We were woken by the rain and wind in the early hours of Monday. I got out and checked the mooring ropes at 7.00, taking up some slack and adjusting a fender. We were being blown about and the current was increasing. And we had to go with the flow before we could turn up the lock cut. This was going to be interesting. Bones and Maffi managed to get NB Bones turned round and disappeared off down the stream. Now it was our turn in Milly M. I planned to go down backwards, reasoning that I would always be able to slow the progress as necessary, and maintain steerage. Not such a good idea, as it happened. For one thing, the current was strong and turbulent, with many bends in the river. For another, the wind was also strong, and blowing against the stream, apart from the times, that is, when it was blowing across the stream. It started well, but things went wrong when the current caught the bow, which started to try to overtake the rest of the boat. Not a problem: Milly M has a bowthruster. But bowthrusters are happier on canals than on fast-flowing rivers: this one just reduced the speed at which the inconveniently-placed tree started to attack the side of the boat. So it was out with the boat hook, this being the longest shaft in the inventory, and, after a bit of straining against said obstruction, and praying that no damage was being done, we got clear. Did I mention it was raining? It was raining. And the phone in my pocket was ringing. That would be Bones wondering where I'd got to, no doubt. Or Maffi wondering what had happened to his home. I decided to tie up alongside a narrowboat (just before the plastic boats, phew!) and take stock. OK, we were secure, but the wind and current showed no signs of abating, and all we needed to do was get down a third of a mile before turning into the lock cut. Bones had done it, so could we. Back up to the pub mooring we went - a lot easier going this way - winded, and cruised down the weir stream in tickover, just enough to keep steerage. In a flash we were there. Why didn't I do it this way in the first place? I know now, but I would have rather found out in my own boat! Maffi assures me that no damage has been done, but you can imagine how concerned I was.
Apologies for the lack of photos to illustrate the above (!)
Somehow during today's quite short cruise, between fixing her engine and checking up on me by phone, Bones managed to concoct a delicious minced beef stew for lunch. After that it was goodbye Maffi, goodbye Bones, and hello A34.