What a cold damp start to the first day of our grand six months cruise, at least we were warmly waved on our way by Val and Jean from N.B. Rune at 9.15am. We had previously said bye bye to all the crew in the Marina Office and many other moorers and we shall miss all our friends there, as I am sure Duggie will miss his doggie chums, but we will return!!
The sign at the exit from the Marina gave us three choices, but we chose Warwick and in forty five minutes we were through the three Calcutt locks whilst occasionally shafts of sun light pierced through the dark clouds. The first items to be discarded was the beanie hat and the gloves, followed by the waterproof jacket and trousers, gradually the two fleeces were thrown down into the boat and the fur lined rigger boots were swapped for deck shoes. Don’t worry, this was not a re-enactment of ‘The Full Monty’ T shirt, shirt and jeans still remained upon my person. Hey this was more like it, blue sky a few clouds, it was looking good. The Stockton flight of eight locks were soon behind us, helped along by plenty of crew from two other boats.
The dodger was doing such a good job of keeping Duggie on the stern, that to satisfy his curiosity of what was actually happening when we went through a lock; we put him and his pad on the hatch. He rewarded us by raising our anxiety level to red alert, by casually wandering the full length of Skyy, eventually straddling the cratch cover. On his safe return he was anchored by his lead and he seemed happy with this compromise.
We stopped for a lazy lunch and snooze just before the Two Boat Inn, before joining another boat for five more locks until a sunlit stretch of Armco between locks 19 and 20 invited us to moor up for the evening and Duggie was taken on a foray to collect firewood, at least that’s what we think he was about.