“Time to Reverse” –  11th July 2022

Plans today were to head back to Gloucester.

Thought it a good time to give you an overall plan as to where we have been to date. So we started up near Manchester and following the red line it will take you to Sharpness where the red cross is. To help with your geography, we have marked Oxford with a blue and London with a green dot.

On our way down to Sharpness, we past this very unique boat called Olinda who is owned by some friends of Wolfgang and Marlene’s. They did the Rochdale Canal with the owners of the boat Norman and Linda a few years ago. Norman is a retired civil engineer and his passion was to build the boat from scratch with the help of a boat yard. It is extremely bespoke and as he also has a passion for rail travel he built the inside of it like an older style railway carriage. He admitted that he sent the boatyard into despair over his quirky ideas for the boat. The other most unique thing about the boat is that you can steer it from the back using the tiller or from a steering wheel in the front of the boat. There is no other narrowboat like it.

Wolfgang had mentioned to them via email that we were down their way and they were keeping an eye out for us. Fortunately, we were able to meet up with them and spent over four hours having a wonderful chat and comparing canal experiences. They have been living on their boat for seven years but are now selling it as they have done the whole canal system. It seems from anecdotal evidence to us that the general time people end up living on the waterways, who are casual cruisers, have a life of about five years. After that you start seeing things for the third plus time and you need something new. If anyone is after this bespoke built boat, we can put you in touch with Norman and Linda.

We got into Gloucester docks a lot later than planned and just made it into the quay before the final swing bridge was closed for the evening. It was 30c and they are predicting a heat wave for the UK for the remainder of the week. By Aussie standards, they are a bunch of wowzers. When they get a 1/2” of snow, Heathrow shuts down as does the rest of the country. By Canadian standards, they are snowflakes.

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