Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sailing down the ...... Canal

I went for a trip on a canal boat today, and enjoyed every minute of it. The boat is called "Community Spirit" and is owned by the East Manchester Community Boat Project". The Boat Project was founded in 1994 and provides days out on the canal network for groups from the Greater Manchester Area. They make no charge for these days out, though they are always grateful to receive donations. The canal boat “Community Spirit” can take up to ten passengers, as well as being equipped to take two wheelchair users. The boat is centrally heated and has a small galley and a toilet with baby changing facilities.

If you haven't worked it out, most of the above was blurb that the Boat Project put out. I ended up going because one of my voluntary jobs is as the Communications Officer for my District, and we are going to provide some financial support for the project. It is a lovely, modern boat, very comfortable and easy to move around in.

We went for a trip from Ashton under Lyne to Hyde. Travelling by road that journey would take about twenty minutes along some pretty cruddy urban roads. On the canal, the journey took an hour each way, and was through lush green countryside, quite the contrast.

It was great, and I enjoyed it enormously. They provided cups of tea and coffee. They even let me steer the boat for a little while, and that was truly scary as the boat is steered with a tiller. That means that in order to change direction you have to push the tiller in the direction opposite to what you expect. You also have to remember to then reverse the direction to straighten it up. Quite, quite counter intuitive, and very scarey when there are ten other people on the boat. So I gave the tiller back to one of the crew as soon as I could.

A superb day, all in all. The weather was nice, started grey and drizzled, but got better and better as the day went on. Nice.

I'll talk to you tomorrow.


1 comment:

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I walked the towpath from Dunkirk back into Hyde just this afternoon!