5 October 2019

The Great Partland-Marjoribanks Canal Boat team has reunited. After three years, we’ve reformed in the hope of reliving past adventures and forging new ones. We aim to conquer the canals and take no prisoners.

Grahame and I encountered a slight problem before signing on and setting sail.

We were on the wrong side of this lift bridge and we had no way of lowering it. It was a long trek around and we had all our bags. We ordered a coffee and hoped that this would be rectified before our 10.30 am meeting time. It was! Eventually!

John and Jude arrived on time and the crew was reunited at last.

While our ship, Ellie-McBoat- Face, was having a last minute spruce up, we headed to the local shops to buy provisions (one stick of bread and twenty bottles of wine) .


At 2 pm we weighed anchor and took to the high seas.

But not the high seas that John had meticulously planned for. The high seas were closed just near Manchester and we needed to re-evaluate and adjust our plans accordingly. (This was a fairly major hiccup, as there were plans in place to meet family and friends along the route.)

Looks like we had to plunder to the south rather than the north. Not a problem!! All good pirates need to be able to adapt at a moments notice. Look out “Four Counties Ring”. Captain John and his motley crew are setting sail and coming your way.

It wasn’t long before we were faced with our first lock. A very deep one. Some of the crew were a bit rusty on lock procedure, but it didn’t take us long to regain our mo-jo.

It was great to be back on the high seas again. The countryside is of course, green as green can be, the buildings old and reminiscent of times past, and the wildlife out in abundance.

Stoke-On-Trent was once the pottery centre of “the world” and although it still pumps out a fair bit of pottery, it’s old kilns are now unused.

Now, I think you’ve probably gathered by now, our summer gear has been packed away in the bottom of our suitcases and we’ve had to resort to the winter section of our bags. It’s certainly getting chilly! And the forecast is not looking all that positive.

But all good pirates are well prepared, and I’m a firm believer in positive vibes to keep the r*#n away. There were lots of positive vibes. So far so good.

We arrived in Stone after about 4 hours sailing. A distance of 9.6 miles( 15.5 kms). An 18 minute drive!!! That was enough for Day 1!

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