Greengrocer Boat. 14th May

Lockdown Pickup Mooring to Lockdown Mooring 3

5am

Waking early this morning I peeked out of the curtains, then had to open up the hatch. At 5 am it was dawn, the birds were in full voice, steam rising off the canal all around us and the sky to the east glowed orange with silhouettes of cow parsley gently waving. The view over Scarborough’s South Bay yesterday was special, this view was magical.

Wow

I did go back to bed and had a few more hours sleep before we had our cuppa in bed. Then it was up and time to move, it was Thursday after all. Oleanna was nudged up closer to the bridge passing the locals who now know us. We found our mooring spike holes easily and just tapped them in to moor up, then settled down to have breakfast.

Steam rising under the moon

We must have been early on the route today as shortly after 10am the chap from Clem’s pulled up in his car. Three boxes for us today, Sandra had ordered two, us one. Today we got chance for a quick chat with him.

The greengrocer boat

The veg box scheme started up in October with friends who couldn’t make the market on a Saturday morning. By Christmas the demand had grown beyond friends. So by the time the pandemic arrived they were already set up. The chap we’ve seen the last three weeks had stopped working for them a while back but because demand was growing he was offered a part time job. The part time job is now 40 hours a week. At the height of demand they were selling around 400 boxes a week, he’d be delivering over £1000 of fresh fruit and veg a day. Demand isn’t quite as it was, he’s looking forward to having Sundays off again.

Our vegetable bounty this week

Whilst we are still in the area we’ll keep using them, although next week I might just ask for no potatoes and see what we get instead! Obviously when we start to be able to move again we’ll stop getting them, but should we return to Nantwich in the future and the boxes still be available I’ll get in touch with them.

Mick headed off to Crewe in the car to return it to Enterprise. Our petrol for the trip to Scarborough had only been £26 thanks to fuel being so cheap. We can’t remember when you could last buy a litre of petrol for under £1!

Rules on the canals are starting to be lifted, our cruising is still limited but fishing and canoeing amongst other sports is allowed again. One chap turned up with his rods, chair, brolly etc and plonked himself a few meters behind us, certainly not the 15 he’s meant to leave. We didn’t say anything as we were intending to move, backwards through where he was fishing.

Fishing has resummed

Mick politely mentioned what we’d be doing. The fisherman said he normally avoids canals but thought as today was the first day for fishing he’d give it a try. As he’d totally taken over the towpath with no thought for anyone else we just did what we’d have done if he wasn’t there.

More crops starting to grow

Back to the winding hole where we turned. A beep beep to let Sandra know we were nearly there and her two boxes were laid out on the bow locker for her to pick up. We had a long chat about our day out yesterday and covid-19 testing for boaters.

Who is this?

As we were on the move already we carried on toward Calverley the water tank needing filling and a big pile of washing was requiring our attention. At Barbridge there are scarecrows at just about every house. One chap stood at the helm of a narrowboat, Spiderman climbed a wall and what looked like Chewbacca held a large microphone. Apparently the village got together to make them. Hopefully they will stay for a few days longer so that we can have a walk around the village to see them properly.

He wasn’t very talkative

The C&RT bins and their enclosure at the junction have been removed leaving only the metal uprights with hazard tape around them. The canal bridge to reach them isn’t safe for the bin wagon anymore, so maybe the bins are going for good?

No bins anymore

At Calveley we ate our lunch as the tank filled, disposed of rubbish and then moved on through the bridge to pull onto the moorings and set the washing machine to work.

Mooring here for the night means that Tilly could be reminded that the outside will move once again. C&RT have amended their guidance more. Limited movements until the 23rd May. Then if you are on a visitor mooring you need to move, but if moored on a 14 day stretch you won’t need to move until the 6th June. Just about every boater we’ve talked to today is wanting to stay put, not confident of moving distances until the number of cases has dropped a lot more. We all know the set up where we are and feel safe. I think if we have to start moving we’ll still be in this pound for sometime until confidence grows. C&RT are hoping to have the waterways back up and running by the 1st June. But we’ll see.

A different outside

One thing is certain, I need to get my illustrations finished and get our gunnels looking good before we loose a low hard edged towpath mooring.

0 locks, 4.2 miles, 3 veg boxes, 2 leeks cut down to fit in the fridge, 1 car returned, 9 fishermen at least, 1 clock ticking on moorings, 1 full water tank, 1 lead to follow up, 1 happy towpath cat, 1 load of washing, 1 extra good fried rice tonight.

1 thought on “Greengrocer Boat. 14th May

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