Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Friends on Board

We were slowly heading south on the Oxford Canal, and had moored up for the evening a few miles from Lower Heyford, when we had a phone call from Christine and Trevor, friends we have got to know in Blisworth. Could they come and visit us on the boat? Of course they could – we were looking forward to seeing them again – the only question was to work out where to meet! The first bridge we thought of looked good until we just happened to look in a different canal guide book – it told us that (unusually) there was no connection from the bridge to the towpath. Plan B was to return to Lower Heyford, which would be easy for them to get to by car, and then we could do a 'there-and-back-again' day trip.

We met up almost exactly on time, turned in the boatyard and headed south again. It didn't take long for Trevor to really 'get into' steering the boat and, as you can see, he really took the trouble to get his navigation as accurate as possible. Not to be outdone, Christine took her turn on the windlass and helped with operating some of the locks.

We reckoned that we should have time to get to Enslow and the 'Rock of Gibraltar' pub for lunch and get back to Lower Heyford in time for them to be back for Trevor's meeting in the evening, BUT somehow the time went too quickly! Perhaps we spent too much time chatting after lunch or maybe Dave's lock/mile calculations were a little optimistic – we didn't get back until just before 7pm. We tried apologising for the delay, but they were both very happy about it. Apparently Trevor got to his meeting before it ended and said he enjoyed it so much that he now wanted a job delivering canal boats! For someone who had apparently never steered a boat in his life before, his skill was amazing. Better than many others we have seen at the tiller (of other boats, of course, NOT Zindagi!)

We look forward to welcoming Christine and Trevor on board again sometime when we are back within 'range' from Blisworth, and hope that there will be others who want to come and join us for a visit, short or long!

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