Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Cruise - Day 1

We came up to the Briar Rose yesterday, many hours apart.  Adrian set off from home very early, shopped at Tesco in Rugby on the way, and spent the day working from the boat.  In between calls and emails, he unpacked, got the fire going, and changed a gas bottle.  I had to go to work and was on a late shift, so I drove up once that was over, arriving about 12.45am.  Adrian was somewhat alarmed that I manged to get on board, zip up the cratch cover, and stumble my way down the boat to the bathroom before he even realised I was there!

It was very breezy last night, but seemed a bit calmer this morning.  We were both tired, so didn't get up until gone 8am.  After breakfast we readied the boat and set off at 9.20, Adrian steering and me being the lookout as we came out of the marina.  Then I stayed inside to make cups of tea, and knock together a batch of orange pastry.  It wasn't raining on the Brinklow side of Newbold Tunnel, but it was on the Rugby side -- and had been ever since.  We worked up the locks at Hillmorton in the wet, but at least all the locks were in our favour.

There were two boats coming down the top lock, so we were able to leave the middle one open, and the second boat left the gates of the top one open for us.

The intensity of the rain fluctuated, so sometimes it almost stopped, while at other times it was harder.  By 1pm, I was cold as well as wet as the wind had got up again, so we stopped after Bridge 80.  This stretch is very popular in the summer, and there's often no room here at all; today we joined just three other boats.  The spot by the bird table, that Hadar used the other day, was taken, so we're further along, just before Bridge 81.  We were glad we stopped when we did, as the rain has been lashing it down ever since.  Just one boat was gone by, the helmsman looking rather unimpressed.

The boat is looking reasonably Christmassy inside: we brought our cards with us, which have filled up the shelves.

I've also turned the pastry into a dozen mince pies.  I'd bought a tin and a rolling pin for the boat, but forgot pastry cutters, so I had to improvise with a couple of different sized glasses.

Adrian is now trying his hand at making a meat loaf.  It's always been one of his favourites, but making it is a first.

10 miles, 3 locks.


Jo (Boatwoman) said...

Ohhh those Mince Pies look lovely, I cheated and bought ours. Maybe see you tomorrow, we will be on the boat all day, so feel free to come and say hi. Happy Christmas cruising x

Sue Hunter said...

Merry christmas. We passed each other near Tesco Rugby - just as the rain started. Sue NB Beefur