Hours cruised – 2
Boat sides polished – 1
Times passed Briar Rose – it’s complicated
Kingfishers – 1 – Finally a Kingfisher sighting
Other interesting birds – 1
Classic Album – Beatles – Rubber Soul
Today was another of those classic boating days, where basically after 2 hours cruising, you pretty much end up where you started from! In this case Yelvertoft. The trip was, however, critical to the plan. And the plan started by polishing and generally sprucing up the bank side of the boat. We obviously filled the day with something as I didn’t have time to take any photos! I have, therefore, found a picture of a Questing Vole to fill the gap – why will become clear.
It’s usually half way through the process of polishing, that a 30ft boat suddenly doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. 62ft is a lot of polishing! That said, once finished it did look very shiny!
It was during this polishing that we had our first passing by Briar Rose. This time not the one we had been playing leapfrog with all week, but a new Briar Rose – the one that had been stuck at the bottom of Buckby locks – I did say it was getting complicated!
Side polished and key areas painted, we set off the 2 miles to where we could turn round. Turning round was another crucial part of the plan because:
- It meant we were now pointing in the right direction to get to Crick
- The other, non polished side of the boat was now bankside, and accessible for polishing
We were now heading back towards Yelvertoft where we had agreed to meet some friends for the evening (at bridge 19). Given the total lack of visitor mornings at Yelvertoft, it was a bit of a gamble but as it turned out, one that paid off – more later.
Heading back to Yelvertoft, we passed 2 boats of note. Briar Rose – the original one this time, not the new one that had passed us earlier. I was now totally convinced that these people were following us, what other explanation could there be for so many chance encounters! Turns out ( sorry couldn’t resist it any longer), however that there was another explanation – they too are heading for Crick! What are the chances!
The other was Sleeping Otter. We have seen a number of water mammal themed boat names on this trip including pretty much every variation of Otter (Wild, Tame, Sleeping, and just plane unadorned Otter). Only one, however, was Vole themed, and this was the Questing Vole – definitely the best boat name we have seen, with the exception of maybe “Aunt Mable” but I suspect the owners of this may have had an ulterior motive “We are just going to visit Aunt Mable,” would be their cry, as they escape to the boat, leaving people with that warm glow of what wonderful people they were spending so much time with their elderly relative ( for some reason Aunt Mables are always old!)
It was on this part of the trip that the kingfisher made an appearance – 2 weeks on a boat and this is the first kingfisher we have seen. Never mind water voles, I think Kingfishers need to be put on the endangered list!
Once at Yelvertoft, lack of mooring meant we would fill up with water, park precariously on a bend next to bridge 19 to go into the village to do some shopping, then try to find somewhere to stop not too far up the canal, close enough to bridge 19 to meet our friends.
However a lady across the canal, obviously overhearing our conversation as we were mooring said, “you are fine mooring there as long as you want”, and “you had better hurry if you want the shop, the miserable guy who runs it has a habit of shutting early”. When asked about the fantastic butcher/deli mentioned in Parsons, we were told, “Yes there is a good butcher but he is probably closed, as he only opens when he fancies it.” I am assuming that she is not a spokesperson for the Yelvertoft Tourist board!
Undeterred, we decided to walk into the village anyway. The village shop was open and was, indeed staffed by someone who would not win “Britain’s Cheeriest Shopkeeper” competition. He did however supply, bread, cake and fruit at a resonable price.
We then moved on to the Butchers/Deli. This too was open, and again surrounded by the price reality suspension field beloved of farm shops and artisan delis. So yes you guessed it – more £6 biscuits! The last ones were very nice though!
Back to the boat just in time for our friends to arrive. By now the sun was out, and it was turning into the nicest evening of the cruise, time for the first BBQ of the trip and the appearance of interesting bird number 2 – a spotted woodpecker (not sure if it was lesser or greater spotted, so let’s assume it’s the common one – I will leave you to research that one).
I am obviously out of practice on the BBQ front though as I managed to burn pretty much everything! Most of the burned offerings were eaten though, so they can’t have been that bad and hopefully no one will die! We will know for sure tomorrow!
2 smallish children (7 & 9) meant the dog was a little stressed, but she is now asleep and snoring, so has obviously got over it!
Tomorrow – Crick!!