On this trip, I have been at the helm almost as often as Hubby, and my confidence in taking the boat in and out of locks has grown substantially.
I had a little gate nudge going up-stream, but nothing too drastic, and slowing the boat, then stopping her to ‘swing the ass in’ almost became second nature.
Hubby and I have an array of hand signals when locking up or down, but the most common and positive is the ‘thumbs up’ that confirms we are OK both in and out of the boat and the water isn’t running away with us (non windy days).
For the first time, we noticed an arch of greenery ahead, and I went up front to take some pictures.
It wasn’t actually over the river for us to pass under, but more to one side so I hope you can make it out here.
As we entered a narrow stretch approaching a lock, we came across a lone woman on a narrow boat slightly bigger than ours who appeared to be still in the water.
We kept to our port side and should have passed her easily, except she suddenly started to move forward and was coming straight for us!
Memo to self: must invest in big bright orange front fenders asap.
She hit us and was most apologetic as she explained in bouncing that her husband had left her to it and she had no idea what she was doing.
No damage was done as it was a ‘kiss’ more than a collision, so we suggested she took her time as there was nothing behind us, then watched as she zig-zagged erratically through the confined water channel.
We were curious as to where her husband actually was, because if he had stepped off the boat where she was ‘still’ when we came across her, he would probably have to swim for it to get back on board as there was nowhere he could do so from the riverbank. Besides, she was now in the centre of the river trying valiantly to steer in a straight line.
Our remaining locks were uneventful, and our overnight stay at Offenham relaxing and peaceful. We had to move under the little bridge this time as someone was taking up the majority of the overnight mooring posts and those close to the water and elsan points have to be kept clear.
Photo July 2015
We went to bed early and slept for almost 10 hours.
It had rained for most of the night, and the weather was supposed to be abysmal, so we hoped to be able to stay a second night. Those plans were scuppered when Hubby noticed we were in direct line of sight of the CCTV camera, so we had to move.
It brightened up a bit, so we set off around 9am, and another narrow boat waited for us at the lock so that we could go through together.
This usually makes life easier, and as we both worked in a similar way, locking down was straightforward.
Their plans were to stay at Pershore for the night, but we were hoping to stop after the next lock as it was quite nice and we’d never stayed there before. Again we shared the lock and they continued on their journey as we pulled in.
We moored up with no problem and I took Maggie for a walk whilst Hubby secured the boat and put everything away. Walking through the gardens, I witnessed an exchange of cash and a plastic bag, and got back to the boat shortly thereafter.
Hubby went for a walk on his own in town, and Maggie and I stayed aboard. She alarmed up twice, and one person actually lifted our front bow cover!
Hubby got back and said we were definitely at the wrong end of town which was full of ‘unsavoury characters’, so we decided to move on.
Our second choice of potential overnight mooring was occupied by the same two boats we had passed going up, so we ended up behind our new friends at Pershore.
Moored at Pershore, facing down river 11th September 2016.
Our intentions were to use the boating facilities in the morning, then move on to Comberton for our final night out, though if we couldn’t get in, we were close enough to home to get back and catch up with the washing!