From Nateby to Catterall on a pork pie and half an ounce of Golden Virginia.

This morning was one of those crisp autumnal mornings where the sun was bright and dazzling, yet low enough to skim the water like a series of flat, pointed stones aimed at my head, or more specifically, my eyes! (Sorry, that metaphor got out of control.) So I did what any sensible person would do under such conditions and moved the boat before it pissed it down rained.

So long, Nateby and thanks for all the dead fish.

I was going to stop off at the Thetford Station, but that bend beneath the bridge at Moss Lane is a bugger, especially with another narrowboat tailgating me with intent, so I cranked up the throttle instead and continued into the blinding brightness. (It’s the closest I’ve ever come to a re-birthing experience.)

Three grassy knolls.

See that bump in the field in the photograph above? Slightly left of the centre? It’s a green bump? Can you see it? Well, I don’t know what it is, but the archaeologist in me is crying out to investigate, especially given that the field is in Nateby, where there’s tons of prehistoric archaeology just waiting around for somebody to dig it up after dark. (It’s either a barrow – and there’s two more behind it – or the farmer has built a golf course for his sheep.)

All aboard the Sky Lark!

And that’s Mark Hez’s boat in Garstang. (It’s quite distinctive.) I tend not to hang around Garstang these days. The spotters for the CRT are a bit over zealous around these parts. One even recorded me passing through from Bilsborrow to Galgate once. I wasn’t even moored, but I suspect it still counted as a fortnight’s stay.

Leaving Garstang as quickly as possible.

I’ve been worried recently about some of the stuff coming out of the bilges; stuff that resembles diesel but is flatter and greyer, perhaps. I suspect it might be the new stern gland grease that I’m using. Today though the bilges were pumping out bright orange confetti. Initially I thought it was some sort of horrible, internal rust, but on closer inspection I realised it was just the leaves from the surface of the cut that had been sucked in through the prop-shaft opening and shredded into a pulp.

Giving the Mouse Boat an airing up at Skull Bridge.

Anyhow, after several hours, I made it to the Catterall winding hole, where I’m now moored up and bracing myself for the inevitable onslaught of autumn proper. (And where, judging by the photograph, the boat’s being attacked by a very thin alligator.)

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2 thoughts on “From Nateby to Catterall on a pork pie and half an ounce of Golden Virginia.

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