Saturday, 22 June 2013

Midsummer

So now the nights are closing in. That was a little how it felt today with the wind blowing and rain in the air, as we explored the upper part of the Avon. There's a couple of miles above Stratford a boat like Erin Mae can navigate. Reaching the end we found that Nicholson's guide's indication of a turning point was rather optimistic. The river was already too shallow for the propellor and rudder to get much purchase, and the flow  played havoc with the steerer's intent. In the end I backed down a couple of hundred yards, held the stern on a cleat on a smart pontoon belonging to a big house, and let the river carry the bows round. It was just wide enough.

Nicholson's had also indicated there was free mooring at a point called "The Old Bathing Place". We found the spot, but mooring there was none. So we went back down the river and tied up by the recreation fields. Then we had our second cultural experience of the weekend, going to a free performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by a travelling company in the outdoor theatre near All Saints' Church. Good fun (with the buffoon Button Bottom (what was I thinking of?) again stealing the limelight). When the rain came on a bit more, we moved our chairs under a convenient oak tree.

This being midsummer, the skies were far too cloudy to see the specially enlarged moon they promised. August 2014 is the next time, apparently. So we'll book our mooring in some isolated spot and hope for a a clear night. Being able to think about planning that is all part of the Erin Mae adventure.

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