Sunday, 25 September 2011


Yesterday we met a singlehanded boater and went through a lift bridge with him. He showed us the answer to last Monday's question. You leave your boat untied, take the centre rope with you, and draw the boat towards the bridge. Once it's open, you can either pull the boat through from the bank, or climb back on board, drive through and climb back onto the bridge from the other side, in order to lower it again. We were well impressed – though we had to imagine the last part of the operation as we were following through and closed the bridge ourselves.

Today we've done a long run as I want to keep my physio appointment in Bournemouth on Tuesday. Some of it in the rain, some of it back through the depressing first couple of miles of the Caldon, some of it pleasant in the sun later on. At the top lock of the Meaford flight above Stone, we met a guy selling some of his art work to supplement his disability allowance. He'd sold one piece today, which had made it worthwhile. He helped with the lock, and then volunteered to go on down and set the second one for us – said he was getting bored waiting for a sale, and that the exercise would also be good for his disability, but it was also typical of the general attitude we've encountered on the cut. When I thanked him, his response was that I would do the same for him some time. True enough. Another singlehander we met today told us of a long cruise (I forget the details) when he'd had to do only three locks himself.

Most singlehanders I've known seem to flourish best when the right company is just around the corner. Some of them have been the most helpful people you could wish to meet.


  1. But lets be honest - the artwork isn't everyone's cup of tea!

  2. @Captain Ahab

    That's true, Captain. You may know the individual in question. We weren't able to look closely, but his work seemed to be mostly line drawings on boating and potteries themes. From a distance, I thought they weren't too bad.