Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Monday 7 June 2010

Aboard the Captains Ship

On Sunday we were treated to a day out on a narrowboat!  Not just any old narrowboat though - Captain Ahab's Wand'ring Bark.  We moved just a couple of miles up the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal to Calf's Heath Marina, where they plucked us off Northern Pride.

P1220124 Picturesque bridges and lock cottages at Moat House bridge on the way

P1220128 Wand'ring Bark and crew pull up to gather their day visitors

We journeyed through six locks to Penkridge, with the two captains chattering away about canals and photography at the stern and Belle and I gossiping and giggling about midwifery and women's 'stuff' at the bow (that's the flat end and the pointy end Belle!!).  Poor Jeff had to try and amuse himself between the two sets of jabbering, bless him.

P1220136A Gailey Lock with 'Viking Afloat' hire boats - the peak of the Staffs and Worcs canal at 100 metres above sea level

There's a very quaint 'roundhouse' at Gailey lock, which was once the toll keeper's house, built around the 1800's, the last inhabitable 'roundhouse' on the canal ...




The round house has a fabulous book shop on the first floor - containing the largest collection of canal related literature, for all ages and tastes, I've seen to date.  There's also a gift shop on the ground floor, all 'manned' by an elderly lady who apparently has lived on or around the canals all of her life - we'll try and get some more information on our next visit.  We made two trips to the shop, on the way up and down, and will be visiting again today!  I think we may be a little obsessed :-) though we've yet to part with any cash!!


Above is the Cross Keys pub, on the outskirts of Penkridge, where some random bloke tried to chat Sandra up!  Belle and Sandra got a 'pint-to-go' from here - you take in a plastic pint glass, get it filled then take it back to the boat and continue your journey - what a novel idea!!


Captain Ahab looking completely chillaxed at the tiller 


 Sandra and Belle putting the world to right at 'the pointy end'

P1220186 On the return journey through Gailey lock 



Belle, the Captain and the two boats almost kissing!!!

What a great day.  It's always reassuring to find other like-minded folks who enjoy the waterways of Britain and relish the simplicity of life afloat.

In the evening we had a visit from another friend and her partner - Adele and Andy - and we had a couple of drinks at 'Misty's' bar across the canal.  Unfortunately they weren't serving food and we'd almost run out of food and beverages on the boat so weren't the best of hosts, but we did find a smidgen of boat-brewed Kahlua from last year's trip that we had as a night cap. 


Andy, Adele and Sandra

Today's exciting plan is to fill up with water and gas and find the 'Co-op' in Penkridge and get stocked up.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous fabulous fabulous day :o) May have to nick the photos ...! And glad you remember it's the pointy end and the flat end. Important the get the lingo right.