benefits of connecting up to 240 volt power from ashore again. The feeling is absolute bliss.
The pleasure of hot water on tap without having to run the engine is heavenly or being able to use the washing machine without turning on the generator does make life so much easier. The pleasure of taking only a minute and a half to boil a kettle of water instead of the usual ten minutes on the gas hob or the decadent ease of making toast in an electric toaster instead of tediously under the gas grill is so rewarding. Whilst being able to switch on more than one light at a time if I so desire on these long dark nights, in total makes me feel almost guilty at my apparent lack of responsibility.
Things that were taken so much for granted when living ashore become so precious during one’s life on the water.
Kate Boats yard doesn’t change very much. They were busy sending hire boats out on Saturday, the day we arrived, while others were returning. It was good to see Nick, Cheryl and Rebecca again and as always they made us feel very welcome.
My winter friend the Robin was there as well welcoming us in with his loud distinctive song.
Shaggy Ink Cap Mushroom ?