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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Yes, as you can see in the picture below my Princess is still smiling and completely confident weather doing locks or taking a turn on the tiller. I`ll tell you all something about this happy go lucky lady that has become such a big part of my life, no matter what boaty task i ask her to do there`s no protest just a couple of quick questions and off she goes.  Moving off from  the towpath into a lock, being aware of the cill, using reverse gently to avoid ramming the gate etc., yes in just a few days of cruising Jaq has listened and got on with it. Yes of course as happens to us all things have gone wrong for Jaq but never has she refused to carry on.

First visitors from the boating community were Ken & Sue Nb Cleddau who travelled down by car to Apsley for what was a very enjoyable time to chat and talk of plans for the summer ahead.
Very soon after Sue & Ken departed the lock queue ahead of us lengthened with boats making their way to the Boxmoor Canal festival and i offered a boat trying to stay mid channel to come alongside only to be told "Thanks but your friends are coming up behind me and will want to breast up to you". Ok i thought that`s fine but why does this complete stranger seem to have more information about my social life than i do. Who are these friends?  Well it turns out he had been sharing some water with Mo and V on Nb Balmaha who were soon tied alongside and having lunch on board Nb Valerie.

The picture above was one i posted on my trip down to meet Jaq and shows the demolished Bridgewater boats yard at Berko and the construction of  3 houses.
The picture below shows building materials being loaded at Winkwell for transporting to Berko for the construction of these houses.
The original developers wanted to put flats on the site but opposition was so great they sold up and the new development has been scaled down to include a small boatyard in the plans.

The picture below is rare because i am holding the camera not the tiller. What a partnership eh! Jaq confidently taking NB Valerie between locks while i`m enjoying locking and treading the towpath.

So we are on our way to Napton before flying off to marry in the U S. We have got as far as Marsworth which as some might know has good access for a delivery by road. Now just ordering a mattress, and you can all stop right there it hasn`t worn out in the last week or so, to replace the original one after 6yrs would be easy enough. Next day delivery would not cause to much delay. Five hours after placing the order the manufacturer phoned to say they will have to make our order as they have no stock to match our specification. Friday is delivery day now so some extra long cruising days next week will be needed to bring us back on schedule.



Paddington said...

I have just picked up on your blog. I was pointed there by Chertsey, who in turn picked it up from the 'Ducks'. What a totally wonderful and inspiring story - much joy to you both and we very much hope that we meet up along the cut soon.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Paddington
Is this the boat name?
If so we can keep a watch for you along the way.

Ian and Karen said...

Hi Les,
Good to hear Jaq is getting on so well with boating. You must be a good teacher! Keep enjoying your time together. It's a great life.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Ian/Karen
Just passing on the knowledge i`ve learnt from boaters over the years.

Chas and Ann said...

Looking forward to seeing you both on the Grand Union soon. Stop for a chat and cuppa when you see us.
Chas n Ann

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog from the beginning. As an American who spends 3-4 months a year cruising your canals, I'd hoped we might intersect this spring. However, we're unlikely to see you before you leave. Perhaps on our autumn trip we'll meet. It's a pleasure to read about the fun you're having together. Best wishes from Michelle, nb Shilling

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs