boats

Six word Saturday

New winter timetable for Tavira ferry

Normally the town ferry to Tavira Island stops in late September.  This year it has continued, with a stop off at Quatro Aguas, replacing the smaller ferry from there.  A winter’s day, with water like a millpond.  Since these were taken on Wednesday, we’ve had 2 rainy days, but it’s back to blue this morning.  I can happily waste my time here, Debbie.  Happy Saturday!

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Still waters

Run deep, don’t they say?  Last Thursday I had you standing by the lock gates, in Hartlepool marina.  I was playing along with Paula, which I like to do.  By one of those strange serendipities of life, three days later found me back at the harbourside.  As you can see, it was an altogether different sort of day.  I sauntered around the marina, camera doing all the work.

As I approached the lock gates the alarm began to sound.  One gate was closing and the outer gate opening, to admit incoming vessels.  It’s always a captivating sight to me, and I walked out to a good vantage point.  As I watched, a procession of boats lined up before me.

Isn’t the sky a magnificent canvas?  As the boats passed beneath me, I could almost reach down and ‘high five’ them.  Well, almost!

How do you decide what to post next?  Are you driven by the numerous challenges?  I try not to be.  I would far rather post what’s in my heart.  All the better if it’s something uplifting.  There are plenty of sad days, aren’t there?  I’m not joining Thursday’s Special this week, but it still is.

Tilting at Windmills

A life of ease

A life of ease

Well, if I’d just called it ‘a lot of boats on the Norfolk Broads’ you wouldn’t have read it, would you?  Admit it!  At least I’m giving you something else to look out for.

This is our mooring- a nice place to start

This is our mooring- a nice place to start

And this is our boat

And this is our boat

It’s moored at Stalham, on the River Ant, in Richardson’s marina.  A peaceful setting, away from the hurley-burley of Wroxham.  We glide gently across Barton Broad, and Jarek points out the shallow water where, almost daily in peak season, boats run aground.  When we pause to admire the scenery, a swan raps smartly on the hull.  I’m not sure if this signifies ‘get a move on’ or ‘where’s the bread?’  Short on bread, we move on!

The naughty swans

A naughty swan

Looking ahead I glimpse some houses

Looking ahead I glimpse some houses

And am delighted to find that one has a thatched roof

And am delighted to find that one has a thatched roof

What a location!

What a location!

And the neighbour's none too shabby, either! (and there's a bench for Jude)

The neighbour’s none too shabby, either! (and there’s a bench for Jude)

But here's our first excitement- a windmill!

But here’s our first excitement- a windmill!

There are a seemingly endless supply of them, strewn across the Broads.  Many have been restored and stand there, gracefully pointing the way with their sails.

Here's another, wonderfully elegant example

Here’s another, wonderfully elegant example

It's quite a long way up!

It’s quite a long way up!

We sail on a little way and then execute a fine turn to seek out a mooring place.  Time for hungry sailors to eat, and then stretch their legs.  We are moored alongside How Hill House, and a treat is in store.  Tiny Toad Hole Cottage was an eel-catcher’s home.

Welcome to How Hill, Staithe

Welcome to How Hill, Staithe

Click on any photo to see the gallery

How Hill Trust provides an environmental study centre for the Broads.  The preservation of the incredibly beautiful house is no small part of this, but there are landscaped gardens too and a sweeping lawn for picnics, rolling down to the river.  There’s even a restored grain mill, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay.

The detail around the windows is exquisite

Smell the roses and admire the detail around the windows

And how about this for a view? (can you spot the windmill?)

How about this for a view! (can you spot the windmill?)

And look at the wisteria!

And look at the wisteria!

We’d better get back on board.  Too much playing ‘lady of the manor’ isn’t good for me!  And there’s a coffee stop to make, with homemade Polish rhubarb cake.

We putter along the waterways, using the sail sometimes, or the small motor.  The water lilies drifting at the water’s edge and the dazzling yellow ‘water buttercups’ captivate me, but I’m unable to take a decent shot.  I’ll just have to go back another day!  Maybe you’ll come with me?

Jo’s Monday walk : Canalside in Nottingham

A faithful companion

A faithful companion

Nothing quite gladdens my heart like stepping out along a towpath on a sunny day.  Canalside people seem to me to be some of the friendliest in the world.  I hadn’t planned to walk along the canal at Nottingham, but I had a couple of hours to spare before meeting my daughter for lunch. The canal runs right by her office, and the sparkle of the water had me hooked before I knew it. Added to which, I couldn’t possibly get lost following a towpath! (my sense of direction being notoriously lacking)

There’s something really delightful about being in the heart of the city and yet totally removed from the hurly-burly and the bustle.  Come and walk with me, and we’ll leave our cares behind.

This was the scene that greeted me on the towpath

This was the scene that greeted me on the towpath

It was part of their morning routine to attend to the canal’s wildlife.  The young man was happy to chat while he fed the goslings.  The dog resisted its strong impulse to give chase.

Trams ran overhead

Trams run overhead

But I was more interested in the serenity beneath

But I was more interested in the serenity beneath

Nottingham Canal came into being in the 1790s as a means of carrying coal from the mines, which were scattered around the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire borders, into the city. Previously the coal had been hauled overland, or via the Erewash Canal and River Trent.  The new canal, which ran for a little under 15 miles, would more than halve both journey and cost.  But, with the advent of the railways and the increasing cost of tolls, the canal was no longer viable.

Following privatisation in 1947, almost any local authority who wanted it could have the land, with the result that much of the canal has been filled in and built over.  I was oblivious to this as I pursued my stroll along the canal.  The downstream section through the city centre, and connecting to the River Trent, remains in use.

Many buildings back onto the canal

Many buildings back onto the canal

While cyclists happily scoot past

Cyclists scoot happily past

The towpath is also part of Nottingham’s Big Track, a 10 mile cycle route which follows the canal from the railway station in Nottingham to Beeston locks, and returns via the Trent riverside path.

Bike track

Bike or walk?  You can choose

Ahead, the excitement of a lock!

Ahead, the excitement of a lock!

Castle Lock beckons

Castle Lock beckons

I don’t walk far before I’m having more encounters with the wildlife.  A coot is a little curious about me, but not sure if he wants to hang around.  Smart apartments line the canal at this point, and I’m rather surprised to come upon a heron, nonchalantly preening himself.  The young man with the dog catches me up and tells me that this is the heron’s regular haunt, seemingly oblivious to observers.

The canal twists and turns through the city.  Around the next bend I find a colourful narrowboat and pause to admire the painted canal ware displayed on deck.  A passerby stops to tell me that the boat sells beautiful things.  He thinks it must be moving on today as there are usually many more goods to see.  The owner pops his head out, and we chat about his next destination.

All manner of boats are tied up along the towpath, or come chugging towards me.  I’m looking out for Castle Meadow marina, where I hope I might find some breakfast.  As I approach a barman is putting umbrellas up to shade the outdoor tables.  When he smiles, I ask if he’s doing coffee.  “Not till 11” he says.  My face falls because it’s only 10.20am.  I hover, looking at the boats, and he takes pity on me.  I don’t push my luck and ask for toast, but it’s very pleasant sitting there, at the ‘Water’s Edge’.

You know that I couldn’t resist a wander among the boats before carrying on along the towpath, don’t you?  They’re all so colourful and individual.  Do you have a favourite?

I carry on, not sure how much further I should go because I have a lunch date.  There are some lovely canalside homes and even a boat builder’s yard.  Hawthorn tumbles from the trees and I take many more photos.

The blossom crowds the towpath

The blossom crowds the towpath

Jill looking beautiful in the boatyard

‘Jill’ looking beautiful in the boatyard

With sparkling Vermuyden for company

With sparkling Vermuyden for company

I turn back reluctantly, not sure how much further I could have followed the canal.  If you are interested in the history, this link will tell you a little more.  I joined the canal at Trent Road.

I’m sure some of you will have glazed eyes.  I just can’t help my fascination with boats, and for me it was a lovely respite from a sometimes stressful world.  Time now to put that kettle on and see what everyone else has to share.

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As always, if you click on my logo it’ll take you to the Jo’s Monday walk page, where I explain how to join me.  Thank you very much to all my contributors for keeping me so well entertained.  Your company is priceless.

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First up, it’s a little dainty stepping out in the desert with Drake this week :

Step’ing stone in the sand 

Tobias enjoys looking for the details :

A short walk around Luxemburgplatz

If you like walking, sometimes you just have to ignore the weather :

Lake District walks : Easdale Tarn

Or how about a pretty little village stroll, complete with clogs?

A bit of green 

Going from green to blue, with somewhere rather nice to sit :

A walk in the woods

Does anyone write a better ‘gardens’ post than Jude?  I don’t think so!

Garden Portrait : Trelissick

Let’s travel to Toronto with a newcomer next.  Please say hello!

Monday walks : Toronto Doors Open

A luscious cacti garden in Arizona next, and Amy’s first humming bird!

The Desert Botanical Garden

Geoff made the very most of a Bank Holiday Monday with…

A Blast on the Heath

Not so much a walk as … varoom- varoom!  A ride :

On the Grid at the Indy 500

Rosemay is ‘under the weather’ in Munich, but what a beautiful city!

A stroll in the Englischer Garten

And last, and totally fabulous- Gilly has us flirting with death on the cliff tops!

A Walk at Morte Point

Thank you so much, everyone!  Definitely living up to my name  this month- next weekend sees me in Norfolk, visiting with Polish family.  I hope to schedule a Monday walk, and I’ll be back Monday evening to chat with you.  Till then, have a wonderful week!

Six word Saturday

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I went looking for reflections, but…

I didn't find many

I didn’t find many

I did find lots of boats

But I did find lots of boats

And you know I like a boat or two

And you know I like a boat or two

This wasn't quite the reflection I had in mind

This wasn’t quite the reflection I had in mind

Isn't it looking pretty today?

Isn’t it looking pretty today?

Just a whisper of reflection

Found a whisper of a reflection

Light patterns play in the water

And the sun playing in the water

The Black Diamond training ship

And around the Black Diamond training ship

Hooray!  A cloud reflected in the window

Hooray! A cloud reflected in the window

The inner harbour is flat calm

Flat calm- fluffy clouds in the inner harbour

At last!  A full on reflection

At last! A full on reflection

Next week’s Thursday’s Special has the theme ‘reflections’.  On a clear bright day this week I thought I’d get ahead of the game.  But there was just enough wind to ripple the water and make my task that little bit harder.  No matter!  I enjoyed playing anyway.

I won’t be going anywhere near Hartlepool marina this weekend.  It’s grey and wet!   Maybe we’re saving the sunshine for next weekend’s long Easter Break.  Wherever you are I hope you have a happy weekend.   And don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face to play Six word Saturday.

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Jo’s Monday walk : Just boats!

A sea of boats at Santa Luzia

A sea of boats, at Santa Luzia

Today’s walk is going to be pure self indulgence, so I apologise in advance if you’re not a lover of boats.  I’ve taken you to the Algarve’s Santa Luzia before, and we’ve loitered in the tiled bliss of the back streets.  One of the walks I did with my Stroller friends this past holiday was in territory very familiar to me.  We started at a cafe (of course) in Santa Luzia, and walked across to Barril (remember the Anchor Graveyard?) on Tavira Island.

I was busy chatting and ‘catching up’ with people, so I forgot to wield the camera until we began to walk back.  We headed through the holiday village Pedras d’el Rei and turned right, down a path I didn’t know, and suddenly I began to take notice.

Walking with the group doesn’t really work well for photographs, especially once they get the bit between their teeth and are headed for lunch.  We emerged on a back lane in Santa Luzia and bundled into the restaurant “Moura”. Plentiful food and wine was consumed, but then I was eager to get back into the sunshine.  I deposited my husband on a bench, gazing at the salt marshes through half closed eyes, and I was off, camera in hand.

Mick's view!

Mick’s view!

Not a bad place to sit, is it?  But I prefer to wander.

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I’m content to amble up and down the gangways, admiring the boats from every angle.  Nobody seems to mind, and the few people not lazing after lunch simply nod and smile.  The fishermen are too busy discussing the day’s catch to care, and I am careful to step over the coils of rope.

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Are your eyes beginning to glaze over?  I should have warned you that I can look at boats for hours.  I expect Mick’s asleep on his bench by now.  Not too many more and then I’ll head back.

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Thank you so much for your patience.  I enjoyed the indulgence.  It was easy to sit in my armchair and turn the clock back.  I hope you didn’t mind ambling in the sunshine.  Or you could join me in the back streets of Santa Luzia?

Can you believe it’s a whole year since I started sharing walks? It all started here.  I’ve led you on a merry dance since then and can only be grateful that so many of you have stayed with me.

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Thank you again for all the lovely shares this week.  If any of you have a walk you’d like to share, the details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo or the link.  All comers welcome!  And now I really must put that kettle on.  Coffee, anyone?

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Now, what have I got for you this week?

Drake first!  Don’t miss his incredibly spooky photo in an abandoned orphanage!

The World in one City 

Debbie’s on a mission to bring us canals.  And she does it in style!

Milan’s Grand Canal

Who would have thought a Tokyo suburb would be so interesting?  In like-minded company, of course.

Calling all Travellers 

Geoff takes us back to his old London haunts and a host of memories :

My Kinda Town 

Join Esther in the clouds.  You know you want to!

Walk in the Clouds

Amy and egrets!  A winning combination if ever I saw one :

Monday walk : A Race

And finally, please welcome Susan.  Beaches are always a hit with me :

Walkin’ Wednesday

It just remains to wish you all a happy week, and I hope it’s full of pleasant walks.

Jo’s Monday walk : the marina

Shadows lengthen in Hartlepool marina

Shadows lengthen in Hartlepool marina

I’ve been scrolling back through my Monday walks, trying to decide where to take you next.  I still have a few, unshared, Algarve memories, but I think today we’ll just have a peaceful stroll around our marina.  I’m continuing my hassle free mood.  The Christmas rush will arrive soon enough.

Though the last few days here have been damp and dreary, last weekend the sunsets were liquid and beautiful.   Perfect for a stroll!  Dusk comes early at this time of year and, with the sun so low in the sky, the light and shade has a magic all its own.

The view from Jackson's Landing

The view from Jackson’s Landing

Looking down towards the marina

Looking down towards the marina

The colours reflect so well in the still water

The colours reflect so well in the calm water

The sun bounces from the flats to the water

The sun bounces off the apartments

And then fades!

And then fades!

You’ve probably noticed, I can always loiter by boats.  And with the sun descending into a liquid pool, the temptation is even greater.  I succumb every time!

The sun, lending highlights to the boats

The sun paints highlights on the boats

Caressing the red  lovingly

Lovingly caressing the red

And lighting up the water

Then sinking gently towards the water

Isn't it magical?

Magical, isn’t it?

I linger till the light's almost gone

I struggle to tear myself away!

Light is a deceptive thing because, as I look back, the boats appear still well lit.  I look towards the sea, and wonder if I might make it to the sea wall in the time remaining before sunset.

Looking back across the marina

Looking back across the marina

Beyond the lock gates, two overgrown, ramshackle piers reach out to meet their mate across the water.  There is a poignancy to them, with their neglected grassy tufts.  The new sea defense walls make them look very shabby, but it’s atmospheric out there, with the evening shadows.

Can you see the fishermen, huddled against the rocks?

Can you see the fishermen, huddled against the rocks?

The sun has almost set

A last dazzle of sunlight

A cycle path leads around the back of the apartment blocks, and back to Jackson’s landing, where we started out.  A smokey haze rests on the water as the final clouds drift up and away.

The clouds drift up and away

Dying light!

I hope you enjoyed my very local stroll this week.  No place like home?  I’ve had the saddest weekend and would like to extend huge thanks to my blogging friends.  They’re always there when I need them.  Spending time on this post helped a little to distract me from the sudden and tragic death of a dear friend and neighbour in the Algarve.

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If you’d like to join me on a walk, short or long, you’d be more than welcome.  The logo above will take you to my Jo’s Monday walks page.  Meanwhile, many thanks for all these great contributions.  Time to put the kettle on, and enjoy.

Jude’s having a great time in Australia!  Check this out  :

Dee Why Lagoon

Colline’s walk couldn’t be more different!  Brrrh!  🙂

A Walk through the Park

Drake’s a little early with his Christmas walk, but he’s off travelling soon  :

Early Christmas walk

Texan beauty is what we’ve come to expect from Amy.  You won’t be disappointed!

Enchanted Rock

Always nice to welcome someone new, especially on a waterfall walk  :

Handstands and Hiking

And loiter in some mysterious woods in Germany.  Thanks, Tobias!

Home Range II

Or you could go admiring clocks with Elena  :

Where is Solothurn?

You know Yvette’s always fun!  How about a train ride this week?

Triple Crossing Train Tracks

While Jill’s taking us where the trees are green  :

Eastwoodhill- a tree lover’s sanctuary

Have a great week of walking!  I hope your weather’s good.