Before I start, an update on Floodgate – it seems the water pump was the culprit and the offending pump is now serving time in a CRT waste bin. 5 days later with stirling service from a battery operated caravan fan purchased from Lidl for a fiver, the cabin bilge is now pretty much dry and normal service is resumed.
The last couple of days cruising the Caldon and currently moored in the idyllic surroundings of the tunnel pool on the Leek branch, with only 3 ducks and 2 families of geese for company, has got me thinking about the joys of dead end canals!
Over the past couple of years we have cruised a number of them:
- The Llangollen
- Shropshire Union to Ellesmere Port
- The Caldon
And they are all, in their different ways, wonderful. First and foremost, they are wonderful because they don’t go anywhere. The only reason to cruise them is for the joy of doing so. Because of this, and because most people don’t understand the pleasure of this kind of boating, they tend to be pretty quiet.
The second thing that these canals have in common is that if you make it to the end, you are rewarded with an amazing mooring spot.
Up til now, my boating has tended to be about doing the distance, (usually in a ring) you have a week, or 2 weeks, and it’s about working out how far you can go in the time. More recently the distance travelled in a given time has been reducing, but it has been about using Pearsons ( other guides are available, but not sure why you would want to use them) to divide the route by the days available, and that was your itinerary. This trip, we had 2 weeks and the plan was “to do the Caldon”. Using the above system, even on a leisurely itinerary, we would be back in a week. So Pearsons stayed on the shelf, and we are going with the flow. So far the flow has taken us to the end of the Caldon Leek branch and a night alone with the geese. Tomorrow who knows, but after 30 odd years of boating, I think I am finally starting to get it!