As the pandemic restrictions were eased / removed, 4Cs Members were keen to go out on their boats for more extensive cruising. Although it was not possible to resurrect previous proposed cruises Members and their boats went out to various parts of the network to enjoy the cruising season, even met up with other 4Cs boats – will endeavour to detail their journeys and experiences.
Clara Grace, with Hilary & Ric (Commadore), have had expeditions this year that have been very compressed affairs, with lots of going back and forth from home mainly because of other events and childcare, including sailing Gosty Hill and Netherton Tunnels four times this year! They had to organise pick-ups and the like, and even occasional stand in crew replacements – Ric says, “Must learn to relax”! Cruised around the Midlands with ‘Cormorant 2’ and Lynn & Bob Hallam and got together with ‘The Great Escape’ and Mo & Mike Wood at Stafford Boat Club. Travelled to Rugby to meet up with some friends who had hired a boat for a week, but turns out the lady of the crew didn’t do tunnels or locks, so this rather stressed the itinerary planning, which Ric gathered he was responsible for!
Moored on the Ouzells loop in Birmingham they had an evening out in the Jewellery quarter at the Rock & Roll micro pub and Brewery- staffed by rockers with Rock music on and some very different beers!
Apparently one trip involved 185 locks, 187 miles in 15 days – not good for Ric’s new knee !!
‘The Great Escape’, with Mo & Mike Wood, and ‘Dabbling’, with Jan & Ged Bird, ventured on a cruise to Liverpool (Jan & Ged’s home city). Meeting in Middlewich they ventured up the Trent & Mersey canal, along the Bridgewater and the Leeds & Liverpool into the city mooring adjacent the historic ‘Albert Dock. Click here for Cruise Report
‘Unique’, with Lynne & Roger Mellor, initially did local cruising on the Bridgwater, including mooring-up one evening with ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Dabbling’, who were returning from Liverpool, BBQ enjoyed by all. Later they obtained a 3-month CRT licence to cruise the North-West canals, which included joining the ‘Chester, MSC & Weaver’ cruise flotilla from Chester to Ellesmere Port.
‘Chester, MSC & Weaver’ Cruise was organised by ‘Dabbling’ with Jan & Ged Bird. They were joined by ‘The Great Escape’ with Mo & Mike Wood, ‘Cormorant 2’ with Lynn & Bob Hallam and ‘Sacre Bleu’ with new members Janet Dalgliesh & David Harle. Originally, this cruise was going to continue to the Caldon, but other events meant it was not possible, so will be saved for another year. Click here for Cruise Report
‘Cormorant 2’, with Lynn & Bob Hallam, set sail up the River Severn, then Staffs & Worcs and Shroppie to the Llangollen, where they had a reservation with ‘Sally’ at Swanley Marina for a full repaint and various engineering works. Several weeks later the boat was completed and they set-off to join the Chester cruise, arriving looking very shiny.
BCNS ‘Bradley Restoration’ Cruise was joined by ‘Cormorant 2’, with Lynn & Bob Hallam, and ‘Clara Grace’, with Hilary & Ric Whitby. The weekend cruise included the town of Tipton, the Bradley Arm and Titford Pools (adjacent and under the M5). Although the Pools had been recently dredged, the sail there and back did involve some obstructions and churning of muddy water !!
‘Elemiah’, with Mo Waghorn & Tony Little apparently had ‘grand’ cruising plans, but only made it from their mooring onto the nearby Ashby Canal. Apparently, they were chilled and relaxed, so why sail further.
‘Lucky B’, with Bruce & Margaret Paul, headed up the River Severn, then the Staffs & Worcs and onto the Shroppie. They progressed up as far as Market Drayton, where Lesley & Peter Taylor travelled down by car for a get together. They returned to the Gloucs & Sharpness, but then later set off again up the Severn, this time for ‘blacking’ in Stourport, after which a trip was made to the Black Country Museum. During their travels, they met ‘NowThen’ with Mel & Chris, also came across ‘Cormorant 2’ with Lynn & Bob and then met Beryl and Geoff of ‘Minimo’ at Merry Hill, who by chance were in the area visiting by car.
‘Indecision’, with Sallie & Richard Gleed went up the River Severn and then on to Birmingham, where they linked-up with friends to sail the many canals of the city. From there they sailed to Stratford-upon-Avon and returned to the Gloucs & Sharpness, via the Severn ,“taking in pubs not visited before” says Rich.
‘Minimo’, with Beryl & Geoff Smith did not go cruising this year, but Geoff has provided an insight as to their boating season, alongside a pontoon !! Family, with new additions, has been foremost in their lives and Geoff says “’Minimo’ has done repeated service as a motel allowing us to get much ‘munching’ of the two new little ones”. ‘Post-yard’ work on the boat has focused on the electrical side and the new battery arrangement has now levelled the boat!!, also a third solar panel has been added. Geoff advises that he has ‘cracked’ the Webasto mystery (If you want to know precise explanation?, please contact Geoff). Saying they did not cruise, ‘Minimo’ did make an excursion out of the marina so that Son-in-Law ‘Dave’ could experience narrowboating for a first time by going through the six locks to Penkridge, and back, successfully completing ‘Geoff’s’ helmsmanship course with a ‘like a natural’ pass grade – food excursions on this trip did include the ‘Sizzling Wok’, all-you-can eat, Chinese Restaurant !!