Before the official lockdown came into force we were happily cruising our way back to Cheshire to my parents so we could pick up our Pirate stock and our van to get ourselves ready for our first festival of the year. We were only 4 days cruise away then BOOM !! Corona Virus !! Lockdown – Don’t visit your family and friends – Only travel for essentials !!
Well … That was that !
The news explained that everyone had to lock down for 3 weeks and work from home. Essential shops would stay open. Our Narrowboat is not only our home, gift shop and floating workshop, but also our transport. So we cruised into the middle of nowhere, away from towns and busy towpaths to sit it out …But…3 weeks later, nothing had changed and the lock down continued… By this time we were desperately low on water with having a washing machine onboard, daily showers and washing our hands all the time – so we needed to cruise to canal facilities – These are usually a maximum of half a days cruise from wherever you are on the canal system.
Luckily we had received an email from the Canal and River Trust (CRT) explaining that people who live on their boats full time like ourselves could move for water, shops etc so off we went..but.. once we arrived at the water point we noticed how busy the area was – lots of boats, walkers, cyclists etc and no winding hole (a place to turn the boat) so we filled up our water tank, emptied our toilet, got rid of the rubbish – all things that you have to do on a boat. We then continued cruising into the middle of nowhere again…
Mooring in the middle of nowhere meant we were surrounded by the gorgeous Shropshire countryside. We thought we would take advantage of the time we had free to get on with some boat jobs – we gave the boat some TLC and touched up the paint work.
We got our supplies from little village stores and visited farm shops for our fresh eggs, we even baked our own bread!
As the lockdown continued all our canal and land festivals were cancelled. Panic started to set in as to what we would do for money!
Thankfully badge orders were still coming in via our website badgesonboard and we had lots of requests for ‘Please Wash your hands, Self Isolating and I Love the NHS Badges’ which meant we were able to design, complete and post orders with the use of our trusty electric bike.
We used our daily exercise to cycle to the nearest post office staying as safe as possible. Sometimes the cycle route took us through the most stunning scenery and other times very muddy towpaths!
As the lockdown continued we stayed completely away from any busy areas and we only cruised once every 10 – 12 days when we required facilities / shops etc…
And, so it ended up that a 4 day journey to home waters actually took 10 weeks – The Canal and River Trust lifted the restrictions on the 23rd May and we were able to complete the rest of the journey back onto home waters! Whoooo hooooo we made it!
It has been great to see my parents and be near family and friends again even if everyone is still 2 meters apart, but with the fabulous weather we have been having, it has been lovely to sit outside and socialise with everyone.