Wednesday 12 October 2016


Another day. Another lock – Aston lock, as it happens, which is normally the most pleasant of places.

Except for another detestable object round the prop, just like yesterday. That was a woven nylon sack, this was a dark blue sweatshirt. Exactly the same scenario – going into reverse briefly to manoeuvre for the lock landing. And then that sinking feeling as the engine and the steering fail to respond as they should. Fortunately, it was also a similar outcome. A quick trip down the weed-hatch to sort it out, and we didn't even lose our place in the queue.

Earlier, we'd seen the boat from the incident in Stoke go past. We decided to delay our departure a little, so as to give no cause for stirring up any feelings in yesterday's steerer that might be excited by encountering us again. Well, wouldn't you know? We eventually passed him, moored up, just before a bridge on a bend. I slowed as we approached, and saw that another boat was just coming into the bridge-hole from the opposite direction, and there was another behind. That meant completely stopping, and we all know what happens when you do that (for those who don't – you can't steer!). So now I was perilously near to yesterday's acquaintance, with not a lot of control over Erin Mae. Fortunately the two oncoming boats were both extremely short and going at a reasonable speed, so I didn't have to spend too long doing my balancing act. In the event, I'm not sure that the occupants of the moored-up boat even noticed – I think they were inside having lunch.

As the man said, it was deja vu all over again!


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