Sunday, 17 May 2015

Spring Summer Cruse 2015 ❶❷

Alrewas to Fradley Visitor Centre
Date 17 May 2015

Overnight the weather was overcast and a cold wind.

Up early, cooked a good breakfast. Another day single handing. Under way by 9 am. Round the corner to the first lock and there is a hire boat across the canal. There were people hanging onto ropes there was a 'skipper' gunning the engine first in forward and then in reverse. I tied up on the lock moorings and wondered down to see if I could help. The 'Skipper' was quick to tell me that he had hired before and knew what he was doing. 

I'm in no hurry so I sat and watched. It was a master class in doing everything wrong. It would have made a good bit of comedy boating. Everyone was getting frustrated and a second boat had joined me on the landing. The lock had been set for them to go in - and another boat was waiting to come down. Eventually the 'skippers' first mate came down to apologise for the delay.

I said would you like me to come sort it? oh yes, if you could, that would help, she said with a smile. So I did a few of the usual things. Encouraged them to rock the boat and put it in reverse to push a bit of water under. The only way out is the same way as you went in. Out she came like a cork out of a bottle. A bit of manoeuvring and the boat is into the lock. 

Skipper had to say thank you, it hurt! So the three crew are on the lock side all new to boating and pulling the gate with their backs to the lock. So I point out that its safer to never get between the lock and the balance beam. Saying one slip and its a possible early bath. Plus if you slip you could also fall in the lock or bash your head on a bollard.

A bit further on is a very narrow bridge hole.  After about six goes they finally get through. At the next lock, I say to skippers wife - he needs to line the boat up with the bridge hole - before you get to it, remember narrowboats don't bend.  At the next bridge hole I could see a bit of manoeuvring to line up before the bridge - Then I notice that Mrs 'Skipper' is now the boat skipper at the tiller.

Afternoon: Its lunch time as we arrive at Fradley - decide to stop for lunch - then decide to stop anyway for the day. A had a collection of various bits of rubbish before I have a walk round to the household waste point. take the dog for a wander round the water park.

Evening: Quiet night in watching football.


Birds: House Sparrow, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Robin, Long Tailed Tit,  Coot, Moorhen, Wood Pigeon,  Collared Dove, Kestrel, Black Headed Gull, Common Tern, Swallow, House Martin and Swift.
Today's Total.
Miles: 2.4
Locks: 4
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1.8
Solar Panels: 30 Ah
Accumulated Total.
Miles: 2163.5
Locks: 1329
Swing / Lift Bridges: 299
Tunnels: 37
Pump Outs: 22
Engine Hours: 3136.9

Solar Panels: 20551 Ah

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