Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Captain to the Rescue

On Sunday morning we set off for Brinklow. Quite a chilly start but by 11.00am the sun was warming nicely. The canal seemed fairly quiet with only a few boats on the move.
We stopped briefly for lunch at the moorings at Onley by the prison before carrying on towards Hillmorton. That is where things got interesting. There was a Napton hire boat waiting for the locks with just a couple on board. As it was obviously their first lock, I went up to give them a hand. The first two locks went OK. It was at the last one that things took a turn for the worst. The lady was just about to move into the lock when a gust of wind caught the boat and it ended up across the canal. At this point I suppose she panicked, and shot back and forth across the canal like the boat was on elastic! First hitting the Badsey boat, and then going backwards into the bank. At one point she appeared to be heading into Granthams yard. After putting a boat into there for blacking we know it is not an easy place to get into. As we told her later, "at least it's a dead end".
By this time Oakapple had arrived, and, fearing for it's paintwork, I summoned the Captain to see what he could do to help. After asking permission, he managed to leap aboard and was able to get the boat alongside the bank ready to go into the lock. As she was obviously in a bit of a state, the captain offered to put the boat in for her, but, fair do's, she insisted on doing it herself, and made a very creditable job of it.
They moored  just below the lock and as we passed, we could see they were quite upset by the incident. As we  were planning to spend the night there we invited them on board for a glass or two, hopefully to stop them dwelling on it and spoiling their holliday. They were a lovely couple called Ros  and Dave and after a pleasant hour or so they returned to the boat in a more positive frame of mind.
Monday morning saw us going on the last bit to Brinklow. There seemed to be a lot of work going on along the embankment at Rugby, with work boats all along the offside bank. One curiosity, some appeared to be wide beam. As this canal has narrow locks this does not seem possible, however, as they moved the workboat aside to allow us past, we could see that what appeared to be a wide boat with a digger on board, was actually a narrow one which cunningly folds in half so that it will fit into a narrow lock.
After negotiating the Newbold tunnel we arrived in Brinklow Marina and there was, for the second time running, no wind. Oakapple slid alongside the pier with barely a bump.
We have now had to pop home again for a few days but hope to be back on board at the weekend.

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