... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Monday 11 February 2019

The terrifying countdown to Hebden Bridge

Ages ago, Blogger stopped supporting third party widgets, and I lost my pretty little Daisypath ticker that told me how long I've owned Chertsey. But I noticed that Nev on Percy has been counting off the days of his retirement, so I followed up his counter, created a new one there, and fingers crossed, it seems to work. I like the no-nonsense meter better than the pretty ticker anyway. We shall be celebrating my ten years of historic boat ownership in September.

In the meantime, though, I also made a countdown, to see how long we have, mentally, emotionally and practically to prepare for this year's HNBC expedition to Hebden Bridge. And it is - gulp - only a shade over three months. That is, frankly, terrifying. I can get only the barest minimum time necessary off work, meaning that we have to go out and back the same way (all those smug gits with their shortened boats and tugs are bragging about the Leeds Liverpool; my alternative would have been via Preston Brook (don't ask me any more just yet, it's all a bit vague) but as it stands it's Rochdale there and Rochdale back), and very little time to prepare the boat.

Jim is now full time managing Sebastian's shop while Sebastian takes the next step up the ladder towards qualifying as a solicitor, so he won't have much time to spare either. I have no ideal how we're going to manage Geoffrey, who has never been boating before and - the horror - likes swimming. I haven't even started the new strings yet; the engine's still smokier than Jim would like so in all probability I'll be steering through Harecastle. We've never done the Rochdale before but when people who have been boating for forty years did it two years ago and say it was the hardest thing they've ever done, you can't help feeling a bit nervous. At least I'm building up my fitness - though I think I might need to work on the upper body strength too from what I hear.

I was, frankly, shocked to see how little time there is before the event - and includes the time to get there. Give me a few days of blind panic, and then I'm sure I'll start to formulate a plan.

At least I'm writing about boating again.


  1. We have 'done' the Rochdale once (in a 70' boat) and would need a compelling reason to repeat the experience. Only two of us, a fair bit older than you but with a much younger boat, it was hard but it wasn't impossible.

  2. Sarah,

    Just checking that you are aware that the stoppage at Marple locks has now been extended, so getting there via the Peak Forest is now not a possibility. Seems to be about a day longer going by the Bridgewater, but adds the "delights" of the Rochdale 9.
    I'm becoming less persuaded that I really want to try it, but Cath is still telling me at the moment that she wants to.

  3. That might solve the dilemma then as going via the Bridgewater didn't seem to be an option timewise (I'm sure it added about three days for us, but it's a while since I did the original planning). Thanks Alan - hadn't got as far as checking that yet.