Sitting watching water world on sky one evening I spoke the immortal words to the wife.
Should we give a canal holiday a try, this is the story of that first ever canal holiday.
Saturday 1 October 2005
Left Liverpool at 11am arriving at Sowerby Bridge at 1241 leaving us with time to do some shopping and to have a look around before picking the boat up.
We eventually made our way to the boat yard and after a very good training session we set off on Devon with a member of Shire Cruisers staff accompanying us to the first couple of locks.
All went well and we where eventually allowed to go off on our own after the deep lock.
As I still needed to get some confidence handling the boat plus the canal being pretty shallow in this section it took us 2 hours to get to the next lock at Brearley where we stopped for the night.
Day 2 Sunday 2 October 2005
This turned out to be the most eventful day of the holiday and very nearly brought the whole holiday to an early end.
We set out at about 810am and all went well reaching Hebden Bridge in good time where we decided to fill the water tanks.
The problem being another Shire boat Cambridge was already there and being a novice I panicked trying to get in.
The couple from Cambridge shouted for us to throw them a rope to pull us in which Rose did from the bow without any problems.
Mean while I had but the gears into neutral which was a good thing given what happened next.
As I threw the rope from the stern I slipped on the wet deck and went flying off the boat after the rope.
I am not a strong swimmer and panicked in the water, but eventually managed to get my feet onto the bottom of the canal and stand up but could not climb out so the man from Cambridge had to get into the canal and help me (if he is reading this thank you).
Anyway after I was out we filled up with water and moored at the visitor mooring while I had a shower.
After my shower we set off again arriving at Todmorden as it was getting dark.
Day 3 Monday 3 October 2005
I was still a bit shaken after falling in and was considering abandoning the holiday but we decided to carry on.
But we also decided we would turn around and head for the Calder and Hebble.
So after winding we headed back towards Hebden bridge sharing locks with another boat untill lunch time.
Arrived back at Hebden Bridge at 4pm and filled with water again this time without incident, then moving over to the visitor moorings for the night.
Day 4 Tuesday 4 October 2005
After having a walk around Hebden Bridge and doing some shopping we got back to the boat, we had some lunch and as and started off mooring at Brearley again.
Day 5 Wednesday 5 October 2005
Had a lay in and started off at around 1030am, just took it slow arriving at Sowerby Bridge at about 12.
Carried on down the Calder and Hebble deciding to stop for a break half way between Sowerby and Salterhebble deciding to go for a little walk.
When we get back to the boat I try to start the engine and it will not start, so call Shire and they send out an engineer who sorts out the problem for us.
By now it is 3pm so we decide to stay where we are for the night.
Day 6 Thursday 6 October 2005
This was a rather uneventful day started for Salterhebble about 11 took on water and winded.
The only event of note was we help a woman from a residential boat pull a log from the canal at the Salterhwbble top lock.
Moored at the same place as the night before.
Day 7 Friday 7 October 2005
Stayed moored untill late afternoon and took a leisurely cruise back to the boat yard arriving back about 330pm where we moored and spent the last night in a local pub watching the super league semi final between Saints and Bradford, which spoilt the last night as Bradford won.
Day 8 Saturday 8 October 2005
8am leave the boat and head for the station, and home.
This was not the end but the beginning, the beginning of our love affair with boating
To be continued