Sunday 20 March 2011

Real Boaters (Stage 1)

On Friday we had our first night on board Erin Mae. Temperatures were around freezing outside, so we kept the heating on low, just in case. Saturday was a glorious day, and we made 5 miles towards Stone before turning round.

This involved working three locks in both directions, the first we'd encountered since a week on the Llangollen canal in NB Jireh in 2003. At the first (Hoo Mill Lock) we had another example of the mixture of helpfulness and respect that you meet on the cut. As we were filling the lock to come up, NB Goosander was waiting to come down. I said sorry for the time it was taking as I made sure I was doing things in the right order, and they came over to help and to offer advice. Thanks guys! Later on, as we were hurrying back because of the hour, we were passing a moored boat we thought had no-one on board – until the owner came out and asked if I wasn't going a bit fast. It was a gentle reminder, and I duly apologised. Working out an appropriate speed for any given point isn't hard, but good judgement comes with experience.

Last weekend I said we wouldn't be proper boaters until we'd had our first night on board. Actually, as we made our way back to the marina, it felt that we wouldn't really be proper boaters until we were on a journey, not just a day trip. That's life.

Working Hoo Mill Lock

Stopped for lunch

The Bridge at Salt – patterns in the brickwork


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