Monday, 16 February 2015

The Sun Also Rises

Friday, 6th February

A straightforward run back to Gailey this morning, although some ice had returned. As captain, Steve steered whilst Pete and I completed the cleaning and tidying-up. The cold air and clear skies had been producing some stunning sunrises throughout the week and with an early start this morning we were well-placed to enjoy another. But as the sun was rising the moon was setting, and so instead of a boring old "sunrise" photo, here's a moonset one:
Moonset over the Staffs & Worcs.
At Gailey we were supposed to top-up the water tank, which we did although we had to try all three taps before we found one that wasn't frozen before moving Twelfth of Never across the cut to her berth at JD Boats.

I said my goodbyes to the rest of the crew and walked down to the bus stop for what Google Transit had told me was the 1007 bus to Stafford. The printed timetable showed it as being due at 1008, however, the timetable at the stop had it at 1001! (Sometimes there can be literally "too much information"). It was 1003 when I arrived at the stop but I knew I'd be OK as Arriva buses has a wonderful "app" you can download to your phone that not only tells you scheduled bus times but also displays a map showing the actual position of your bus in "live time". It's absolutely fascinating and I could - and so - look at it for hours! I checked it now and "saw" my bus hurtling up the A449 towards me!  Incidentally, it's not only useful for knowing how far away your bus is but aslo, once on the bus, you can use it to make sure you don't miss your stop.

From Stafford I got a 101 to somewhere in the suburbs of Stoke-on-Trent where I made a 2 minute connection to a 21 that took me to Stoke Station. Here I had a choice of paying £10.50 for a ticket on a slow, all-stations stopper to Manchester or waiting a while for the super-dooper fast, luxury express on which the fare would be only £6.75! (Aren't British train fares wonderful?!). It was a no-brainer and I spent the time (and the difference) in the Glebe Hotel, a Joule's pub near the station that was selling their wonderful No.6 "dark and brooding" Winter Ale.

A quick change at Manchester saw me aboard the Lancaster train on which the guard was far too busy (or lazy?) to inspect the tickets so my monthly return survived (again) for yet another day!

So ended my first boat trip of 2015. Since selling Starcross I've enjoyed a number of boat trips on a number of boats and count myself fortunate to have so many friends able and willing to invite me on board. Thanks to all concerned and, of course, if anybody's ever looking for an extra hand. . . !

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