01 July 2008

Day four

And the highlight of day four of the mini-cruise? Er...well, still having a boat and quite possibly still being alive would seem to be in contention. Oh yes, today was every boater’s nightmare as we avoided sinking in the Northgate staircase by a very narrow margin. I still get a squidgy bum just thinking about it but the main thing is we survived in tact....although the dramatic heeling over of the boat as I finally freed the back fender from under the paddle rod drew loud gasps from the assembled throng ( accompanied by the sound of crashing crockery and dogs running for cover). There were various other events in the sequence that led up to me being pushed back on the gate and getting hooked up but I’m glad I was vigilant enough to see what had happened...but also annoyed that I should have let it happen in the first place. I think, on balance, that there were extenuating circumstances (like the boat coming down that thought the quickest way to fill the locks was to open up all the paddles at once) but it was a very, very sobering experience and one that I’m sure will give me nightmares for months to come.

But on to lighter matters. Do you live in Egg Bridge? If so, could you tell me why there exists such antipathy to boaters within your precincts? Not only was there the completely charmless ‘Do not moor opposite these houses’ notice (someone had, well done sir) but we also got yelled at out of a bathroom window merely for having a minor marital discussion over how best to get off the mud (we’d gone aground in the process of picking up the dogs). If you do not like boats, then could I suggest that living next to a canal might not be the most sensible thing to do? Or could I go further and suggest that you simply bugger off and stop adding to my already heightened stress levels?

We decided to toast our survival with a barbecue, although the wind picked up at just the wrong time and fanned the flames towards the boat. God, if one element doesn’t get you, another one will. I’m off to bed before the earth swallows me up.


Anonymous said...

So glad you made it! I agree - total stuff of nightmares especially with the dogs on board. We're reviewing our lock technique here - your experience has reminded us, yet again, not to be complacent. Enjoy the rest of your cruise - .I'm sure it was just a freak occurrence.
Sue, Indigo Dream

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Definitely not an experience to be repeated! The dogs are eyeing me very suspiciously these days...