Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Agony, the Ecstasy and the Apprehension

Monday 5th September to Sunday 11th September 2011

33 Miles, 21 Locks, 2 Tunnels – for this week

Totals: 754 Miles, 616 Locks, 24 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 12 Swing Bridges

The heater was finally reinstalled last Monday and really works well, not that it didn’t before, but it sounds as though it does – more from relief that it is back and running than from any sound idea that it really is better. Nice to know that it will (in all likelihood) give us good service over winter.

These are for Elly and Mick - the restored
Dover - as seen on TV
Heading off from Braunston on Tuesday, after a lengthier stop than originally planned, I met a group of Australians that I had spoken to last week (amongst the many that I had talked to) and they had not been through a lock before so as I explained to them how it all worked, we quietly and gently worked through the 6 locks at Braunston and then I followed them through the tunnel.

Up on the hard stand at Braunston
We became separated at the top of the Buckby locks due to a boat already waiting, and I bid them farewell and teamed up with an older couple – Sheila and Colin on a converted tug - I say older and by way of example Sheila offered the information that they had been married for 51 years. So a single-hander and two older people worked down through the 7 Buckby / Whilton locks in pretty good time - I moored up for lunch and they continued.

I was heading for the moorings at the top of Weedon, which were duly achieved and I settled there for a couple of days before heading down to Stoke Bruerne where I hadn’t quite decided on how long I would moor up there.

As is the case, I again met an Australian family (we are everywhere) just being gongoozlers– wife and husband and there three boys over here to see her sister who had married a farmer and settled in the area – not her first trip her, but the first for the rest of the family.

I had decided that I would head off the next day, but thought I would just walk Banjo before going and I met up with Anne (and Chas) on NB Moore-2-Life and of course Molly – it was then that I heard that a boat had come to grief in the lock above us – caught on the cill, with the bow underwater and the front saloon with a fair degree of water.

I ventured up to take a look at the scene – something I can’t forget – the sheer agony of seeing a boat lying at such an awkward angle – fortunately the two owners as well as their 20 year old cat were safe (and fairly shaken). BW were on the scene trying to work out the best way to rectify the situation.

The obligatory dog photo for Sam and Vivienne
They certainly determined what needed to be done and came down to advise the people on the 5 or 6 boats in the long pound that they would need to take their boats down from this pound and maybe down through 2 locks as they drained this pound to remove water from the lock.

We were all held up no matter which way we were heading as they wanted to keep the water levels in all of these lower pounds up for the additional boats in each.

Met another lovely couple Marian and Richard on NB Eleni Mae and we shared a few hours together waiting for the time to go – 5 hours after the initial problem we were able to move down through the remaining tow locks and were off to Cosgrove.

The boat had been refloated and the water had been pumped out in a way to minimise any further damaged – a good job done by BW – well done guys.

Eventually I have made my way to Milton Keynes and moored up on the city side of the canal at one of the four 48-hour moorings – a rare find indeed – and as the elderly person on the boat following said “I’ve only ever managed to get in their once in my boating experience) – the sheer ecstasy of it all. Not saying that the other side is not good – this is just better.

Beautiful countryside viewed from the Cosgrove Aqueduct

Part of the mural in Milton Keynes - too big for one shot

So as of tonight there are just 3 more sleeps until Wednesday and my beloved will be returning, but I have a dilemma, how do I explain to her that as thrilled as I am that she has returned, ITV1 has the 1st game in the Champions League that night and Man United are playing Benfica – maybe she will be tired and won’t notice – I don’t think so – sounds like a bit of a scheduling problem.

1 comment:

  1. Oops, the boss can read this blog even if she cant comment, but I think as long as you have a cider, chocolate and chips ready, she will be very happy to cuddle up with you and Banjo and watch tv- what a shame that ManU is playing and not Watford ha ha ha. Love Vivienne