It has been clear to us for some time that, while “Mistol” was our beloved home and much appreciated by day visitors, she was really too small to welcome anyone on for overnight stays. It was even was quite a squeeze for more than two extras for meals. We looked into the possibility of extending her, as there seemed to be nothing for sale in our price range with a suitable layout. But our plans came to nothing. Then, suddenly, “No 8” came on the market. The timing was perfect; we already had a car hired for that weekend to go to the BCF annual bash not far from where she was lying, and friends Andy and Sue were on hand to look her over with us. With a few minor modifications, she was exactly what we wanted and friends at the BCF also enthused, dispelling doubts that easily come. That day we had a verse from Ecclesiastes 11:3. ‘Invest in 7 projects, yes even in 8’!
We had planned to get Mistol ready for sale in 2018, but a young man, hearing of her for sale, offered to buy her immediately - with the proviso that he found a mooring. Amazingly, the right mooring turned up and so we had a frenzied time getting Mistol up to scratch for the survey, all our stuff packed up (it is amazing how much you can cram onto a 50’ narrow boat) and transferred by white van to Tamworth in early January to where No 8 was moored. For us, a special touch was that the buyer works for ‘Medcin Sans Frontier’, whose ethos resonated with our time with the Indian communities in South America. Lock stoppages mean we can’t return to the K and A until April, but a short cruise brought us to Stafford where our son and family live, giving us quality time with them while sharing with the local boating community during the icy blast of early March. The Canal Ministries annual retreat was in nearby Stone in late Jan and so, on a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon, everyone crowded on the boat for a dedication - but soon crowded off again when the extra weight brought water slopping in the bow scuppers! People questioned the name ‘No 8’, (although actually we call her ‘Ocho’). After jokes of cutting off the bow fender on the 8th day, and heavy theological discussions about the significance of the 8th day of creation, we have settled for a simple explanation: When the Lord returns, or calls us home, we will hear the cry ‘Come in No 8, your time is up!’.
In His Name
Rob and Trish Munday
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.