Sunday, April 22, 2012

A first!

In all of our years of canal boat holidays, we have never before moored on the cut for more than one night in the same place. Tonight we go to bed at the same spot as last night... but facing the other way.
We did go for a bit of a cruise for a couple of hours in order to turn the boat, ready to return to Braunston early tomorrow. It's a lovely stretch of canal, unusually bendy, and passing through pleasant farmland. We've not seen much wildlife yet, apart from a Tawny Owl very close yesterday evening, only the fields of sheep and cows, all with their young. The weather was sunny but cold, with a chilly wind, the winding hole was large and easy, and the whole short trip was good. We returned to bridge 100 where we had been moored before, and spent the day on the boat.

We have been regular readers of the Canal Boat Magazine for years now. A regular theme on the letters from readers pages has been the bad manners of some boaters who pass moored craft at too high a speed. This can rock boats quite a bit, causing things to slide around tables and worktops, even to fall over. Furthermore, it can cause mooring pins to be pulled out of the ground, loosing the back or front of the boat, and allowing it to drift.
It is amusing to read letters from boat owners, accusing holiday boaters of such inconsiderate behaviour, whilst holiday boaters accuse owners of the same, saying how they should "know better". Well, take it from me, they can both be as bad as each other. This morning, we suffered a stream of boats passing far too fast, and it was a fair mix of owners and hirers. After one particular speeder passed, our stern mooring was uprooted from the ground, and the pin pulled into the canal. We actually knew nothing about it until we heard a neighbouring boater climbing onto the front of the boat to grab a rope and start to pull us to safety. The stern, under the influence of the currents caused by a passing boat, had drifted off into the centre of the canal while the bow remained moored. No harm was done, but it was annoying to lose the mooring pin. And we had only recently put three brightly-coloured plastic balls on it, too, to make it more visible to walkers on the towpath.

We rise early tomorrow, to cruise down to Roy's workshop, then say goodbye to Kantara for about two weeks. I hope it pours with rain the whole time - it looks as though it might!

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