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Sanity Cruising Plans 2008

We're spending the early part of this year in the North West. Leaving Poynton just after the New Year, we came down the Cheshire Locks and through Middlewich and Anderton to the end of the Trent and Mersey. After a brief trip along the Bridgewater, we're now headed back to Middlewich, with the intention of going through to the Shropshire Union, and so onto the Llangollen.

We plan to go as far as Ellesmere, and then retrace our steps, probably going to Nantwich for a few days before setting off down the Shroppie, aiming to get back to Alrewas via the Staffs and Worcs and Great Haywood by mid March. We'll then have the usual six monthly set of check ups before heading South via the Coventry, N Oxford and Grand Union Canals, getting to Little Venice in time to help with the Canalway Cavalcade at the beginning of May. Then it will be back up the GU to Crick for the end of the month and the Crick Boat Show.

After Crick we hope to get a chance to visit Lincolnshire by train to see Graeme, Cathy and Daniel. Back at the boat, our next moves will depend on the level of rainfall in the Spring. If all is well, we'll go down the Soar and up the Trent to Shardlow and the Trent and Mersey. Passing through Burton and Alrewas, we'll head for the Staffs and Worcs again, doing the length of the canal to the Severn at Stourport.

That will enable us to do the full length of the navigable Severn, arriving at Saul Junction in time to help with the Canal Festival there. After that, we'll make a leisurely trip back, getting to Autherley by mid August and the workers camp for the IWA National on August Bank Holiday.

We've no fixed plans beyond that, except to visit Alrewas again in September. As always, the winter cruising will depend on the stoppages in force before and after Christmas.