Friday 23 June 2023

Can they fix it?..... Yes they can!

CART were due this morning.  They hadn't arrived at nine, nor ten.  Then a couple of CART men arrived, looked around a bit and departed again.

This went on, by now there were several boats all lined up behind us, most chomping at the bit.
We had run out of milk and the chaps on the boat behind very kindly gave us a pint of UHT they had spare.  It was a tiny bit of the Blitz spirit.  Over the hours we had learnt about the wedding the man on boat three was going to in Scotland and his reservations on the bride.  Learnt about the Maltese crew in boat four and the appalling weather  Malta was having just now.

More hours past.  it got hotter and hotter without shade.  Behind us and closer to Aqueduct Marina was a farm or at least some buildings with pigs, their perfume began to be on the breeze.

Finally the senior engineer arrived from gawd knows where, but this is a big area.  The planks to stop the water had to be replaced with steel ones, the person who drew the short straw had to go in and clear the debris from the plank channels, there was heaving, sweating and I thought I heard Ross call out "Pivot" ( Reader sorry but that was an hilarious scene from Friends).  

This breakdown had been caused by hapless and careless boaters dropping the paddles.  We have met a couple, usually a certain demographic of Boater who think its fine to drop them, who say they were designed to be dropped, who say I've been boating years and I always drop them.
Well if you do stop it.  They break.  There is precious little money for repairs.

David took most of these shots, they are in no particular order but you get the jist. 

Sweltering hot day, so lets all wear thick plastic High Vis jackets.

Lady kneeling was in charge.

The long awaited steel planks in position

Tut tut the windlass left on the paddle, (This side was not effected)

Us at the front of a tidy queue.

It was tested, it worked and we were away.  A round of applause broke out as we went on our way.  It continued as we passed the long queue of boats waiting to come down.

It was late in the afternoon, I thanked the lady engineer profusely for working hard, it now meant I could get my mother to her reunion.

We carried on through the second lock watching all the while as the black clouds filled in, grew blacker, we turned onto the Shropshire Union Canal, hearing thunder all around,  
Just moor up!!!

We did, two men from boats either side popped out to grab ropes, I thanked them and got them both back inside their own boats as the drops fell, David got wet doing the tonneau cover, the thunder was right overhead and lightening now too.
Phew, what a storm, the thunder and lightening petered out but the heavy rain continued till midnight.

Supper was fish and French beans.  

The cool air was wonderful.



  1. If I ever see a windlass left on an unatended spindle I will remove it & leave it on the ground, often asked why I did that, I reply that I don't want a broken limb due to others stupidity, which normally silences the asker!

    1. Entirely correct Alf. You are also doing the stupid person a service.

      We learnt the hard way back in 1994 when we had the children for our first family holiday. We collected the Black Prince boat from the bottom of the Tardibigge Flight (David's stupid idea). The children AND I had no idea of what we were doing, where we were going and how to do it.
      My eight year old daughter left a windlass in the paddle, it spun off at about 500 mph but luckily missed all loved ones ending up in the drink. At the top of the flight that night, all three children wanted to go home, the pub was shut where we'd promised them chips and the stern rope went around the prop.
      But here we are now.