Looking back over 2017 part 2

Sharing June with friends was wonderful, John and Tina, Ruby and Bryony also came to see us as we relished being able to moor under the shade of trees whilst the rest of England basked in a heatwave.

We have decided that June 1st will be the date we celebrate Firecrest’s birthday.

Having said goodbye to our friends, our cruising plans would take us on a voyage of discovery down the River Severn to Worcester and the mighty Catherdral.

This is where we realised that churches were a good starting place to find out about the history of the area, and even the country as a whole. We were almost embarrassed by how ignorant we are about our heritage but now we’ve got the time and energy to do something able it.

From Worcester down the river to Tewksbury, another fascinating town where battles were fort and friendships formed. 

We were now on the River Avon heading towards Stratford, which of course meant a visit to the national theatre.

And a return to the canals, through some of the prettiest Warwickshire countryside and the long flight of locks at Hatton. 

Here we’d meet up with more friends and family

And as most of the boaters we were chatting to seemed to be planning summer with grandchildren, not having any of our own, we sort to borrow a galley slave. Amy joined us for a week. We put her to work harvesting the bountiful blackberries, elderberries, plums and apples that were now dripping from the hedgerows.

We did have a lot of laughs as Eric skilfully manoeuvred Firecrest into position so we could harvest the best and most juicy to be made into puddings and jam.

Braunston has long since been a meeting place for boaters and here we had the very great pleasure of seeing Ian and Joy take ownership of their boat Tenacity

And enjoying a mini convention of 3 electric boats all moored together. Despite what boat builders might think we are just like all other boaters, any excuse to get together with a glass in hand.

The summer had been nothing like what we had anticipated. We had cruised about 250 miles and done about 200 locks. We’d made a lot of boating friends and had been honoured by many visitors from back home. This was a life we were going to enjoy.