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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BCN Cruise Countdown.

Monday 11th August.

Countdown to the BCN Explorer Cruise.

Another Monday morning, and now only a couple of days to go until we set off on the BCN Cruise. I am actually rather excited about it, and really don’t care what the weather throws at us over the next week. I know that Keith and I will still enjoy ourselves travelling in convoy.
So it’s Monday and we walked back into the city to the Tesco metro to pick up last minute bits, as this shop has to do us until we get to the IWA National Festival. Where there is a Morrison’s supermarket. With the sun out it was an enjoyable walk in and out of the city, especially watching all the people trudging their way to work, drinking their morning coffee on the hoof. None of them had smiles on their faces, but they were off to work ha ha ha. In the centre of Birmingham they have a big screen up with the Olympics showing all day, which I think is a fabulous idea, they just need to supply a few deck chairs and people would sit and watch. As we strolled past the GB canoeists, were showing their skills to the world, or in this case three people standing drinking their coffee.
Back on Hadar we needed to run the generator to top up the batteries for the evenings TV viewing. With the weather so unpredictable and chilly, none of the boaters feel like standing around chatting, so we all spend the evenings watching TV. We can but hope the weeks cruise will fair better as far as the weather is concerned, but according to the forecast it does not look promising.
I cooked a curry with egg fried rice for our evening meal along with Spring Rolls with a dipping sauce. The galley smelt like an Indian Take away. N.B The Third Lady arrived for the cruise and moored up alongside N.B Patience. Moorings are very scarce so breasting up is a really good idea. We all exchanged names, before retiring for the night.

Tuesday 12th August.

It was 4.30am and rain was thundering on the boats roof, loud enough to wake me up. Keith was still in the land of nod, totally oblivious to the heavy rain. I only wish I could have been the same. I lay and listened to it for ages, before getting up for a drink. When I did get back into bed, I drifted off into an uneasy sleep, which means I always end up dreaming. The thing with my dreams is I always seem to remember them. This dream was a little odd. We were on the BCN Cruise and had got as far as Walsall. We had moored up under an old wharf building, which butted up against a shop. So we could see in through the shop window from the stern of the boat, and the shop owner could open her window and chat to us on the stern. Boats arrived and joined us, but they were like canoes, all tied together in a line, they breasted up alongside us, which did not bother us. What bothered us was the fact that they sat on the roof of our boat to eat their meals. All of them spoke a broad American accent, and thought it was their right to take over our boat. (I know I am odd). Some moments later I noticed a large black car arrive in the car park, the doors opened and out got the Queen and Prince Phillip (strange I know). I went over and introduced myself and welcomed them. I found out from the Queen that they had heard about the BCN Cruise and wanted to find out more about the trip and the canals. I spent some time chatting to them both, with a cup of tea before I woke up. That has to be the oddest dream I have had for a while ha ha ha. If there is anyone out there who reads dreams, can you tell me what it means?
So back to reality, we got up to a dark, sombre sky. It was drizzling, the worst kind of rain as it really soaks you. But Paddy had to be walked, so once again the waterproofs came out.
Eventually the sun came out; it was my chance to go and empty the loo and get rid of the last of the rubbish.A few more boats had arrived overnight for the Cruise including N.B Nanshe from Hockley Heath, so whilst passing I saw that Clive was sitting in the front of his boat, so I went and said hello. The list of narrow boats that have arrived for the Cruise reads as follows:
Hadar.
Gerald No13.
Patience.
The Third Lily.
Lotte.
Lenina.
Yorkey.
The Slender Delta.
Colehurst.
Bluemoon.
James Marshall.
Nanshe.
Kyle.
Alder.
Clover.
Kyle.
Temeraire.
Tenacious.
In all 33 boats are expected. And we will split into two groups, each taking different routes, but meeting up in the middle somewhere.
Whilst having morning coffee, we joined others on the bank to have a morning natter, all of us getting itchy feet. We all want to be on the move, no matter what the weather is like.
As the day wore on Brian Jarrett on N.B Kyle, moored alongside us to take on coal and to collect our barrels of oil, which he will run his Russell Newbury engine on, once it has been filtered. Brian will be staying a long side overnight. We enjoyed an afternoon of chatter with him and look forward to getting to know him over the next week. Whilst chatting N.B’s Clover and Alder arrived with N.B’s Temerbine and Tenacious. The weather has been decidedly up and down today, we had lots of sunshine early on, but as the afternoon turned into evening we were entertained by an enormous thunder storm. The rain was extremely heavy; it was bouncing off the surface of the canal.This evening all the boaters on the cruise met up, where we were given our Cruise packs and routes for the week, we are on route 2. It is getting quite exciting and we are looking forward to an eventful week. So see you over the coming days with what I hope will be a fun diary.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi there...I have just started a blog...i am a wanna be liveaboard !!its the troll of bridge 77...I see you are cruising the BCN as of tommorow,,I live in Tipton, surronded by cut ! Please tell me where you all are as i would love to see all you nbers in convoy.Thats a good way to do it.Safety in numbers!So have a good trip and enjoy the industial views, not many factorys are running here now ...very sad.Take lots of pics!!!!Pete

Keith & Jo said...

Hi pete.
We are heading for Wolverhampton tomorrow, we may not be in convoy as we are all setting off when we want to. The closest we would be is factory locks, but not all boats are taking that route, so you may not see us all.I think we are doing factory locks but no idea when we will get there.
I will keep the pics coming though.
Jo