Saturday, 20 August 2011

My mate First Mate

Well, I guess today is day 3, and we have travelled from Burton to just beyond Swarkestone, bridge 12 to be precise. It wasn't very late but it looked like a good place to stop. It's been a lovely mild evening and we've been sitting out on the wide towpath (plenty of room for the cyclists to whizz past) since teatime until it got too dark to read, and then a bit longer. We didn't leave Burton until gone twelve, as we wanted to go shopping and this involved quite a trek to find Sainsbury's.

That we were able to find it at all, or even dared try, was thanks to the First Mate guide. These books are available from the IWA online shop (and Shobnall Marina Chandlery, if you're passing this way) and are a really useful adjunct to those other essential publications, Nicholsons and the Good Beer Guide. The Firts Mate guides show where shops, banks, launderettes etc. are in relation to the canal, with simple maps and useful info. I had three in my collection, and addded three more this morning, and now have all of them except the North West, which we are of course unlikely to visit now.

Along the way we met nb Forever Young, and a blog reader! I'm always surprised and delighted to come across people I've never met or even been in virtual contact with, who turn out to read this. I've noticed too that the old chart position has started rocketing up again since we set off on our travels, which would seem to challenge the commonly held bloggists' view that travelog blogs are boring and no one wants to read them. It seems you much prefer reading about our uneventful travels than all the exciting restoration news or indeed my scintillating thoughts on matters of the day.

Brief Singapore update: We finally got the survey report this morning, it having refused to travel by email to Jim. The rot in the breasthook is the big unexpected issue and replacing the breasthook as required will be a major job. We've not written anything off yet, but have gone back to the broker to see if the vendor will consider a lower offer to take account of the additional costs. We still really like the boat, but are trying to be sensible for once (well, relatively... I heard those hollow laughs).

Tomorrow... The river!


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