Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Yesterday was our D Day. D for Disaster that is.
It started in a small way - we were coming to moor up before a lock. I was on the bank with Brian and the rope. Vicky was at the helm. We were waiting for a boat to leave the lock so we could go in. Vicky popped below to use the loo - and at that moment a gust of wind blew the stern out and we started to drift broadside across the canal. The only thing to do was to leap for the boat...and hope Brian didn't attempt the same jump. Fortunately he didn't and minor disaster one was over.
The second disaster was a bit bigger. Vicky was pulling the boat to a halt in a lock with the rope; it snagged on the bollard and the boat tipped alarmingly, spilling stuff off the galley worktop - including a big jar of coffee which smashed all over the floor.
But the big D was number three. I was steering but put my head down into the boat to grab my sunglasses. Except I couldn't lay a hand on them. Now Vicky normally is alert to moments like this and takes the tiller. But this time she was gazing ahead - until she saw the bows heading straight for a canalside tangle of branches.
There was no escape - we were in them, watching in agony as they swept along the side and roof. Vicky grabbed Brian to safety from his rooftop bed. I grabbed the chimney. We finally got out and moored. I was distaught, convinced our paintwork was wrecked. Amazingly there were only some fine scratches which disappeared with the polishing cloth.
What an escape.
We finally moored for the night just beyond Stockton bottom lock after a long and fraught day.

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