For the first time in over 10 years of boating, I wished I was somewhere else today- or for at least the first part of it!!
I woke up at 9.30 and was immediately on the listen out for the wind- Had it died down? Was the cratch cover still in place and were we still tied to the bank? The answers, accordingly were No, Yes & Yes! Considering that the strong winds had kept us awake & me worrying most of the night, I felt surprisingly un-tired. In no hurry to get going in such dreadful weather we had some bacon sarnies……By that time a few boats had passed us, so we were game to give it a go. Marcus found that Harebell handled surprisingly well in the wind and yet again showed us that she was a little boat with a gutsy heart.
Sunshine & showers followed- at one stage the wind was almost enough to blow a person over and the rain was almost horizontal. At least the rain blew off again quickly and left us with some sunshine, but the next batch of showers blew in fast too, though!!
The three spaced out locks before Grindley Brook were completed with hunched up shoulders and buttoned up waterproofs. At the last one, Povey’s Lock, the rain was enough to make a person head for home. However, it proved to be the last of the showers for a long time and by the time we approached Grindley Brook, the sun was glorious and we remembered, finally, why we have a boat.
Grindley Brook was a pleasure- the staircase locks as fun as ever. No waiting, just straight up. We moored at the top whist we did the toilet, water & rubbish. Quite a few boats came passed us, struggling in the wind and one hire boat that had been racing behind us most of the way, was struggling more than most- eventually crashing into a moored boat. We started off behind a hire boat and followed them through the lift bridges and watched their struggles with the wind. Harebell behaved beautifully and maneuvered like there was no wind in our section! by the time we had passed though the 3rd lift bridge we decided that enough was enough and it was time to moor up. We found a great spot, sheltered from the wind, no massive trees and what wind there was, was blowing straight at us, so there was no flapping and blowing of the cratch cover like the previous night.
The lack of sleep from the night before finally caught up and we all had a well earned early night, quite confident that tomorrow would be a better day all round.