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About aceware

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    Western Australia

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    Computer Consultant
  1. Yes - I would describe canal de midi as one of the best things I have done on my life. Not sure if I met the same harbour master - ours was female, quite laid back. I remember that, with my poor boating skills, I reversed in to the wrong mooring point - but she just shrugged her shoulders and left it at that.
  2. Many thanks for everyone's suggestions. The Four Counties Ring also sounds like a contender if spread over 2 weeks. We are trying to avoid a return trip. I know my wife sounds like a bit of a pain but I love her and want to do the trip with her. So I'm bending over backwards to accommodate her likes / dislikes. I could go with a male friend and possibly have more fun but I know from past experiences that I would be miserable without having her with me and would be counting down the days until I could get back to her. My wife has the Australian version of Lyme / Borelia (tick borne parasitic infection) and is rapidly losing the ability to do very much physically. This is probably our last chance to do something like this together. She can operate the tiller and throttle while I do all the lock work. I am a reasonably fit 60 yr old (walk 5 Km most mornings and building a house with my own hands on the weekends) but I am going to be stretched doing all the locks - hence wanting to slow it down a bit. So here is a list of my wife's preferences so far (we are contemplating starting on first week in September) "I don't want to be wet and miserable for two weeks" "I don't want to go through Birmingham" "I don't want to go out and back / retrace my steps" "I want to see more than miles and miles of agricultural land with very few towns like we did on Canal de Midi" For my part I am building up a database of canal side pubs and cafes and points of interest. If anyone can wave a magic wand and answer all my wife's concerns I would be very, very grateful If anyone is interested here is a posting from my blog on one of the more eventful days on our 2012 trip in France. http://aceware.com.au/OurHouse/EventDetail.asp?lngEventId=541 Thanks Tony
  3. Still trying to coax my wife to make the trip (this trip is something I really, really want to do - but the wife is not keen - feel like giving up soon) I know that Birmingham is a completely lovely, safe and interesting place to visit but I cannot convince my wife (unfortunate experience earlier in her life) Are there any canals that would us to bypass the city ? Stourport and Warwickshire are logistically attractive because we could stretch a one week journey out to two weeks and really slow it down. Our next choice is the Avon ring but this is 5 hours per day over two weeks - so no opportunity to stretch it out (on a two week limit) Many thanks in advance Tony
  4. Keeping Dry

    I was contemplating hiring from Black Prince - from my understanding these are traditional ? Main reason - my wife bought me "Britain's Best Canals" with John Sergeant and this was the company he was using (I guess sponsorship does work) Thanks for the welcome :-) Having my own boat is my ultimate fantasy - well done :-)
  5. Keeping Dry

    Many thanks for all the responses. The Dickies looks like a good one stop solution. Any more suggestions very much welcomed. Thanks Tony
  6. Keeping Dry

    I am contemplating hiring a NB for two weeks at the beginning of Sept 2016, just after school goes back. My wife is not madly keen and I am having to coax her in to it. She is saying "How do you keep dry operating the tiller out in the open if it rains for the whole trip ?" Probably in the UK you are used to wet summers and cope with it without thinking but in Western Australia - in summer and even Autumn it barely rains and we don't really know the gear for it. Is there any standard gear that everyone uses when standing out in the rain, does the hire company usually provide, or do we need to buy it on arrival ? We are contemplating doing one of the circles but turning a one week trip in to a two week trip to allow more time to sit in pubs and coffee shops and look around towns. I did a NB on the Grand Union back in 1984, it rained but I was OK with that. We did Canale De Midi in 2012 - it rained on the last 2 days but we were in a closed cockpit - so no problem. Personally I would prefer more rain and less other people :-) - so approaching Autumn is not a problem for me. Many thanks Tony