Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Our 2015 Cruising Season

We have been home nearly six weeks now, so I guess this post is long overdue. I like to do a round-up of the year's cruising but meeting an avid blog reader last week reminded me that I need to hurry up and write it!

It seems that some of our blog readers felt 'dumped' by the last post so this post should round things off nicely for this season and lead us into the 2016 season.

Rachael and I like to go via the USA on our way both from and back to Australia, on the way home we had the flexibility of staying a few days, which we duly did. We made a little side trip to Las Vegas for six days to finish off the shopping. Rachael took the chance to get way ahead with the Christmas shopping and even with the poorer exchange rate, around US0.72 to AU$1, there were still plenty of bargains to be had. We finally arrived back in Melbourne on 10 October, which gave me a few days before I started work again.

This season I didn't keep a tally of various statistics, I found using the Canal Trip Planner to verify my stats for last year nice and easy and pretty accurate. So, this year I retraced our course and popped out this statistical analysis of our 2015 canal season:

634 miles travelled(1020 km)
574 locks, some had lock keepers (mainly R. Thames)
81 swing / lift bridges, and
12 tunnels (from memory Blisworth was the longest at 3056 yds or 2.8 km)

Blisworth Tunnel (South Entrance) on the GU
Aldermaston Lift Bridge on the K & A
Even away from Serafina there are still plans to be put in place for next cruising season. We have booked our tickets for our 2016 trip so now we have dates to work around. Five months of cruising next year will pretty much cover the best weather the UK has to offer. Our plan for the 2016 cruising season is to head north. Last week I entered a broad cruising plan into the trip planner to give us a rough idea of the number of cruising days needed. There is always room for adjustment but our first iteration yielded a total of ninety cruising days (allowing for four hours per day), leaving us sixty-two days to play with. I am sure these extra days will get swallowed up by rain days, unplanned stoppages and 'this is a nice place, let's stay a little longer' days. I know from experience there will be a lot of 'let's stay a little longer' stops along the way.

Serafina requires a BSS inspection before licensing in 2016 so that is the first order of business. Next on the agenda for the 2016 cruising season is blacking. Our plan is to book Serafina in for blacking along the way as we head north, I have a few marina's in mind. Once she is lifted out of the water, I can give the hull a good check over and if all is ok, head up to Scotland for a week while the blacking is completed.