We did it! We finally got AmyJo out of the marina today and took our first real cruise up to Welford Junction and back.
We got down to AmyJo on Friday night at about 8.30pm after calling into the Co-op in Crick for a few essentials like milk, bread and beer.
Saturday morning was clear and crisp so we stocked up on kindling and coal as we knew it would be needed. After topping up with water we untied and left the mooring at 9:30. At first things did not go well as the wind was playing tricks with us and we could not turn AmyJo’s head into it. After drifting sideways along the basin for a bit I twigged the best thing as to allow AmyJo’s head to drop down wind and reverse up towards the office so we could turn out of the marina which we managed successfully. At his point I was beginning to think AmyJo would only ever go astern.
Eventually we got out of the marina unscathed and got AmyJo going towards Welford. It felt absolutely fantastic to be underway at last
It was a lovely morning with some cloud and a breeze blowing that did not affect AmyJo too much. We settled into a routine going along and felt at one with the world. This was what all our angst and planning had been all for.
The weird thing was standing there at the helm whilst AmyJo moved effortlessly through the water seemed so right, as if we had been here before and was the right pace to be. The winter scenery was just perfect and bridges came and went without hitch with us loving every minute of it.
In some places the cut got so narrow we could not avoid the over grown vegetation so now we have a very light scratching along the starboard side but it will polish out fortunately (sorry Paul I did say no promises) :-(
Yet in others there was plenty of room
We came across this lovely house in a sheltered section and the view was perfectly mirrored in the water. Chris was beaming from ear to ear and could not resist the photo
We encountered our first low bridge and did wonder if the chimney would survive which of course it did. Later a low branch did knock of the Chinaman’s hat but fortunately it landed on the cabin roof so Chris retrieved it. Note to self need to drill and screw it onto the chimney.
Eventually Chris plucked up enough courage to take the helm and did splendidly. Once there she stayed put and was only prepared to give up the helm when the call of nature took over. I can see who s going to do most of the lock wheeling now. Chris's joy at being in control of AmyJo is evident here
I took the opportunity to go to the cratch and take a shot looking aft and was surprised to see how little wash AmyJo was generating.
We eventually arrived at Welford junction at about 2pm and by now the wind was picking up somewhat. We tried to wind at the junction but with the strengthening wind we found ourselves stuck across the entrance to the arm. We still have no pole yet to push the bow round but a resourceful Chris found a broom did just as well and we eventually got out and moored up just on the Crick side of the junction ready for he trip home tomorrow.
Having worked up a appetite from our adventure Chris whipped up a beef in black bean and red wine source with rice while I got the log burner going nicely with the coal we bought. We then settled down for or first meal on the cut and celebrated with the rest of the wine. Well, it would have been rude not to!
We’re now hunkered down with the wind blowing a hoolly outside and the boat gently rocking. The cabin is a toasty 25 degrees, Andre Reu is playing on the ipod and all is well with our world right now. We are now looking forward to the return trip tomorrow, but for now ….. where did I stow that whiskey Chris?