Monday, 11 May 2015

A little canal chaos

Straight after breakfast we moved onto the water point and filled up; then overshot Hawkesbury Junction slightly, stopping at the services to minimise the distance I had to carry the Elsan. A nifty reverse and a swing round to the stop lock had us onto the Oxford Canal, following two hire boats.

This is my favourite shot of the day, taken after an "incident" with the hire boats.

Back to the story. Despite the two hire boats following each other through the stop lock, we still managed to catch up with them after a couple of miles. And we don't go fast. After a while the leading, slowest, boat indicated to the one behind to overtake, which he did; then we were beckoned forward in the same way. Just as we were half a length in front, the boat which had overtaken first suddenly went into full astern. A boat was coming through a bridge hole towards us all. Because the first boat had stopped I had to slam on the anchors too, and so did the boat we had been overtaking.

The bemused steerer of the boat coming towards us said he was just thinking how quiet it was! Imagine his surprise to come round the bend and be confronted with three boats spread across the canal, all trying not to hit each other.

It all worked out all right; the oncoming boat was able to keep going, the boat which stopped got going again after some corrective steering, we were OK. The boat which was the original slow one got slightly stuck in the shallows by the towpath but soon got clear.

I was too involved with extricating ourselves from the potential mess to take a piccie, but here's one I took earlier of the three of us in convoy.

It was evidently the day for novice hirers; this Yellow Peril courteously stayed out of our way by hiding in the trees on the offside as we went past, but had a little moment with the tiller afterwards.

We tied up in Rugby at 1530; daughter Ally drove up from MK shortly after that with a huge pile of geography marking to do.

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