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18+ Senior Section spent the weekend aboard Tuptonia

Contributed by Heather Pheonix

At the beginning of this year’s Mayday bank holiday weekend, a group of Senior Section members gathered together in Hockley Heath to set off for an exciting pirate-themed trip away on Girlguiding’s very own narrowboat: Tuptonia.

We were accompanied by our lovely skipper Mick, who took care of all things boat related and patiently passed on some of his narrow boating expertise over the course of the week-end. From the first minute we set off on our journey, we began a hands-on learning experience. We were taught key narrow boating skills such as how to manoeuvre correctly through locks and how to safely steer from the back of the boat using the tiller (which may have resulted in a few bumps and scrapes as we got the hang of the required technique!).

During our second day on Tuptonia, we made the ambitious decision to tackle Hatton Locks: an enormous flight of 21 locks, with the goal to reach the end and to then travel all the way back. We all took an active role in the journeying, whether that was steering Tuptonia, working the locks, or keeping the whole crew refreshed by serving up copious quantities of tea and cake! We quickly developed an effective system when it came to operating the heavy locks and sharing the workload which meant we flew through them, successfully making it to the end by lunchtime, where we celebrated with yet more cake! Of course, to commemorate our achievement we had to visit the local canal side shop in search of badges to sew onto our camp blankets- and managed to wipe out almost all their stock! Our final day was more relaxed, with significantly fewer locks on the route- much to the relief of our tired arms!

We had a peaceful, sunny return journey (except for a few us becoming drenched by a brief appearance of torrential rain, reminding us how unpredictable British weather can be!) and made it back to Tuptonia’s home right on time. Over the week-end we were able to enjoy plenty of pirate- style fun with both old friends and new, try our hand at practical boating skills and immerse ourselves in a new experience; overall, we would definitely recommend Tuptonia to any guiding groups looking for an enjoyable trip!

If you would like to book Tuptonia for yourself, you can find all of the booking information on the Properties page of our website here.