The year before last we toyed with the idea of taking Warrior to Braunston (the occasion, not just the place), to have a base for the weekend and thus be able to enjoy it to the full. We didn't, in the end, because we went to Atherstone for the RN rally and just generally didn't get our act together, but it is re-emerging as part of a plan for this year (yep, it's that time of year again, when plans start to emerge, all unpredictable, like the green shoots of spring).
The original tentative plan was based around going to the IWA festival at Radcliffe-on-Soar. The problem with that - other than the fact that once you've been to one or three the novelty wears off a bit, unlike other events I could mention - is that it's at the wrong end of August. Flexible though my time is, I do need to be back at work in September. But the thought of going there put the idea of crossing the Wash into our heads. It had already been in Jim's for quite some time, and I allowed it a small corner in mine on the proviso that we will actually have a pilot on our boat, steering it, won't we... And it spares me one navigation of the Nene. Having done that, but not gone to the IWA, we hoped to explore some northern canals we've not yet traversed: a circuit of the Leeds Liverpool and the Rochdale, perhaps, and a detour to Sheffield on the way.
But now there is a better plan, and it involves propositioning the ever keen Craig (who with Vicky came with us from Little Venice to Limehouse last year and were fantastic). It goes something like this. Jim brings Warrior solo from Bill Fen to Stanground, then picks Craig up at Peterborough. Craig - not me - enjoys the delights of three days on the Nene (and Craig, if you're reading this, I hasten to add that everyone except me thinks the Nene is absolutely wonderful. I have just taken agin it for no good reason, honest). I join the party at Northampton for a handover in the Malt Shovel. Craig may, if work calls, depart at this point, and I get to do the Rothersthorpe flight which I like a lot (mainly because it's at the end of the Nene), and we then proceed to Braunston where hopefully we can plot up somewhere that's not in the way of anyone big and important. The bugger with Braunston of course is that unlike Peterborough and Northampton, it's not well served by trains. Apparently one can do things with buses - if anyone knows what, with detailed instructions, I should be most grateful to be informed.
After that we will have a month or so before the summer holiday proper begins, and hopefully will be able to leave the boat somewhere even if that does mean coming south a bit and/or moving it once or twice. Then we can head north again - and, eventually perhaps, return via the Wash at the end of the year's travels.