This weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to the Crick boat show like thousands of others. The show is still very popular drawing large crowds every year. This year, the 17th show, was no different.
Now we have AmyJo there would seem no point in going but, Chris and I always enjoy the show just the same. We still love to look at the boats and we still manage to flex the flexible friend to breaking point buying bits and bobs. The only comment we have about the show this year is its the same old same old every year. It is, however, noticeable there are less and less stands and, fewer boat builders with one or two regulars missing this year. Also noticeable is the growing number of wide beams taking over the moorings now. Don't get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with wide beams if that is what you are interested in but they don't do it for me I'm afraid.
|Huge crowds at the show on Saturday|
|The marquees and stalls were kept busy|
This year was of particular interest for us. When AmyJo was in build, Fernwood had an open day. Whilst there, one couple were very interested in AmyJo and became very keen to own a boat themselves. They placed a build slot deposit there and then. After this we kept in touch offering answers to Carl and Sam's questions by text and phone. We offered what advice we could within our limited knowledge when asked and over time we have become good friends.
|As were the show boats with many with full appointment books.|
So it was with great delight we were shown round this year's Ferwoods show boat, Why Fry, by proud owners Carl and Sam. Their dream has finally become a reality after 3 years of waiting. They are right to be very proud of Why Fry she's a lovely boat. They still cannot believe the boat is for real yet but I'm sure they will enjoy getting to know her over time. Well I remember being the same when AmyJo was launched. Its all so exciting and daunting at the same time.
Those of you lucky enough to look round Why Fry will agree she is beautifully turned out in the traditional Fernwood high Quality finish. She sports the new over catch fixed roof that is becoming popular and, to be fair, makes for a roomy well deck and a delightful area to sit in and watch the world go by. The interior design centers around a large Arger in the middle of the boat. A case of, we have this Arger now build a boat around it please. It blends with the interior perfectly and does not dominate the design even though is is the focal point when you are in the cabin.
|Carl and Sam's new build Why Fry looking stunning in the line up.|
We really wish Carl and Sam many happy trouble free cruising days in Why Fry. We've even planned a meet up with them on the cut sometime in the near future. Looking forward to that greatly.
We returned to the show on Sunday armed with a shopping list of items we had seen and wanted to buy the day before. In the afternoon we took all our purchases back to the car and then had a stroll along the cut. We've not done this before and it was nice to get away from the hurly burly of the show and enjoy the relative calm of the tow path.
|Plenty to see and look at .|
|Plenty of boats on the cut as is usual at the show.|
|These two looked bemused by the goings on but enjoying some father son time none the less.|
|Whilst these young geese enjoyed a munch in the grass nearby.|
There was plenty going on and things to see on the cut. We had already met bloggers Del and Al on Derwent6 and sure enough we came upon a very shiny Derwents 6 moored up. Del had obviously spruced her up for the show and we were amazed at how well she has kept. Clearly Del and Al take very good care of her.
This year Willow Wren were present offering steering experience trips. Chris and I remember doing our Helmsman's course on Peggy a few years back (Click) so it was nice to see them again.
|No mistaking this boat|
|Willow Wren's Peggy passes us by|
As the day wore on we eagerly awaited the builder's canoe race. This is a no rules anything goes event that always provides entertainment. Its a chance for the boat builders to let off some steam and enjoy some light hearted rivalry. As we waited we were joined by other Fernwood boat owners and so the Fernwood owners club was in session.
|No mistaking the heritage of this Boat, Mochen Du, another Fernwood boat|
|Past present and future owners. Left to right Kate (Priscilla), Sian in dark top (Mochen Du), Del and Al (Derwent 6)|
Sam and Carl (Why Fry) Yours truly (AmyJo) and Franka (Fernwoods)
Mark and Eric were to fly the banner for Fernwoods in the race so we enjoyed the fun waiting their turn. The teams competed in pairs and the winners go on to compete in the semi finals and the final.
|We were later joined by Mike and Eric (Fernwoods) and Mark (Mochen Du) on the left|
|Despite his age this gent and his crew powered ahead of his younger rivals|
Mike and Eric put on an impressive performance al lead to the far mark but were cut off at the pass by their rivals causing them to fall behind. Despite a valiant effort they caught up but not enough being pipped to the finish by a mere few feet.
|Winning their race much to the delight of his team mate|
|The fernwood team saddle up|
|After a promising start they were cut off at the turn by the other team, who, thanks to their |cheating tactics, won thee heat.
After a few races the inevitable capsize just had to happen much to the delight of the onlookers with whoops of laughter, heckling and applause. The "casualty" made great show waving to the crowds with his feet on the way back to the jetty bringing forth more laughter and heckling.
|A valiant effort to catch up by team Fernwood|
|Might look serious but in fact it was all show and just a bit of fun on the way back to the jetty for one who capsized.|
We've had a fab weekend at the show and it was really great to see the other boat owners and Andy, Franka and the boys from Fernwood there. Hope to see you all again next year or out on the cut before then.
|The eventual triumphant winners who, by tradition were baptised by capsize.|
I don't like posting sad posts but this one has to be told. Whilst working on AmyJo today a hire boat came into the marina bumping hard into our jetty. It turned out the boat had had work on the skeg previously and the rudder was so stiff the family hiring it could barely steer it. They had already had a 3 hour delay as the fridge was not working and had to be replaced then, after cruising for a day, had no choice but to pull in to try and get it sorted. Derek the marina manager did what he could to help them and make them feel welcome.
Not a problem you might say but what made this hard to accept for us is the family had planned and saved hard for a year to have this holiday as it was a special one with nan and grandad joining them. The hire company, who I will not name, from Middlewhich, obviously had not checked the boat before hiring it out and to be frank were completely indifferent to the families plea to get a solution.
The family, now very upset their holiday was ruined, were becoming very distraught as the hire firm could not or would not give them another boat but then after much badgering begrudgingly gave them a full refund without even an apology. After all this mum was in floods of tears as this clearly had been a big holiday for them and was now a disaster and nightmare.
The event unfolding beside us played heavily on our minds. We simply could not just stand by and do nothing, so Chris offered to ring every hire boat company around here to see if we could source another boat for them, but, being a bank holiday sadly none were available. We really felt for them, such a shame. Why are hire boat firms allowed to get away with this? It was clearly incompetence on the part of the hire firm and there seemed no remorse what so ever from the company involved despite the family's upset. We do hope the family find some way of getting compensation. Just goes to show its not all sun and smiles like it is on two certain TV series.
On a brighter note we hope everyone has had a great weekend and enjoyed the mild weather. We're off to Essex soon to see the folks back home so may be another while before the next post.
Finally a quick thank you to Joe and Keith on Hadar (click). They are currently cruising the Calder and have been sending me updates and advise for our trip there in the summer. The photos look really great so we are really looking forward to the trip now. Much appreciated.