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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Thursday, 1 October 2009



Our Boating Buddies and Chocolate Chums, Kim & John are getting married in October and naturally there has to be Hen and Stag do’s. The Hen affair was a ‘Bad Taste’ (dress wise not food) weekend in a country house in deepest Hampshire, well away from prying male eyes.

For the boys, well we were much more original!!! A Pirate weekend on board SKYY. Gradually the numbers grew to twelve and Jacquie persuaded me that SKYY would be a bit overloaded so we hired another boat and we had us a convoy. By eleven o’clock on Saturday morning ten of the twelve scurvy knaves had assembled on the quay side of the marina. John the groom had been done up as an unlikely Kiera Knightly, whilst I assumed command as Cap’n Hook. We showed no mercy to Don the Harbour Master despite his desperate pleading, but we went no further than a bit of pillaging, saving the raping for later.

With the Jolly Roger flying from the stern of both boats and Kiera at the helm of the good ship ‘Francesca’ we headed up the Grand Union Canal, through the three locks at Calcut and stopped for ships biscuits and weevils at the Boat Inn, actually for most of us it was a very substantial Boat Burger and chips. We continued down the Stockton Locks with much ‘Arrrrrghing’ and ‘Shivering of Timbers’ until the Blue Lias Inn hove into view where we moored up to refill the barrels and recover one of the Jolly Rogers that had got dislodged by the roof of the bridge just before the pub.

Refreshed and ready for more pirating we moved on through the last couple of locks and moored up at the bottom of The Cuttle Inn garden, where we were joined by the eleventh member of the crew. The Cuttle provided some excellent victuals, beautifully presented and reasonable priced and didn’t seem to mind the good humoured, but noisy pirate drinking games.

One or two of the younger friskier pirates headed to the Two Boat Inn, for what they thought was a karaoke session, whilst Kiera was put to bed to sleep it off.

On Sunday morning dishevelled crew members gradually surfaced, having abandoned their Pirate costumes and amazingly Kiera, now restored to John the Groom set about cooking a full English breakfast for everyone. The last one of our party joined us in time for breakfast, having just arrived home at 3.30 am from a family holiday, that’s true friendship.

We tried in vain to turn the 68 ft hire boat outside The Cuttle, so instead headed onto the Bascote staircase lock where we turned both boats in the pound, came back up the lock and started the return journey up the remaining thirteen locks. By now the crew had some idea of what they needed to do and the locks swiftly disappeared behind us.

A brief stop at lunch time at the Blue Lias for beer, as we were still full of breakfast, sausage, egg and bacon. We arrived back at Wigrams Turn Marina with the flags still fluttering as I am sure must have been the hearts of many a young lady that we had ‘Arrrrrghed at over the last couple of days. Maybe not!!!, but what a great time we all had. Now the wedding to look forward to where there will be time to collectively remember our days before the mast.