Scimitar is a 58 foot semi-trad narrowboat with a fixed double berth, bathroom with a corner bath, dinette which converts to a double berth and two chairs which convert to single berths. She is a 'shared ownership' boat which means that she is owned by several people - in our case 12 - all of whom are entitled to take her out for a set number of weeks in the year. The weeks aren't fixed, each year you choose the ones you want from those available after the owners higher up the list have chosen theirs. BUT you don't stay at the same place in the list - each year you move up until you are at the top and have the whole year to choose from. All the owners share the cost of running the boat and decide by majority where it will be moored, what work is to be done on it, etc. and they are free to sell their share at any time.

In 2001,Scimitar was moored at Blue Lias near Southam and either Des & Liz or we visited her for the odd weekend. In 2002, we all took her on a 9 day cruise down the Oxford Canal. We dropped Des & Liz back at Blue Lias (work called) and then picked up our next door neighbour, Alan, for a 5 day cruise to Crick and back - his first time aboard a narrowboat - he was fascinated by the Watford staircase locks, but we didn't venture up it - there was a lot of traffic travelling north for the Crick Show and we would only have had time to go up, wind (a boating phrase for turning the boat round - pronounced like the wind that blows, not the key you wind with), and come down again.

We were planning a trip later in the year but work intervened and neither Des & Liz nor Ian & I were able to take Scimitar out, but step in Grant (Des & Liz's son) who took her out with some friends.

In 2003 Scimitar moved to Festival Park at Etruria near Stoke-on-Trent. In the early summer of 2003 Ian and I took Scimitar round the Four Counties Ring and had the most glorious time - we found wonderfully quiet places to moor and, as an added bonus (well for us anyway), the main railway line which runs alongside the canal for a couple of days travelling time was closed for engineering works - so no train noise. The weather was very kind to us - Des & Liz took over from us on day 10 (I had to get back for work) and the sun kept on shining and getting hotter and hotter, making their time on board less comfortable.

Enjoying the weather on the 4 Counties Ring

October saw the four of us back on board and on the Macclesfield Canal, trying to get to Whaley Bridge - the canal water level was so low we didn't get there and even had trouble getting close enough to the tow-path to moor on a couple of occasions.

May/June 2004 and the four of us have been to the end of the Llangollen Canal and back and down the Caldon Canal to Leek and back. The Llangollen had some spectacular scenery and the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct was amazing. The lower part of the Caldon was dire - we kept on expecting to turn a corner and get away from the rubbish and derelict factories. Eventually the scenery changed and we found what was probably the best mooring of the whole trip near the end of the Leek Arm.
                                                                                            Des steers us safely over the aquaduct

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