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Back to base in relative warmth

We slept in. We had watched a couple of films so it was late when we had gone to bed but nevertheless waking up at nine thirty came as a bit of a surprise to us. We decided to get up and go, so after reviving the fire which was just hanging on to life with a few glowing embers, we got dressed. Rain had been forecast for the afternoon and by the look of the sky, it wasn’t too far away. After the usual preparations we were underway but with one difference which was a bit of an experiment.

Caxton is a semi-trad boat and like many boats of this design has a canvas tonneau cover which protects the back deck. Unlike most others, this cover has a zipped section which rolls up to give some protection to the steerer from the elements. I have never tried steering with the tonneau in place so I decided to give it a go on the short hop back to the marina. The ambient temperature seemed lower than the day before, the wind was colder and there was no sunshine so it was the perfect test. With the rear doors closed and the hole in the cover being only two feet square, I was protected from draughts. The cabin doors were open so there was a gentle warmth emanating from inside the boat which made the trip a relatively pleasant one given the conditions. Sue reported that it was still warm enough inside and since I didn’t freeze, the experiment proved to be a success, Joe and Lesley – thanks to your design skills, we are once more, forever in your debt!

The trip back was quiet, we only passed two boats on the move, a very short narrowboat with an outboard engine and a two man canoe paddled by two bearded guys who looked like a pair of backwoodsmen. There was a fishing competition near Congerstone but there were only half a dozen anglers there, most of whom were surprisingly talkative. There were another couple of fishermen opposite the winding hole to the north of Market Bosworth and when I asked one of them if he had caught anything, he replied, “Not much, only a f*ck*ng cold”.

It was a bit windy as we entered and crossed the marina which is par for the course where there are wide open spaces but as I have mentioned before, Bosworth Marina is so spacious that there is plenty of room to manoeuvre and very quickly we were safely tied to our pontoon. Within ten minutes, the heavens opened – we had just made it in time!

We had some lunch and then did a bit of cleaning and tidying before packing up the few bits and pieces that we had to take with us into the car.

That was it, our boating weekend was over and despite the temperatures that we had endured, it had been a really enjoyable one.