Boating in September is always a bit of a gamble where the weather is concerned, but in this instance it was defiantly an each way win as the day, whilst not sunny, dawned dry & bright.
With the fire stoked, the good ship Blue Rover set off from Anderton armed with 4 copies of the observation quiz and eight eyes set to take on what was touted as the fiendishly difficult task of getting a perfect score.
Things started well up to the Salt Barge with answers flowing freely, but the monk’s hoods at the salt works sent the crew into a wild debate as to what constructed a cowl, and by the time it was resolved we were a couple of clues down! As anyone who has been in a tricky maneuvering situation knows, it’s amazing how fast narrowboats travel when you need time to think.
The quiz gave this very familiar piece of canal a new interest and it is remarkable how many times, the exclamation “well, I have never noticed that before!” was heard on the trip.
3 1/2 hours later, and fully confident that we had scored well on the quiz we arrived a big lock to discover we were pretty much the last to arrive with boats moored 2 deep from big lock to the corner.
A quick trip through big lock to the winding hole and back, and by 5 we were securely moored up just around the corner from the other boats. Ample time to finalise the last few quiz answers before setting off for the pub at 7:30.
We had been warned about BCBC time and that 7:30 for 8 meant be there by 7:15, and sure enough we were the last to arrive (well almost) when we turned up at 7:30.
I say we were the last to arrive, this is if you don’t include one member ( I will let you guess who!) who having just purchased a new headlamp for his boat, decided to wait until after dark to arrive so that he could test it out. I guess that could explain the reports of bright lights drifting slowly over the Cheshire countryside, that came in that night!
Having visited the London Camera exchange on a recent cruise to Chester, I was keen to try out my new toy, and thus being in possession of what looked like a proper camera, was quickly volunteered as scribbler & official photographer for the event (That will teach me!).
Throughout the meal, an excellent rendition of traditional British pub fayre, the wine (other beverages were available) and conversation flowed freely, and soon came the highlight of the evening – the results of the quiz!
Whilst some of the answers did spark some family lively debate; “was that REALLY a gold finger?” 20 minutes later the results were in – And the winner was – (obligatory 20 second pause) – Peter & Judy Jones – a fitting result following Daeve Hook having triumphed in the last observation quiz – set by – yes you guessed it Peter Jones. All in all, a fitting result for the rematch.
With an uneventful and, without the stress of the quiz, enjoyably relaxed trip back the following morning, it was all in all a great end to the season.