Sunday, 27 June 2010

Man overboard!

Well, we have just returned from our first long weekend aboard the boat. We went from our current guest mooring in Doncaster. Heading up the river Don towards Sheffield. However, we only intended to go a short distance whilst Mag's go to grips with operating locks and to enjoy the magnificent weather. At Doncaster Town lock, we were sharing with wide beam narrow boat Isambard. Poppy, for reasons known only to her, decided to abandon ship whilst we were in the lock. However, at the time we were not aware of her being in the water. We were the first out of the lock and made our way a short distance up river. When the shortage of a crew member was noticed. I did a quick turn around and headed back towards the lock scanning the water and river bank for any signs of Poppy. We feared the worst. We saw Nb Isambard heading our way and they were waving at us.

An unknown narrow-boat with two men on board heading in the opposite direction had spotted her in the water inside the lock. They rescued Pops from the lock and passed her over to Nb Isambard. A very wet and bedraggled dog was brought back aboard in mid stream. We then restarted our voyage back up river as far as Sprotborugh Lock. Poppy had in the meantime been in the shower for an unplanned spruce up! We only found out the full story of her little adventure later. We had not put her life-jacket on as the weather was so hot. So for the rest of the voyage she was kept on a leash. The ending of this little saga was a good one and all three of us learned a valuable lesson. Or did we?

We spotted an ice-cream vendor on the tow-path at Sprotborugh lock so we moored up for a couple of large 99's. However, by now Poppy had been forgiven and was being allowed a share of the treat. We then turned the boat around and moored up on the opposite bank to the tow path. There were several other boats moored up (Nb Monkey Business and Nb Out Of The Blue) and we soon joined in with everyone on the bank side in a general discussion about all sorts of topics. We were having such a good time with everyone we decided to stay over night.

Sprotborought Lock. There are very good moorings on the off side. With a large well kept area of grass with a few scattered seats all sandwiched between the canal and the river. A Spar supermarket is available in the village, which is a short distance away over the canal bridge. (The Spar closes at 9:30 in the evening) There is good car parking available on the tow-path side. For boaters there is a BW water-point available along side the lock keepers office. Don't moor on the tow-path side for over night stays. The Wyre Lady runs a booze cruise up and down the river at the weekends. So it can be a bit noisy and the punters can be a bit boisterous when the wyre lady arrives back around midnight to disembark her well marinated passengers.

The resounding defeat for the Capello "team" from England, perpetrated upon us by our arch foes from Germany could have led to many a fan jumping in the canal.

In the late afternoon I was having a siesta "as you do" when there was a knock on the boat roof. Someone was asking if we could move a bit along the bank to leave room for them to moor up. This was it later turned out John and Anne on river cruiser "Champagne" from Great Heck. At the time, I was still half asleep, I missed my footing and went over the side "for a look" it was dark brown, quite like strong brewed tea and quite warm. However, I was awake in an instant! Later, we got to know John and Ann much better and enjoyed a very pleasant evening chatting and swapping stories and  having a few drinks, as you do.

Today we were awaked by the arrival of John and Tracy and their dog Holly. We had a late breakfast and then at about 11am we started a slow cruise back to Doncaster. On arrival we enjoyed a late lunch and a quick tidy up of the boat was followed by a short drive home.

Distance Today 6 miles, 4 locks and 0 swing bridges.
Running  Total 65 miles, 9 locks and 8 swing bridges.


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