Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 - A Very Good Boating Year

(Boats Chalice & Sickle - posted by Alan)

David & Charlie survey the Thames as we turn at Lechlade
So 2011 has drawn to a close, and we are pleased to report a very much fuller boating year than 2010, which was dogged by me breaking my pelvis early in the year, the urgent need to repaint Chalice in the Summer holiday, and my Mum falling ill, and passing away just after Christmas.


"Sickle" at Hawkesbury, soon after purchase.
Not that 2011 has not also had its issues.  I knew he would be having cataract surgery early in the year, and have since  suffered visual disturbances in both eyes, (apparently unrelated).  Plus the aftermath of that smashed hip means I still don't leap from boat to bank as reliably as I might like.  But these are small annoyances rather than show-stoppers, and in a year where my closest friend died suddenly of a heart attack, I am supremely grateful to have the health and the time to (very) regularly be out boating.

This was the year in which "Sickle" joined "Chalice", and our boating time started to be divided between the two.

"Chalice" makes its first visit to The Bratch

The 2011 stats are as follows.....

Days boated: 87
Miles covered: 1198
Locks worked: 917

Biggest surprise of 2011 - "Chalice" makes it through Froghall!
Waterways visited:

Birmingham & Fazeley
Droitwich Barge
Droitwich Junction
Grand Union Birmingham Line
Grand Union South
Northern Oxford
River Severn
River Thames : Upper
River Thames : Lower
River Thames: Tidal
Shropshire Union : Main Line
Shropshire Union : Middlewich Branch
Southern Oxford
Staffs & Worcs
Trent & Mersey : Main line
Trent & Mersey : Caldon Branch
Trent & Mersey : Leek Branch
Worcester & Birmingham

"Sickle" at Braunston Historic Boat event
Boating events with Sickle

Stoke Bruerne Gala
Braunston Historic Boats
Linslade / Leighton Buzzard Festival
Stoke Bruerne Village at War

We have also had several opportunities to meet up with our many boating friends, the last as recently as a very large gathering in Loughborough, just before the New Year.


Little could I have realised that within a couple of months of writing this synopsis of 2011 we would be without Charlie, ("the best dog in the world"), and constantly part of our boating life since he joined us from the rescue centre less than 2 years previously.

Of course we are sad now to look back at the pictures in which he features so much, but far from wanting to erase his memory, we never want to forget the very happy, (but far too short), time he was part of the family.  Yes, there is still a tear welling in my eye as I type this, but for a while he gave us so much, and we all absolutely adored him.  A very sad loss!

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