Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Boating continued.

Wednesday, it rained all day, but it wasn't windy and with good waterproofs who cared? I was about to do my first ever tunnel and OMG what a tunnel it was!!! The guy at the Marina had warned us that it sagged in the middle and sag it did, to the point that I steered the boat on my knees with my other friend squatted down beside me and the ladies at the front shouting LEFT! NO! NO! RIGHT!!! It was really funny, but only after we emerged from it. At one point I thought we had stopped, but you could see the opening either end and it was only 375 yards long. We emerged into the rain unscathed, with painful knees and big sighs of relief.

We cruised through 5 locks at Llangynidr one in a boat hire base, he had all his boats moored up and one was moored on the lock mooring which meant I had to hold the boat outside the lock and then got stuck in the silt!! The marina owner was very nice about it but I was so worried about bashing his boats I was a bit rude to him for mooring his boats at the lock!! He did make it up to me though, by jumping on and poling the boat off of a massive tree we had got wedged against.

We found a lovely mooring spot in Llangynidr amongst the trees. While we were cruising down a frog had jumped from the lock gate into our boat and was sitting quietly hidden in the hose reel, my niece took this picture. Finally I have found my prince!!

We took a look around the villiage. Sadly the villiage shop was almost empty, she was hanging on by the skin of her teeth but admitted she had a cash flow problem so couldn't stock the shop up fully. With the new boating season starting I hope she manages ok.

For our evening meal we went to the Coach and Horses,it would seem that Bollocky Bill had been there before us. As we ordered our dinner the rather distinguished looking landlord came to our table and began to recant this tale!

(Imagine strong Welsh accent with very good story telling skills)

'The tom tom drums were going. There is a boat full of women stuck in the mud! The cry went out!! Send out a rescue party!! 200 volunteers went in search of the women but they couldn't be found for they were here eating dinner'
We all laughed, surely a boat full of women isn't that unusual? The food was great though and so were the locals. He even lent us a torch to go back to the boat with as our boat didn't have one.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brecon Boating Birthday Bonanza

On Monday the 22nd of March we set off to not so sunny wales and picked up Delyth from Cambrian Cruisers. After a little run through Jonathon jumped off and we made our way to Brecon marina. There was only one lock on the way, but they have to be left empty with the bottom gates open, and as we were going up, it was twice the work. I got the boat in the lock and then we started to fill it up and we waited and waited and waited, silly us had forgotten the basic rule of lock operation! The bottom paddles were open slightly, once we sorted that out we were out in no time. Brecon is a lovely little town with a big population of Gurkha's and the marina has been refurbished with some lovely cottages for the elderly. That first evening we ordered a Chinese and I have to say, it was the best I have ever tasted! Lovely

This is the motley crew, taken as 2 pics because someone had to take a photo.

Being some of the first boats of the season there were quite a few shallow places and inevitably we kept getting front of the same boat. So picture this, there in the boat behind, is Mr Super experienced (Fondly named Bollocky Bill by one of the all female crew!!) sitting smugly by the tiller while the wife has to jump on and off and do a lot of the graft, dispensing his wise words like 'Oh just reverse when the front floats out' Or 'Aquaduct? What aquaduct?' All the time, watching us trying to pole ourselves off with this smug self satisfied look on his face because he wasn't stuck!! Eventually we got the hang of staying no matter what in the middle of the channel and actually caught him up at Tal-y-Bont on Usk where he kept the electrically operated lift bridge open for us.

Now we all know it rains in Wales, and it did, continually, but the views? Stunning, we would cruise around a tight little bend, and there were the most spectacular views of the brecon mountains. New lambs in the fields, woodpeckers, long tailed tits, wrens. It was magnificent. By the end of day two we moored at Tal-y-Bont on Usk. A pretty little place with a fantastic post office/store/cafe. Bollocky Bill had gone ahead..............

Friday, March 19, 2010

Off cruising

Gosh it's been a long time since I blogged. My old manager took VR in July and I have been busy ever since.
Anyway I have been reading with envy about Akelamalu's lovely cruise and I am off on a cruise myself on Monday, but a cruise of a different kind.

No lovely Caribbean beaches (Or weather) for me but a weeks cruise along the Brecon and Monmouth canal with 3 friends and my niece. I'm 50 you see, my half century will be upon me next week and my daughter, best friend and her daughter will be meeting up with the boat in Talybont on Usk to help me celebrate my 'not 49 anymore' birthday! I am soo looking forward to the break and seeing the beautiful Welsh countryside, I am determined to take it easy and get off and look around properly. It's only 33 miles long, and I could get to the end and back but what would be the point of that?

So when I get back I will be uploading some pics so you can celebrate my 'Half Century' with me.