Monday, 16 September 2013

Telling It Like It Is!

I had an interesting day out on a different narrowboat last Saturday. 

Cap't Bligh
I met up with 'Tom Crossley' the editor of Narrowboat World on his narrowboat 'Bounty' on the Chesterfield Canal. There is an interesting story behind the name of the boat. Involving a humorous story about a mutinous crew. However, it seems that Tom sees himself as Fletcher Christian rather than Captain William Bligh. I'm not sure that the rest of the crew see it that way.

I remember many years ago talking on ham radio with Tom Christian on Pitcairn Island. Tom was a descendant of the leader of the mutineers Fletcher Christian. Tom (callsign VP6/VR6TC) was a long-time radio amateur who became known as 'the Voice of Pitcairn' Tom died July 7 this year on the tiny South Pacific Island that was his lifelong home.

I had an enjoyable day being promoted to senior lock slave and part time helmsman for the day. Surprisingly the inland waterways played a large part of the conversation. It was a day of chewing the fat and exchanging various life experiences. 

For anyone who does not know Tom's background he was a newspaper editor for 27 years. However, for Tom in his newspaper years boating was just a leisure activity. When Tom left the world of newspapers behind he started up Narrowboat World an online-newspaper which has been going strong for over a decade. In a way Tom has been keeping his hand in. 

It was interesting to see although it is labour of love for Tom, he still operates with adherence to a strict set of publishing rules. So after completing around 18 locks. Enjoying several cups of Tom's fresh ground coffee beans. To which was added a very enjoyable lunch - the day seemed to fly past. A great day out with good company on the Chesterfield Canal.

A migrating stork is held in a police station after a citizen suspected it of being a spy and brought it to the authorities
On an aside, the day came complete with a cherry on the cake. When I was watching a large buzzard being mobbed by a couple of carrion crows. A movement off to one side caught my eye. Just in the final stages of landing in a cornfield was a Stork. Its been about three or four years since I last spotted a Stork in the UK. Though they are quite a common bird on the european mainland.

Recently a stork was detained by Egyptian authorities on suspicion of being an undercover agent. It was discovered on an island in the Nile, south of the ancient city of Aswan. Its capture and subsequent death was confirmed by Mahmoud Hassib, the head of Egypt's southern protected areas. A man took the bird to a police station in the Qena governorate, some 280 miles southeast of Cairo. He said that he thought the bird was talking. He suspected the bird was an undercover agent because it carried an electronic device. 

He could not tell Stork from mutter!

Mohammed Kamal the head of security in Qena confirmed that officials who examined the bird and the device.  He said the device was neither an explosive nor a spying device. It is thought to have probably been a wildlife tracker.

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