Gloucester to Saul Junction……… aaaand rest!

Today’s video including plenty of hovering for bridges, avoiding paddleboarders and rowers to swing back into the marina!

Another days of nerves for me as I knew I was going to do a manoeuvre at the end of the day that I haven’t yet done and was incredibly nervous about. It was a lovely familiar run down the G&S to get to back to my home mooring. As it was a Saturday a few boats were going up and down. The new towpath by the Sainsbury’s looks to be completed which is good news.

There were 2 lovely ladies paddleboarding, I could tell they hadn’t heard the boat and the last thing I wanted to do was scare them so a gentle pip on my horn solved that. They moved over really surprised but in good spirits as they indeed hadn’t heard me coming up behind them. The Wycliffe school rowers were out but they were well behaved and we all made space for each other.

Passing through Saul Junction bridge you have to do a 360 turn to then go into the arm for the marina, that all went well and got into the marina no problem. I then turned left to go to the service bay. As you have to turn in the small space before it and reverse into the bay I just haven’t felt confident trying before. My heart was literally pounding doing it, I know that sounds silly but its nerve-wracking when you do something new for the first time like that. It wasn’t pretty but I got in ok and had a full work up of pump out of the loo, diesel, gas, coal, heat logs, bin emptied! Its nice to be back and I will be practicing that service bay turn more and how to reverse onto my mooring as that I definitely would like to master.

I (and indeed we) have had SUCH a blast over the last two months. The black cloud of unemployment was descending fast so as soon as they opened the waterways I knew this was a way to help me get through. My summer is usually bouncing between festival sites working every hour there is and Richard normally on tour or helping prepare the artist’s lighting in the warehouse. With both of us looking at no return to work for the foreseeable future it made for a hard pill to swallow.

I hadn’t had a chance to take Māhina out on a proper trip so it made logical sense to do it now. I am SO glad we did. I have learnt so much, my boat handling is so much better and I am much more confident with her. Keeping on the boat and in the countryside has helped us keep to ourselves in our own version of isolation. One where you occasionally meet others and chat over a lock or with much much joy, use the opportunity to see friends along the route.

The route was just beautiful and every twist and turn gave us something lovely to look at.

For the fellow data-heads, we couldn’t resist keeping a log.

58 days
380 miles (2.6 of those underground!)
232 locks (my arms are now like Popeye!)
36 moving bridges
59 aqueducts
12 tunnels
270 litres of fuel
244 engine hours

With the feeling of very little to celebrate given the global situation we’re in, I am seizing the moment to celebrate my little victory of a very very successful trip and a safe return with a cheeky bottle i’ve had stashed.

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